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Literary Lunch prepared by My Secret Feasts with talks from renowned authors Gareth R Roberts and Matthew Dennison


Gareth is a former political speech writer who, these days is criminal barrister by day and a scribbler by night. His first novel That Immortal Jukebox Sensation (Libros International), a dark comedy about a frustrated solicitor who fantasises about murdering a pop star, won the Amazon Clicks Debut Novel Prize.

It is his second novel however that won him recognition – Whatever Happened to Billy Parks? (Harper Collins, 2013), won the Jerwood Prize for Literature and was long listed for the Gordon Burns Prize and is the story of dying alcoholic former footballer who is given a unique chance of redemption.

It was optioned as a Bollywood Film and Gareth wrote and adapted the screen play to be about an Indian Cricketer and has recently been optioned by a British Film Company.

For the last two years, Gareth has been writing for a Canadian Film Company who has recently published the first of a series of graphic novels under the title, The Knight Guardians.

His last novel Confessions of a Barrister (Harper Collins, 2015), was written under the pseudonym Russell Winnock and has been a best seller on the Amazon Charts.

His next novel The People’s Champion, is about a young politician whose attempt to cope with the modern world of populism and falsehoods, together with his own ambitions and ego sees him descend into madness.


Matthew Dennison is the author of six works of non-fiction. He read English at Christ Church, Oxford, as Douglas Jerrold Scholar, and afterwards the History of Decorative Arts at the University of Glasgow. His thesis – on Sevres porcelain hyacinth pots – was subsequently published in abridged form by Country Life.

His first biography, The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria’s Youngest Daughter was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2007 and became a Hatchards number one bestseller; it has been published in nine United Kingdom editions to date. Empress of Rome: The Life of Livia was published by Quercus in 2010 and was followed in 2012 by The Twelve Caesars, published by Atlantic, a Daily Mail Book of the Week, acclaimed by The Spectator as “magnificent”. In the summer of 2013, William Collins published his biography of Queen Victoria, Queen Victoria: A Life of Contradictions, described by Hugo Vickers in The Times as “a tremendous coup”. All four titles have been published in the States by St Martin’s Press.

Matthew’s biography of Vita Sackville-West, Behind the Mask, was published by William Collins in October 2014 and became a ‘Book of the Year’ in The Times, The Independent, The Observer, and The Spectator. The US edition has just been released. His latest book Over the Hills and Far Away: The Life of Beatrix Potter was published by Head of Zeus in October 2016 and by Pegasus in the States in April 2017. His biography of Queen Caroline of Ansbach will be published by HarperCollins in the autumn of 2017.

Matthew is a journalist and regular contributor to a range of publications, including Country Life, The Spectator and Telegraph Magazine; he contributed to ‘Queen Victoria’s Children’ and ‘Royal Cousins at War’ for BBC 2 and ‘The Queen’s Longest Reign’ for BBC1.


We are also hoping to welcome Zia Choudhry, author of “Just Your Average Muslim” who has received enthusiastic national acclaim for his promotion of inter-faith dialogue. In addition, local author, Simon Dewhurst will be present and has just published his second book, “ Broken Lunch “, an utterly hilarious account of a life lived to the max over the past 70 years.

There will be an opportunity to purchase books at the event and to have your individual copy signed by the author.

Lunch will be provided by the talented Belinda Diamond of “My Secret Feasts” who will bring to the table her meticulous attention to taste and detail. Her events are always bespoke and combine culinary magic with flair and originality. Carefully-chosen complementary wine will also be available at a small additional charge per glass.