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Book Signing| Discussion | Q&A: La Petite Negress By author Shelaagh Ferrell

  • New Beacon Books 76 Stroud Green Road London, England, N4 3EN United Kingdom (map)

Join us, Shelaagh and friends as we explore her new book.

1772 La Petite courageously escapes slavery in Jamaica with her brother across the seas to freedom in England. They have no money, no contacts and no papers. How can they survive?

Hope is eroding but a carefree dance changes the tide. La Petite’s unique allure attracts a mysterious aristocrat who draws her into an elite partnership. When tragedy strikes, La Petite finds herself on the wrong side of the law. Heart pounding as she is forced to go on the run. Fearful and alone, unsure of who is friend or foe, La Petite needs her wits to survive her precarious ordeal that sees her on an action filled journey across the mainland, unwittingly getting deeper and deeper into seemingly irreversible trouble…

La Petite Negress is a lyrical adventure astonishingly written in verse but one would hardly notice. The characters are intriguing and the narrative page turning compelling.

Shelaagh Ferrell

Shelaagh is a British author of Jamaican and Guyanese parentage. She is also an actress, singer and film producer



SHELAAGH graduated with a Masters’ Degree in Drama Process of production from Goldsmiths College, University of London having first trained in musical theatre at The Arts Educational Schools, London. She has had a distinguished career working as a performer in Theatre and as an instructional trainer in education. She was mentored in screen writing by leading screenwriter Sam Snape whom she met while working as a performer on one of his productions and went on to work in collaboration with Sam Snape to co-ordinate the first full-time screenwriters’ laboratory at BBC Wales. The project was so successful it was repeated the following year. She turned to film production when she met producing partner Yvonne Deutschman with whom she set up their production company One Love Films Ltd with a company remit to focus on non-stereotypical diverse film making. Together they successfully produced the Jamaican themed movie One Love with Nik Powell as Executive producer. Part financed by the UK Film Council, One Love, written by the late Trevor D Rhone (The Harder They Come) directed by Rick Elgood and Don Letts starred, Idris Elba (Molly’s Game,Thor, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Pacific Rim, The Wire) Ky-Mani Marley (Shottas), Cherine Anderson (Dancehall Queen) and Vas Blackwood (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels). One Love, first played at the Cannes Film Festival then premiered in Jamaica before going on to have a UK mainstream cinema release. In addition it has gone on to have DVD releases in France, Japan, Holland. Shelaagh has return to her native UK from the US where she was living and worked as an occasional actor and political and charity fundraiser. While in the US she single-handedly negotiated a US distribution deal for One Love. As a result One Love is available on DVD and all major online and streaming platforms in the US and was picked up by and broadcast on BET (Black Entertainment Television). As well as working as a producer for One Love, Shelaagh is credited as the lead script/story editor. She took up the pen to write herself in more recent years and is a gifted storyteller poet and lyricist. Her first published book/audiobook, La Petite Negress, an 18th Century historical fictional novel-in-verse with cover artwork by Neil Campbell Ross known as Tim Burton’s concept artist for Charlie And the Chocolate Factory and The Corpse Bride.Shelaagh has a specialist interest in 18th Century Black Britain and her article on the subject appears in the Jan/Feb issue of Jane Austin Regency World magazine. In 2018 Shelaagh was shortlisted for the Victoria and Albert museum (VARI) Artist in Residence.

Free Event: Tickets available on Eventbrite