Book launch at Nettleton post office will salute author’s love for home village

This Is Wiltshire: Author Aly Wilks is well-known among her Nettleton neighbours Author Aly Wilks is well-known among her Nettleton neighbours

A nettleton author will hold her book launch in a cosy location to celebrate the village she loves.

Instead of hosting a glamorous party in London, Aly Wilks will be inviting her guests to the Post Office in Nettleton for the big event.

Mrs Wilks, who has lived in the village for ten years, started writing for County Life magazine in 2007 after winning a competition to be a columnist.

Since then she has charted life in the country in her own warm and witty words.

Now the collection of columns are being turned into a book, complete with illustrations of village life.

Mrs Wilks, who calls herself an ‘Army wife’, has lived in 19 different places since she got married, but says Nettleton is home.

“I’ve written an acknowledgement for this book saluting the villagers of Burton, West Kington and Nettleton,” she said. “Each village in the country has its own set of characters, and I do love those characters.

“It’s just not me to have a big glitzy London party.

“I’m not some glamorous literary figure – you’re more likely to find me covered in mud looking after the sheep.”

The book, Tales From A Stone Cottage, is set out in monthly sections that chronicle the eccentricities of village life.

Characters include the grumpy Mr Addington, Julia the hedge fund manager, and Frank, who loves ferrets.

Mrs Wilks, known to many as Janey, first started writing under the name ‘Aly’ to stay anonymous.

She said: “I didn’t write about individuals here, but if I had done, I still wanted to be about to talk to them at Christmas parties.”

At the end of each chapter, Mrs Wilks has written handy vignettes for country-dwellers, featuring everything from recipes for elderflower cordial, nettle soup and sponge cake, to knitting patterns and ideas for country weddings.

The name of the book is taken from her column.

She said: “The column that won me the job at Country Life was about a ‘cow scale’ – it’s the likelihood of finding a cow in your garden.

“When we were living in Germany, it was nought, but here it’s a ten.”

The book launch will take place on Tuesday from 11am until 1pm.

Mrs Wilks will also be signing copies at Allington Farm Shop from 10.30am until 3pm on Saturday, November 24, and at the Country Living fair from November 7 to 11 in Islington, North London.

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