Writer Katherine Dewar may have left Leeds for New Zealand two decades ago but that hasn’t stopped her former home playing a starring role in her debut novel.
Described as a ‘feminist climate change thriller’, Ruby And The Blue Sky is set in the Leeds of 2021 and features local landmarks such as the Adelphi pub and Roundhay Park.
There are also walk-on parts for Call Lane’s Northern Guitars store and Chapel Allerton, where the book’s eponymous central character grew up.
Katherine, who is originally from Northallerton and lived in Leeds for 10 years before emigrating in 1996, said: “From the owls of Leeds’s crest to the River Aire, from the Adelphi pub to Roundhay Park, Ruby And The Blue Sky is packed with the Leeds I know – and the Leeds I have imagined.
“Around the world right now we’re seeing shifts in political power, fuelled by clashing values and enabled by the internet.
“With the political events of recent weeks, I can’t think of a better place to have located – or to be launching – this book.”
Katherine says she was kicking the idea for the novel around for quite a while without ever making real progress on it.
But the plot suddenly started coming together after she paid a return visit in 2011 to a Leeds much changed in some respects from the city she knew in the 1980s and 1990s.
“Leeds didn’t just become the location, it became inspiration,” Katherine told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“Once I knew Leeds was Ruby’s home, her story took shape, it grew heft and memory.
“By the time the scraps and shards were ready to stitch into a first draft it could never have been set anywhere else.”
Katherine will be at a launch event for her novel on Friday, July 15, at The Adelphi, starting at 6pm.
For further information about the book, visit the www.katherinedewar.net website.