Cover Stories: Imogen Lloyd Webber; James Patterson; John Betjeman

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The Independent Culture

* Given the success of Eva Rice, daughter of Sir Tim, as a novelist, it was inevitable that Andrew Lloyd Webber's daughter, Imogen, a West End theatre producer (no surprise there either) should attempt a writerly path. Having done the rounds of mainstream publishers, Ms L W has fetched up at Summersdale with The Single Girl's Guide, "a tongue in cheek but practical manual on life management for the unattached twentysomething" . Publication next spring will happily coincide with a West End show and "a glamorous launch party looks likely". We can hardly wait.

* Former adman turned bestselling novelist James Patterson is on the move again. Having been published by HarperCollins, and lately Headline, he has now signed with Random House for a sum that is said to redefine the term "multi-million". No fewer than four company execs, including chief executive Gail Rebuck, flew to New York to meet him and negotiate the deal. Rebuck noted that signing Patterson was like "acquiring a one-man publishing industry".

* The actual centenary of John Betjeman's birth on 28 August will be celebrated with what's described as "a huge knees-up" in Carruan Farm, Polzeath Wadebridge on the north Cornish coast. The day-long event will feature poetry, music, hog-roasts, bell-ringing, rowing, a brass band, a donkey derby and a celebrity auction in aid of New Padstow Lifeboat Station. More details at www.johnbetjeman.com.

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