28 Sep All About Families
In the opening event of the festival weekend, two local authors bring very different perspectives to a topic close to everyone’s heart: families and how to survive them. ExeLitFest Patron Sarah Turner is a mum of three. Frustrated with the lack of honest parenting commentary available online after having her first baby, she launched The Unmumsy Mum blog, instantly capturing all the attention a new-born demands. Three Sunday Times-bestselling Unmumsy books later, she will be in conversation with another Exeter author, novelist Simon Kettlewell. Simon’s memoir-style novel, Eternity Leave, published earlier this year, captures his twenty years’ experience as the main parent for his four children. It’s a blisteringly honest, yet hugely entertaining expose of a much under-recognised role and the pride and prejudices that accompany it.
Sarah Turner: The Unmumsy Mum
Sarah Turner is an Exeter author and mum of three. After becoming frustrated with the lack of honest parenting commentary available online after she had her first baby, she decided she would write something of her own and The Unmumsy Mum blog was born. After an unexpected whirlwind on social media, she was approached by a publisher and has since written three books: The Unmumsy Mum, The Unmumsy Mum Diary and The Unmumsy Mum A – Z, all of which are Sunday Times bestsellers. The Unmumsy Mum was voted number 4 in Amazon’s Top 10 books of 2016 (as voted by Amazon customers) and was also shortlisted for Book of the Year (non-fiction, lifestyle) at the 2017 British Book Awards. Her first novel will be published in 2022.
Simon Kettlewell: Eternity Leave
Simon Kettlewell worked for 20 years in the NHS, before leaving to work in Eastern Europe in mental health services. For the last 20 years Simon has also been the main parent for his four children. This experience prompted him to write his latest novel Eternity Leave published in February 2021. He was motivated to write this book because although there are many books written by mothers about their experiences of raising young children, there are none written in a similar genre by a man.
An award winning writer, Simon has published three previous novels: Bread for the Bourgeoisie, Dead Dog Floating, The Truth About Us, and its follow-up novella, The Truth About Her.