#BookLaunch: The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks #booklove #Hull


Yesterday, Mandie and I made a pleasant journey over to Hull for a day of relaxation and indulgence, before attending the launch of Louise Beech’s The Lion Tamer Who Lost at Hull Waterstones. I loved the book and so it was fabulous to be able to support Louise on her launch night, as well as combining the trip with a little sightseeing. Believe it or not, despite being up there for Hull Noir last year, we missed seeing most of the city. With the weather on our side, we made the most of the day, taking a wander by the marina, past Hull Minster, and spending a bit of time with the fishes over at The Deep. So relaxing …

Of course, the main attraction of the day was the book launch. Opening up proceedings was local poet, Dean Wilson (@PoetDeanwilson6) who had us all in stitches with his readings. Needless to say, there is much I cannot repeat here, but it was hilarious and if you get the chance, then do look him up. Perhaps not literally – just the Twitter link above …

Next it was on to the main event – BBC Radio Humberside presenter, Fiona Mills, talking to the wonderful Louise about The Lion Tamer Who Lost. Discussion featured around the inspiration for the story, its former life as a heterosexual love story which just didn’t sit right with Louise, and how she came to change it to the beautiful book we know and love today. I have to agree that I’m not sure it would have been quite the same book had Andrew remained as his former personality, Amy.

Louise talked about the creation of her characters, how one of her favourites to write was Ben’s father, Will, whose personality certainly leaves a lot to be desired and drives the actions and decisions that we see Ben take for most of the novel. He is also the catalyst for one of the novel’s biggest surprises. In amongst the questions, Louise treated the audience to some readings from the book which were absolutely beautiful.

There was also a teeny bit of emotion involved when it came to discussing the ideas of loss and letting your loved one’s go so that they can grow. This is a constant theme in the book, between Andrew and Ben, and between Ben and his lioness cub, Lucy, but all the more poignant to Louise who has just had to let her own first cub go free and head off to University. Probably something a lot of Mum’s can relate to in that.

Louise also spoke about the central theme of the wish box and the idea that getting everything you think you wanted isn’t always a good thing, and the intense and yet beautiful nature of Andrew and Ben’s love affair. When asked how she approached the more erotic scenes in the book, the response was by using a lot of video based research  aids … Louise did admit that this was perhaps her longest book to write, with the most edits to make sure it was the best it could be and for all my opinion is worth, I’d say it paid off. Louise didn’t think this was the best book she could write though. That book is still inside her somewhere and she’s happy to keep writing for us until the day she finds it. Good news for all.

With all the questions complete it was on to a book signing session where I managed to complete my Louise Beech collection and add to my ever growing signed Orenda Books haul with copies of The Lion Tamer Who Lost and How To Be Brave. I am a happy bunny now and they look oh so pretty on my shelves. 🙂

With all of my pictures, some ropey, some less so, I think this one has to be my favourite as it sums up the evening perfectly. The lovely Louise looking like the (big) cat who got the cream, and quite rightly so. This book is fantastic.


About the Book

tltwlBe careful what you wish for…

Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he wishes he hadn’t…

Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…

Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems to be guided by fate. Or is it?

What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?

A dark, consuming drama that shifts from Zimbabwe to England, and then back into the past, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is also a devastatingly beautiful love story, with a tragic heart…

Purchase LinksAmazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Kobo ~ Waterstones

If you’d like to know what Ithought about the book then you can find my review here. I can confirm though that the book got one of these …

Red Hot Read 2

About the Author

lbLouise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Her third book, Maria in the Moon, was widely reviewed and critically acclaimed. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.

Author Links: Twitter ~ Website

8 thoughts on “#BookLaunch: The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks #booklove #Hull

  1. So sad that I couldn’t make it yesterday – as someone from Hull I was so thrilled when I heard about the launch and equally upset when I couldn’t get out of work to come! This post has cheered me up though. Glad you had a great time – I can’t wait to read The Lion Tamer Who Lost after just finishing How To Be Brave. Great post 😁

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    1. Aww. It’s a shame you could t make it. This book is fabulous. Jealous you get to read it for the first time still. Louise has a new one out in April so you’ll Probably get a chance to attend again soon.

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