Join author Anna Best for spooky poems in Horsham

Anna Best

Childen’s author and poet Anna Best will be putting on her black cape and witch’s hat for a Halloween reading of her new book, Aunt Grizelda’s Treasury of Grim and Grisly Rhymes, at Waterstone’s, Horsham.

Anna, a former English lecturer, will adopt the guise of her alter ego, Aunt Grizelda, in order to spook children with a selection of her most gruesome poems.

Beginning well before the witching hour (at 4pm on Tuesday, October 31), the reading will feature a cast of foolhardy characters who learn the error of their ways the hard way and, in most cases, come to a sticky end.

Listeners will meet computer-games addict Silas, who becomes trapped in the 3D world; pyromaniac Zebediah; and Eliza, who overcomes her fear of spiders and teaches the spider a gruesome lesson in the process.

“I’ve always had a taste for the macabre,” says Anna.

“While studying English literature at Lancaster University, I discovered the darkly funny poems of Hilaire Belloc, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Marriott Edgar and Roald Dahl, which inspired me to write my own creepy tales told in rhyme.

“Poems are designed to be read out aloud, and with Halloween approaching I’m looking forward to introducing children to my own (or should I say Aunt Grizelda’s) brand of black humour.”

Independent book publisher Hogs Back Books is signing up Anna, along with Belarus illustrator Natallia Pavaliayeva, for more Aunt Grizelda tales, with book two due for release next year.

Aunt Grizelda’s Treasury of Grim and Grisly Rhymes is published by Hogs Back Books in paperback for £6.99 and hardback for £9.99.

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