|Secret Places of West Dorset - 6,000 copies sold!|
More than 6,000 copies have now sold since first publication in 2011, with 4 updates over that time.
‘The drive to explore is within most us to varying degrees, and West Dorset is one of those places where exploration can easily lead to adventures beyond the usual and ordinary.’
|The Spirit of Portland - New edition|
More than 3000 copies of the first edition have sold since first publication in 2009. Now in its Second Edition, Gary’s book has been fully updated, with a new chapter on the Portland Meridian.
|HRH Visits Mill Street, Dorchester|
On a visit by HRH the Prince of Wales, several people involved in the Mill Street Project met the Prince, including author David J. Forrester. David was thrilled to present copies of Fordington Remembered and Mill Street to HRH.
‘What a day – you don't expect to be asked to present your books to the future King. I was so proud. From the outset he put me totally at ease, asking about writing the books, the research and photographs, as he thumbed through the book on Mill Street.’
Also present was Rupert Edwards, Chairman of Mill Street Housing Society, whose grandfather started the Society and took many of the pictures seen in the book.
‘HRH kept saying how valuable old photos are and that we should never throw them away. Thanking me, he handed the books to his secretary, saying “Keep hold of these, I want to look at them later”. I was thrilled.’
|Book Launch - More Secret Places of West Dorset|
Wed 9 December 2015, 1730-2000
As part of the ‘Bridport Christmas Cheer’ late-night shopping evening, drop in to Waterstones in the High St and buy a copy of our newest book More Secret Places of West Dorset.
Author Louise Hodgson will be signing copies (to make ideal personalised presents). This new title is the successor to Louise’s first Secret Places of West Dorset.
|Mill Street Book Launch|
St Georges Church Function Room
7 Nov 2015
Celebrating the launch of our latest title, Mill Street, Dorchester. This is David Forrester’s second book and royalties are being split between two charities: the Mill Street Housing Society and West Dorset Women's Refuge.
See Roving Press Blog for more.
|Book Launch - Thursday 6 August 2015, 5.30–7.00 pm |
in the Lady Chapel of Christchurch Priory
Join author Steve Roberts to celebrate the launch of Lesser Known Christchurch.
Enjoy drinks and nibbles, speeches and chance to purchase signed copies of the book at the special launch price, while enjoying the beautiful environment of the Priory.
|14 July 2015 – Welcome to Dorset! |
We’ve just teamed up with Dorset Cottage Holidays, another small local business, based in Corfe Castle. They offer hand-picked, self-catering, Dorset holiday cottages that offer something special and our Dorset books will make a nice addition to their Welcome Hampers, so that guests booking with them have something to take away and remember their holiday in Dorset by.
| 22 June 2015 - A fourth new title joins our stable of books on Purbeck |
Swanage author David Leadbetter now has a second book - The Magic of Purbeck. Following the success of his first book, Paranormal Purbeck, David has used his intimate knowledge of the area, particularly the flora and fauna and local history, to produce a book of walks highlighting the ‘magic of Purbeck’. It certainly inspires you to get out and explore the stunning scenery and wildlife on our doorstep, with clear maps, directions and enticing photographs.
6 Sept 2014 - A new book for Lyme Regis
‘The best Lyme Regis guide’ (according to Amazon reviews). Our book on Lyme Regis by author Joanna Smith is out now. Joanna spent nearly 2 years researching it: ‘So much has been written about the town’s history, literary links, walking trails and fossils, but I wanted to write a comprehensive guide that brings all these facets of the town together. The book includes interviews with dozens of local people such as fishermen, artists, fossil hunters, historians and wreck divers, which give a real insight into contemporary Lyme and explain why it’s such a vibrant place.’
11 Dec 2013 - Fordington turns out for local book launchThey were queuing outside the door of St George’s Church Hall in Fordington to have copies of David Forrester’s book signed. Fordington Remembered: Growing up in and around Dorchester seems to have struck a chord with many local people.
David expresses his heartfelt thanks to all who attended and bought the book. He was sorry not to have been able to circulate and talk to so many people, most of whom he had not seen for 50 years.’
Mayor Stella Jones says: ‘I’ve been Councillor for Fordington for 40 years and have seen a lot of changes, many mentioned in the book, but, although part of Dorchester, Fordington has kept its community feeling. It was lovely to see so many people sharing their childhood memories with friends not met for a while.’
|Sep 2013 - Roving Press stand at the Dorset County Show|
The Roving Press stand at the Dorset County Show.
|25 July 2013 – Launch of Paranormal Purbeck|
At the Royal Oak, Herston, one of the pubs featured in the book, David Leadbetter explained the inspiration behind the writing of the book, thanking the more than 100 people who were interviewed and who contributed their experiences.
|May 2013 - Poundbury 20th Anniversary|
Prince Charles visited Poundbury on 3 May to mark the 20th anniversary of his model development. Dorchester Mayor Councillor Andy Canning said he is happy to be celebrating everything that Poundbury has contributed to the community. This includes the inspiration behind our book Dorset Voices!
|15 Sep 2012 - Brian Bates signing copies of Dorchester Remembers the Great War at Waterstones, Dorchester|
|Sat 30 June 2012 – Launch of Dorchester Remembers the Great War|
The Keep Military Museum
Based on the town’s brave men and women who lost their lives in the First World War, local writer and social historian Brian Bates has produced a vivid portrayal of Edwardian Dorchester.
Over 100 people attended the launch and enjoyed free entry to the Museum and were able to chat with Brian about his impressive book.
|Sat 12 May 2012 – Local Authors Day|
Imagine Bookshop, 23 St Alban St, Weymouth DT4 8BZ, noon to 4 pm
(Unfortunately Imagine Books is now closed, but you can contact Ann at www.therealbookshop.co.uk)
Local authors enjoyed a lively get-together in Imagine Books. Bookshop owner Ann Newman is very supportive of local books and has a great range of titles, prominently displayed in the front of her Grade II Listed shop.
|Left to right, top row: |
Paul Weston (Weymouth Bound), JD Wilson (Love Songs Tell You Lies), Gary Biltcliffe (The Spirit of Portland), Robin Daglish (Weymouth Dawn), Rod Barzilay (Spaceship Away Magazine), Fiona Murphy (Down the Plughole), Maureen Attwooll (Weymouth and Portland Then Meets Now)
Ged Duncan (The Problehem), Jerry Bird (Songs from the Magical Tradition), Kevin Hart (Balloon Modeller and Stiltman), Julie Musk (Lesser Known Weymouth, and Director of Roving Press), Ann Newman (Owner of Imagine Books), Carol Hunt (The Portland Chronicles).
|Sat 28 April 2012 – Getting Published workshop|
Womens Action Network Dorset (WAND) - Dorset Women’s Day, Dorford Centre, Dorchester
As part of the WAND programme, Julie gave a workshop on Getting Published showcasing their latest book Dorset Voices.
|Mon 23 April 2012 – Dorset Voices book launch and readings |
Bournemouth Library, 22 The Triangle, Bournemouth, BH2 5RQ
We were proud to launch Dorset Voices on World Book Night, as part of the BFoW programme of events. Bournemouth Library were great hosts and there was a good turn out from authors, friends, supporters and book lovers.
|Fri 20 – Thurs 26 April 2012 – Brympton Festival|
Brympton House, Brympton D’Evercy, Somerset, BA22 8TD
Fascinating literary works, poems, art and music in this magnificent setting, along with fine food, drink, presentations, competitions and displays. With a stellar line-up of experts and authors presenting a range of fiction and non-fiction. Top names included Prue Leith, Adrian Tinniswood, Alan Hollinghurst, Alison Weir and Emma Craigie, plus many more. Julie from Roving Press and two of our authors, Louise Hodgson and Jim Potts, gave talks/workshops. CLICK HERE for the Brympton Festival website.
|15 March 2012 - Kids' Dorset launch & great publicity|
Thank you to those who made the launch of Kids' Dorset at the Dorset County Museum - good too see you all, and we hope you enjoyed the party, the book and the free Dorset Cereals goodie bags!
13 January 2012 – Book Launch, 6–8 pm, Reading Room, The Street, Milton Abbas
|December 2011 – Take a video tour of Portland with Gary Biltcliffe|
The Light and Energy Channel filmed Gary Biltcliffe on a tour of Portland, highlighting the history and special places of this ancient isle.
It’s a great way to see and appreciate some of the discoveries Gary makes in his book The Spirit of Portland.
|November 2011 – phenomenal book sales|
Louise Hodgson has become something of a local celebrity after phenomenal sales of her book Secret Places of West Dorset. Over a hundred copies have sold in the first month from Bridport Waterstones alone and Manager Jan Jaggard is delighted: ‘We’ve never had such a positive response to a new book, let alone a local title. It’s really captured the imagination of local people and has become a Bridport phenomenon.’
It’s all the more exciting for Louise as this is her first book. She has lived in West Dorset for 10 years and, despite much travelling around the globe, has always been drawn back to the area: ‘West Dorset has such exquisite landscape and diversity. Many people seem to share this view and have a strong feeling for this part of England. It’s hugely gratifying that people have found the book so accessible and enjoyed exploring and making new discoveries with me.’
Pictured: Louise (Right) with the Mayor & Mayoress of Bridport.
|November 2011 – Carol chosen for the Bridport Big Read|
Enchantment of the Black Dog was chosen as the Bridport Big Read for 2011. Local children read and discussed the story, with Carol giving talks and involved in activities as part of a week-long reading event.
|21 Nov 2011 – Dorset's Big Cats|
Fantastic to have over 400 people attend Merrily's presentation on Dorset big cats at the Richard Cain Community Lecture at Thomas Hardye School. Merrily's database of sightings has grown considerably since the launch of her book Roaring Dorset! There were a significant number in the audience who had seen a big cat in Dorset and this contributed to the lively debate. The lecture raised over £300 for charity.
Merrily is the author of two books on Big Cats.
|Sep 2011 - Best Sellers at Imagine Books|
Four of our authors are among the six top-selling books in Imagine Books, Weymouth, over their first six months. Top of the list is Carol Hunt with Books 1 and 2 of The Portland Chronicles series (The Portland Sea Dragon and Enchantment of the Black Dog).
Gary Biltcliffe is No. 4 with The Spirit of Portland and David Macpherson is No. 5 with Defenders of Mai-dun. All are debut authors, which is really encouraging and inspiring.
The closing date for submissions for the Dorset Voices anthology was 30 Jul 2011. Having had a wonderful response we would like to thank all those who supported this inaugural project with their prose, poetry and photography. The end result was an anthology of local writing supported by local photography. It is a fantastic opportunity for writers and photographers to showcase their work and we have received a wide range of material.
30 Jul 2011 - Dorset Voices
CLICK HERE for more information from the editorial team, Poundbury Voices.
For an article/interview by the Dorset Echo, please click on the following link: Give Dorset a Voice
5 Dec 2010 – ‘Enchantment of the Black Dog’ Book Launch at White Stones Cafe Gallery
2-4 Dec 10 – ‘Discover Old Swanage’ Book Launch
|24 Jul 2010 - Book Signing, WH Smith Weymouth|
Thank you to Simon and Josh for arranging the signing, and to all who stopped to chat with Gary and Carol - they were expecting to be there for an hour, but were kept busy for over 4 hours! A number of people had heard Gary on Radio Solent's Harry Crawford Dorset Brunch Podcast show that morning, so it was great that they came down to meet him and get a signed copy of his book. The mermaid collage made by kids from Portland at the Grove Festival made a lovely display.
29 May 2010 - Launch of Sixpenny Handley - The Story of Our Parish
Rosalie Adams of Sixpenny Handley put in many hours, working closely with Julie to produce a book the villagers can be proud of. She said: ‘We sold over 120 copies at the launch at the Street Fayre. People are saying what good quality the book is – I think that has really surprised them as they thought we were just going to come up with something thin and paper and didn’t realise it would be a proper book. I’m sure most people who haven’t worked on a book can’t possibly appreciate how much work it is, and I certainly had no idea, but it was great to bring it to completion. We couldn’t have done it without you.’
2 May 2010 - Dragon & Sheep at The Portland Museum
On 2 May the Portland Museum was overrun by sheep and goats. As part of a book signing event, Su from Fancy’s Farm brought along the animals for children to pet and lead around the garden. Carol, author of The Portland Sea Dragon, mentions Portland sheep in her books and joked she’d been upstaged! Unusually they can breed all year round, but as they only produce one lamb/year they are not economically viable as a modern sheep breed, which is why they’re on the ‘at risk’ register of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. DNA testing of some sheep bone and horn discovered at an archaeological dig opposite Royal Manor School has shown that Portland sheep have been on the island since at least Romano-British times.
|For more information about the breed visit:|
Look up Portland sheep on Facebook
or visit Fancy’s Farm, Reap Lane, Southwell, open every Sunday.
|21 March 2010 - Launch of The Portland Sea Dragon|
Many thanks to everyone who came to the launch and especially all the kids who dressed up (Dragons, Mermaids, Smugglers and Pirates) and submitted their own stories and drawings. Author Carol and illustrator Domini were really impressed. Keep an eye on The Portland Sea Dragon page.
Huge thanks to White Stones Cafe Gallery for being such great hosts, and putting up with the queue out of the door!
The Dorset Echo describes the latest evidence for big cats, with a great sighting near Bockhampton:
Dorset Echo article
The Western Gazette reports that local photographer Alan McNamee is still trying to get a big cat photo, 6 years after he came face to face with a big black cat (as recorded in Roaring Dorset!):
Western Gazette article
July 09 - Launch of The Spirit of Portland
Launched privately at All Saints Church, Easton, then publicly at the Portland Steam Fair and the Gooseberry Fair on successive Saturdays, Gary was thrilled by the response to his new book. The photos below show Gary discussing the unique zodiac ceiling and heavenly twins altar window in All Saints Church, Gary and partner Caroline, and the Roving Press stand with Jonathan McGowan who displayed his big cat info and received some exciting new reports of sightings.
|13 Jun 09 - Lesser Known Swanage Book Launch|
Many thanks to Jill Blanchard at the New & Secondhand Bookshop in Swanage for hosting the launch of Lesser Known Swanage. There was a great response from the public on a very sunny Saturday morning, and Julie was delighted with all the positive feedback she received.
26 May 09 - Prelims to Postlims
25 Feb 09 - Big Cats Roaming Dorset
Merrily gave a talk to a packed house of over 60 people at the Weymouth Library - with some turned away due to the Fire regulations!
The talk featured many of the 223 big cat sightings taken from Roaring Dorset!, and Merrily also intrigued the crowd with her more esoteric theories about the often 'unusual' circumstances people regularly quote but can't explain. If you would like Merrily to give a talk, please contact us.
4 Oct 08 - Bournemouth Literary Festival
As part of the 'world culture' theme of the 2008 Bournemouth Literary Festival, Julie gave a 1-hour talk at The Print Room, Richmond Hill, Bournemouth. She discussed her experiences living in the USA as captured in the book A Slice of Apple Pie.
6 Sep 08 - Dorset County Show
Despite the rather muddy conditions, an estimated 200 people stopped to chat with us at the launch of Roaring Dorset! Encounters with Big Cats, at the Dorset County Show. An amazing 41 previously unreported local big cat sightings were provided - the 223 in the book obviously helped show people they were not alone in what they had seen. Many thanks to Jonathan McGowan for helping us out with his extensive knowledge and experience of big cat field work.
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30 Aug 08
BBC Radio Solent presenter David Allen had a 20-minute talk with Julie about her book A Slice of Apple Pie ... and her experiences in the USA.
26 Aug 08 - Hope FM presenter Janet Latham chatted live to Julie about her cultural experiences in America.
Oct 08 - British Defence Staff Endorsement.
We were delighted to hear that the Defence Staff at the British Embassy in Washington D.C. are recommending A Slice of Apple Pie ... to new Ministry of Defence personnel (military & civilian) posted to the USA. There are approx 700 MoD personnel stationed in the USA at any one time.