In a world burgeoning with bad news, Up Lit is the new kid in town taking the literary world by storm and The King of Lavender Square is right on trend!Take one beautiful Victorian square in Dublin where lavender grows in abundance, add a young African-Irish boy with a dream, Patrick Kimba, his mother and her suitcase of secrets and own ideas about their futures and throw in the neighbours, who want nothing to do with each other or the Kimbas, and you’ve got a good start. The trouble is the residents of Lavender Square soon will have no choice but to get to know each other and it’s where the magical journey begins.
Publishers believe the growing demand for uplifting fiction is a response to the turbulent times we live in. Readers want to escape and are yearning for life-affirming stories that explore the themes of family and the human spirit where communities come together against all odds and The King of Lavender Square ticks all the boxes.
In reality Up Lit isn’t new. Maeve Binchy was the queen of it. Interestingly, Susan Ryan took part in the writer’s eponymous course back in 2003 where some of the Binchy magic rubbed off. Like Maeve Binchy herself, Susan Ryan’s writing has a universality about it that has been identified with by audiences both at home and abroad. The King of Lavender Square has struck a chord with American readers who have connected with the whole notion of our need to create a sense of family in the absence of our own but also with the racial elements in the story due to the current climate in the US of discord and nervousness. Indeed, the film rights of the book have just been sold to an American production company so watch this space.
Susan Ryan grew up in Gorey, County Wexford. After graduating with a degree in Social Science from University College Dublin, she worked in Greece, Germany, London and Australia in jobs as varied as “menu translation” in Greece to “cook” in the Western Australian wheat belt. She now works as an advertising copywriter, on campaigns ranging from banking to beer, and has won a number of industry awards. In 2012, she was commissioned by Ireland’s only two-star Michelin restaurant to write Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud: The First Thirty Years. She lives in Dublin with her partner, Stéphane, and their daughter Sophie.
The King of Lavender Square is her first novel
1st June 2018, paperback, Price €9.99, ISBN 978-1781998373
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Poolbeg Press 123 Grange Hill, Baldoyle, Dublin 13, Ireland.