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Clare Stevens Launches Blue Tide Rising at Waterstones Nottingham

4 April 19 words: Anna Marshall

Sunday 31 March saw Waterstones hold an inspirational day of talks, poetry and music, as well as an interview with local writer Clare Stevens, as part of the launch for her debut novel Blue Tide Rising

Having lived in Nottingham since the eighties it’s clear Clare Stevens has used some of the deprived areas of the city as inspiration for the beginning of her debut novel Blue Tide Rising.  

The book begins with a young, depressed woman called Amy, and takes you on a journey of her self-discovery, where she becomes more at peace with herself and the world around her.  

Although the book is in no way autobiographical, the themes may be in some way inspired by Clare's own personal life experiences and events.

In 2010, at age 57, Clare was diagnosed with breast cancer and the book in some ways reflects her own struggle with having to come to terms with a debilitating and life threatening illness.  

During Clare’s interview with retired Nottingham City Library worker Sheelagh Gallagher, she explained how therapeutic writing has been in her recovery process. She and Sheelagh first got to know each other at the creative writing group at Maggie’s Centre, where Sheelagh was leading the sessions, and Clare eventually went on to lead herself.  

Maggie’s is a local independent charity designed to provide “practical, emotional and social support” for people suffering from cancer. At the launch, guest speakers from the charity came along to offer support and read out some of their poems. 

One line from a poem titled Maggie's Poem, by Jo, was particularly poignant with lines like: '’the beauty is from the sun and the summer and the will to live.’'  

Originally from Somerset, Clare now works in media relations for Nottinghamshire Hospice and still runs the Maggie’s Centre creative writing workshop. She also hinted at a new idea for a book about ‘'a bunch of baby boomers who buy up their old college and decide what the rules are going to be.’'

This new idea definitely sounds like more of a comedic departure compared to that of Blue Tide Rising, which was is described by interviewer Sheelagh as a '’dark fairytale.’' However, she also said this in no way diminishes the book’s ease to read, or its ability to uplift the reader.  

Here's hoping we hear more from this homegrown talent.

Clare Stevens’ Blue Tide Rising Launch took place at Waterstones Nottingham on Sunday 31 March 2019

Waterstones website

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