Wednesday, 16th May 2018


This is the invitation that I sent out to friends:


Saturday 12th May from 2-4 pm in Blue Room, High Cross Church (next to Camberley Library GU15 3SY.)

I intend to have drinks and nibbles available so I would be grateful to know if you are free to come. Of course I would be great if you would bring others, too. As I need to have some idea of numbers please contact me.

My nephew Mark has agreed to travel from Kent to support me. Thankfully he will be able to tell you lots more about publishing etc.

Love galore         Marion

Also available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle


I had originally booked Camberley Library but when I went to view the space I was allocated I realised that it was far too small. Chis Hamilton the chief librarian said that the big rectangular table could not be removed and I was not permitted to bring in extra chairs.

I was taken aback. When I launched my autobiography in 2007 I had been welcomed to use a major part of the upstairs of this library. Everything had been set out for me. Tables, chairs, refreshments and available staff out of hours. The staff took photos of the event that were given to me freely. The library was so enthusiastic in welcoming a local author.

The following is taken from email correspondence between me and Chris Hamilton:

Hello again Marion.

I doubt whether we have detailed records of the kind of events you recall, and most of the staff who would remember them have retired or moved on.

As I said, libraries promote reading (in all its forms), which in turn promotes books and supports authors. It isn’t the role of libraries to promote individual authors or their books as that would create all kinds of problems and conflicts; we leave marketing to publishers and bookshops.

We have run some very successful author events and writers’ workshops in the past as a way of bringing in new customers. Things have changed in the last couple of years though, and even big name authors don’t always attract enough interest to make events viable.  With budgets under increasing pressure, we simply can’t afford to divert resources into events that don’t at least cover their cost.

We continue to support reading groups and certainly consider the work of local authors for acquisition; local history is a particular area where only local authors have the time, resources and enthusiasm to pull things together.

Wishing you every success with your latest and future books.

Best regards



Chris Hamilton

Duty Manager

Surrey Libraries

Mobile: 07973 900082

Working days: Every Tuesday & Friday + either Thursday or Saturday

From: Marion Dante <>

Sent: 15 May 2018 08:12

To: Chris Hamilton LDC

Subject: Re: Launch


Thank you, Chris. I wondered if you keep records in Camberley Library? I was given a great deal of support when I launched my autobiography.

A number of us, LOCAL WRITERS, belonged to Camberley WritersMurray Rowland -( Innocent into War Local author Murray Rowlands launches his book ‘Innocents into War’ on Anzac Day) was in our writing group. How famous do people need to be? Murray is launching yet another of his books today.

Doesn’t promotion motivate folk to write and supply books for the library? My nephew Mark Stay attended my launch.Is he famous enough?

Mark Stay – Orion Publishing Group…/7Q__

Mark Stay. Mark is co-writer of the feature film Robot Overlords. He has performed with Unity Theatre in London and appeared at the Edinburgh Festival exactly …

Sincerley Marion Dante

Hello Marion.

I’m really pleased the day went well for you.

Libraries promote reading, which in turn promotes books and supports authors. That has never changed and I can’t imagine it ever will.

We occasionally run big name author events with the aim of bringing in new readers to the library. We have occasionally hosted writing workshops run by successful authors for those aspiring to get published.

In recent years, we’ve found the uptake for almost all author events has dwindled to the extent that we have had to cancel a few to avoid losing money. We’re obviously keeping the situation under review, and also continuing to explore other ways of bringing in new customers.

Very best wishes


Sent using OWA for iPhone

From: Marion Dante <>

Sent: 14 May 2018 20:55:31

To: Chris Hamilton LDC

Subject: Launch


Dear Chris, I popped into Camberley Library today to tell you that my book launch was well supported. More than fifty friends came to High Cross Church on Saturday.

I was telling Auxi that I had been discussing library support for local authors with a fellow author. We came to the conclusion that it is a shame that libraries no longer appear to promote us. Both of us were formally were members of Camberley Writers. Maybe you could bring this up with the powers that be?

Marion ?

What a change of attitude!

Thank goodness that all went well. I am delighted. My nephew Mark was  so good to support and help me in so many respects. I know and retain very little about the technical aspects of publishing. In his occupation in Orion Publishing Mark has so many contacts and so much know-how. His friend Andy created a wonderful cover for both books. 

Other friends volunteered to support me. Jackie, Jan, Chris and Sue. My school friend Valerie and of course the number of friends who turned up for the as lunch. Standing room only! fifty plus folk!

Barbara Large of course had tutored me in the writing process for maybe a year before Mark took over in copy editing etc. So sorry that Barbara Foundress of the Winchester Festival and originator of Hampshire Writers’ became ill just before Christmas.

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