Exeter author Clare Elsom’s Book launch ‘Horace and Harriet’

Have you been into Waterstones Romangate recently? They’ve just had a major refurb and it is lush! It feels like there is a lot more space, it’s bright, light and airy. They’ve added a lift, which is a major plus for me as I pretty much always have the pushchair (I can now always access my favourite town centre cafe!) They have also added some extra toilet facilities. Awesome. The children’s section has been given real thought with the addition of a slide and Teepee which is fantastic. It feels like an inviting space to explore and browse books.

Exeter author Clare Elsom's Book launch 'Horace and Harriet'. Exploring Exeter 2018

I took the whole Walker clan there on Saturday as we were attending the Splendiferous Clare Elsom’s book launch. Clare (a member of the Exeter Illustrators) lives and works in Exeter. She has illustrated many children’s books and you may well know her as the illustrator of Sir Chris Hoy’s ‘Flying Fergus’ series.

Exeter author Clare Elsom's Book launch 'Horace and Harriet'. Exploring Exeter 2018

Last week ‘Horace and Harriet: Take on the Town’ and ‘Horace and Harriet: Every Dog has its day’ were released. These books are both authored and illustrated by Clare.  They are amazing!

At the launch Clare gave a reading, did some live drawing and introduced us to the characters:

Harriet is an independent, strong-minded and resourceful girl, aged 7 and a quarter. Lord Commander Horatio Frederick Wallington Nincompoop Maximus Pimpleberry the Third (or Horace, for short) has been a statue in Princes Park for hundreds of years. After years of pranks and pigeon poop, Horace decides to climb down from his pedestal and many hilarious adventures ensue.

Exeter author Clare Elsom's Book launch 'Horace and Harriet'. Exploring Exeter 2018

As a mum to three girls, I am constantly on the lookout for good books that have strong female lead characters and Harriet does not disappoint. I am massively excited to read these with my girls (shh don’t tell them, but I’ve actually started reading book one while they’ve been in bed!)

Exeter author Clare Elsom's Book launch 'Horace and Harriet'. Exploring Exeter 2018

The event was fab and we all had a lot of fun. I didn’t realise that Waterstones do lots of community events and are particularly really keen to share local authors work. They have a whole host of events coming up, you can find out more by popping in and checking out the boards on the 1st floor by the cafe (i’d recommend grabbing a coffee and a cake while you are there!)  or by checking out their website here

Clare’s books are out now. Go buy them!

And the next two books in the series will be released across the year. We are so lucky to have such a wealth of talent in Exeter, I think it’s super important to support our local businesses, illustrators included so if you know any 5-10 year olds then do get sharing! 


About the Author: Stephanie Walker

Originally from Coventry with a slight detour via Wolverhampton and Luton, Steph moved to Exeter in January 2013. She lives in the St Thomas area of the city with her husband Chris, their 3 daughters and springer spaniel Freddie. 

A primary school teacher gone rogue, Steph currently works for Makelunch a national charity seeking to end holiday hunger for children and also runs weekly singing sessions for toddlers and their grown ups. 

Steph is passionate about building community, being honest about parenting ( in particular our birth experiences and post-natal mental health) and food!