Award-winning writer for book-signing at Harrogate Waterstones

A Harrogate writer is all set for a book-signing in Harrogate to mark the paperback version of a book set in Harrogate itself.

Harrogate author Rob Cowen pictured in the fields near Bilton. (JH1008/81g)

Award-winning journalist and naturalist Rob Cowen will be signing copies of his acclaimed bestseller Common Ground at Waterstones on James Street this Saturday, April 9.

The book tells the story of how Cowen spend an entire year exploring a single square mile of scruffy wood, meadow, hedge and river at the back of Bilton.

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Despite its obscure subject matter, it’s received glowing testimonies from the likes of Alan Bennett, Michael Palin and Joanne Harris.

And it also featured in a recent broadcast of BBC TV’s Countryfile.

A regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph, Cowen, who is married with two young children and lives in Bilton, is looking forward to meeting readers.

Rob said: “It’s great to be signing in my hometown and in a bookshop that has been a fantastic advocate of the book. I’m genuinely honoured and humbled that the book has struck a chord with so many people.”

Described as “mesmerising” by Chocolat author Joanne Harris, Common Ground has been nominated for a string of awards since it was published in hardback last year by Random House.

Rob’s book was shortlisted for the Portico Prize in October and is now in the running for the inaugural Richard Jefferies Society Writers’ Prize.

Based on 150,000 words of intensive field notes, Alan Bennett may have hailed Common Ground as “a cracking book” but the author himself has been surprised by public affection for this nature book, cum history book, cum personal memoir.

Rob said: “I get letters and emails every week from people telling me how moved they were or how much the book means to them. That’s truly the best thing about being an author.”

Rob Cowen will be signing copies of his book from 11am to 1pm at Waterstones on James Street on Saturday.