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Kensal Green author’s Corkscrew satire reaches the final of the People’s Book Prize competition

PUBLISHED: 07:46 03 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:41 03 December 2018

Peter Stafford-Bow with his shortlisted novel, in Queens Park Books.Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Peter Stafford-Bow with his shortlisted novel, in Queens Park Books.Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Jonathan Goldberg

A charitable Kensal Green author has made it to the final of a literary competition with his satirical tale of a badly behaved wine buyer.

Peter Stafford-Bow has abandoned his own career as a supermarket wine buyer following the success of his debut novel, Corkscrew, which has been selected as a People’s Book Prize finalist.

The 44-year-old, who lives with his beer executive partner Julie in Ravensworth Road, landed a book deal after selling more than 6,000 copies of his self-published starter.

On December 9 he is returning to Kensal Rise Library with an evening of excerpts and wine tasting with all proceeds going to the library, which is run by volunteers after being saved from closure.

Peter’s first fundraiser for the Olive Road library earlier this year raised £1,000.

He said: “My act is about combining wine tasting with a reading from a book, so a bit of a laugh. It’s a terrible shame what happened to the library when it was forced to close.

“To think the community is rallying together and managing to reopen it is a cause to celebrate.”

Corkscrew: The Highly Improbable, But Occasionally True, Tale of a Professional Wine Buyer, tells the tale of Felix who is forced to make his way in the cut-throat world of wine retail.

“The framework is based on my life, working in a supermarket, gallivanting around the world,” said Peter. “But I’ve never killed anyone, taken a lot of drugs, the things Felix does.

“Back in the ’90s supermarkets badly treated their suppliers. The book satirises all that.

“The world of wine lends itself to satire. It can be very po-faced – think of posh wine merchants or snooty sommeliers – but the end result of drinking wine is, hopefully, fun and laughter.”

He got the idea for his book while living in Cape Town. “I started writing it there,” he said.

“It’s quite an easy going city – my girlfriend was back in London and I had time on my hands. Now I’ve been bitten by the bug.”

Peter’s second book, Brut Force, is out now through Thistle Publishing.

The event is on Sunday at 7.30pm.

For tickets go to: eventbrite.co.uk/e/wine-tasting-at-kensal-rise-library-tickets-52665544060

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