Pamela Vass

Location: Looe, Cornwall
About me...

I am an author offering talks on the West Country stories that have inspired my writing, many where fact has definitely been stranger than fiction! My audiences include historical and scientific societies, literary festivals, Women’s Institutes, U3A’s, libraries, church and social groups, museums and Rotary.

About my talks...

I offer a range of talks covering anything from original academic research on a Devon inventor to tales of murder and mayhem: from rumours of government interference with the weather to the bravery of west country suffragettes.
All talks last between 40 minutes and an hour depending on your requirements. They are all powerpoint presentations, although I can do a ‘stand alone’ if preferred. I supply all my own equipment, with the exception of a screen, but a blank wall is perfect.

Fee:

I charge £50 to speak at venues within ten miles of my home address in Looe, Cornwall.  For venues further afield I require 15p per mile.

My Contact Details:
Phone:

07796670594

Breaking The Mould - The Suffragette Story in the South West

Public Speaker in Cornwall Pamela Vass presents her talk Breaking The Mould - The Suffragette Story in the South West

On August 4th, 1913, a car was spotted speeding away from a Devon mansion late at night. Moments later flames lit up the sky. Newspapers were filled with speculation that suffragettes were to blame. Truth or fiction? This one question opened a door to the fascinating story of the fight for the vote in the south west – not a tale of a sleepy rural backwater but of women prepared to protest at political meetings, recruit in the streets, join mass rallies in London, and suffer the agony of forced feeding in Holloway. All this … and the biggest sleepover the region has ever known!
This multimedia presentation includes original film footage, numerous illustrations, first hand suffragette accounts and readings from ‘Breaking The Mould’. Costume optional!

The Lynmouth Floods - Act of God or Act of Man?

Public Speaker in Cornwall Pamela Vass presents her talk The Lynmouth Floods - Act of God or Act of Man?

Many remember the summer of 1952 when disaster struck the small fishing village of Lynmouth on the North Devon coast. During one August night, flash-floods destroyed scores of homes and claimed 34 lives. But not so many recall suspicions circulating of government interference with the weather. Fact or fiction? When top secret government documents from that time became available to researchers at the National Archive at Kew I knew it was a question I had to answer.

This talk uncovers the incredible true story that creates the backdrop for my novel Seeds of Doubt. I include information from those secret documents, book readings and anecdotes about the research and writing process in this multi-media presentation.

Whodunnit?

Public Speaker in Cornwall presents her talk  "Whodunnit?"

As Director of ‘The Whodunnit Company’ I was responsible for more murder and mayhem than anyone else in the west country. How many times have you watched an Agatha Christie on TV and wanted to follow a suspicious character, crack a code, be the one to overhear a vital clue to a death witnessed earlier? Guests on a Whodunnit weekend did all this, and more.

Featuring radio coverage and numerous illustrations, this talk covers my seven years at the helm of this company offering insights into all the goings on behind the scenes, our tv appearance on Surprise Surprise, high profile contracts in this country and the US, managing unruly celebrities and even one genuine arrest!

Inside Care - The Story Behind ‘Shadow Child’

Public Speaker in Cornwall Pamela Vass presents her talk  Inside Care - The Story Behind ‘Shadow Child’

Shadow Child tells the story of an abandoned nine-year-old boy, his fight against the care system and his determination to solve the mystery of his mother’s disappearance. Why did she leave? Where did she go? This story gives a voice to children who spend far too long in care and an insight into the challenges they face. This is only part of the story though. After beginning my professional career as a social worker, I changed tack to run a Murder Mystery Company so this talk also covers the unexpected twists and turns in my writing.

This multi-media presentation includes illustrations, anecdotes from my time as a social worker and a BBC documentary following my work with Barnardos. Perhaps surprisingly there is humour as well as a poignancy in these stories.

When Fact is Stranger than Fiction

Seeds of Doubt

The west country holds a wealth of stories waiting for an author to bring them to life. How do we go about finding them? Perhaps with a rumour circulating about a place or an event, the starting point for my novel Seeds of Doubt. Or a snippet in a paper that raises more questions than it answers, the inspiration for The Power of Three. Or curiosity about how national events played out here, the framework for my book on the suffragettes, Breaking The Mould. This talk traces the writer’s journey from original inspiration, through detailed research to the crucial decision about how the story will be told: fiction or non-fiction?

The Power of 3: The Story of Thomas Fowler.

Public Speaker in Cornwall Pamela Vass presents her talk The Power of Three, Thomas Fowler, Devon's Forgotten Genius.

Local Man invents Computer.’ A startling headline for a provincial Devon paper, and one that begged the question, ‘Who was Thomas Fowler?’ Had I known it would take weeks, months, even years of trawling the archives to find the answer I might have thought twice, but I was hooked. And I’m so glad I was.

Thomas Fowler was a mathematical genius who had the potential to turn the history of computing upside down. Modern assessments have even claimed that computers could have been invented a century earlier because of his work. So why are so few people aware of this humble, self-taught genius from a small market town in Devon? Tragically bad fortune and prejudice dogged his footsteps and his ground-breaking work lapsed into obscurity. Until now.

This multi media presentation includes my original research into Fowler’s life and work, video, illustrations and readings from documents of the time.

What people say about my talks

Breaking The Mould – The Suffragette Story in the South West
Thank you for your presentation which attracted a sell out audience of 100 festival fans. Feedback following your event has been outstanding: the quality of your presentation materials, the delivery style and pace have all been acknowledged. Following Michael Palin’s event was never going to be easy but I am delighted to say that we need not have worried! A very entertaining and informative event. Appledore Book Festival.

The Lynmouth Floods – Act of God or Act of Man?
I just wanted to thank you once again for your excellent talk in Thursday. I had so many people come up to me afterwards telling me how superb it was and how they enjoyed it. Many comments like “brilliant talk” and “wow, that was the best talk for a long time”. Bude U3A

“Whodunnit?”
Thank you for a fantastic talk.  We all really enjoyed it …  It is always pleasing when you can feel everyone enjoying the subject and buzzing with enthusiasm.  West Down W.I.~

Inside Care – The Story Behind ‘Shadow Child’
Thank you for an entertaining evening on Wednesday. So many of the ladies have told me how much they enjoyed your talk.  Bradworthy W.I.

When Fact is Stranger Than Fiction
This is to thank you very much for coming yesterday. Your talk was very much enjoyed by those who were there … With very many thanks for the excellent talk. Porlock Library

The Power of 3: The Story of Thomas Fowler.
Thank you so much for the interesting talk you gave last Thursday to our Local History group. Many people have contacted me to say how much they enjoyed learning about the achievements of Thomas Fowler. Holsworthy History Society.

Pamela Vass Contact Details:
Phone:

07796670594