A LOCAL independent publishing company partnered with Waterstones Bradford on Saturday for a celebration at its store.

Shipley-based Curious Cat Books took part in the event, which coincided with the store's 25th anniversary.

The evening introduced local authors to around 100 readers, writers and entrepreneurs, through live readings and discussions.

Featured authors included John Brookes (author of Henry), Peter Kay (author of Show Me the Way to Santiago), K. J. McGuinness (author of Generation Dead) and David Hardcastle (author of Bluetooth & the World Wide Web).

Special guests included the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Shabir Hussain, and the Deputy Lord Mayor of Keighley, Luke Maunsell.

“The event was a huge success, and it was wonderful to see so many people gathered to share and celebrate their passion for books,” said Rachael Hardcastle, the founder and editor of Curious Cat Books

“In my teens, I'd sit in the cafe upstairs and look out across the store, dreaming I'd one day see my books on its shelves.

"Thanks to the kind support from Waterstones and its staff, that dream has become a reality, not only for myself, but for ten other talented authors - it is so important for Bradford businesses to work together, just look at what we can achieve.”

Rachael Hardcastle, writing as E. Rachael Hardcastle, is the best-selling author of Finding Pandora and co-author of Bluetooth & the World Wide Web, alongside her father.

Her most recent titles include the moving visionary novella, Noah Finn & the Art of Suicide, and its sequel, Noah Finn & the Art of Conception.

“Publishing a book should be fun, freeing and imaginative, leaving the writer feeling proud and able to share their unique story with the world”, she said.

“Independent publishing platforms have opened doors for writers who may otherwise have remained voiceless - it's such an empowering experience, and I am honoured to be a part of their individual journeys.”

Curious Cat Books publishes for all ages, from pre-school picture books to adult and non-fiction titles.

Waterstones Bradford continues to stock the Curious Cat Books titles, including the 2021 release Generation Dead by K. J. McGuinness and Rachael's self-publishing guide.

To find out more about Rachael and Curious Cat Books, visit www.curiouscatbooks.co.uk or www.erachaelhardcastle.com.

To find out more about Waterstones and shop for your next book, visit waterstones.com.