As part of a Writing West Midlands event at Hanley Library, chaired by Sara Beadle, I shared the stage with the novelist Kate Long of Bad Mothers’ Handbook
and with my other half, Peter Coleborn.
Kate chatted about how she started out as a writer, how chance meetings gave her a foot in, and how publicising work in as many places as possible at every opportunity is essential. Peter spoke about the small press in general, and The Alchemy Press in particular, http://alchemypress.blogspot.co.uk/
and how writing for small press anthologies is an invaluable apprenticeship for newcomers and ongoing publicity for the rest.
So far so good, except that it left me as the last speaker. Now that was fine because it was better that than being first, not being much of a public speaker I will admit to a certain level of trepidation, and yes I was a lot more nervous about it than I would like to admit, so I was happy not to be first; but being last did mean that much of what I had intended to say had already been said. Them’s the breaks!
So what could I say without doing a parrot act?
Well, the deadline for submissions to The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic
is coming up fast, so I went into anthologist/editor mode and talked about how to submit a manuscript, an item high on my agenda because, coincidentally, I’m also writing a guest blog for Authors Electric http://authorselectric.blogspot.co.uk/
— and mental notes on that very subject were up for the ‘talking’.
I burbled on about what to do and what not to do when sending anything to an editor and hoped nobody spotted the “duck syndrome” in action: apparent calm on the surface with metaphoric feet pedalling madly beneath. Hopefully I didn’t sound too mad. People said thank you afterwards so I’m assuming they were not too bored.
It set me thinking on how things do come together from so many different angles. Synchronicity. Chance meetings, coincidental crossing of streams, paths crossing, lucky breaks. It seems that’s what we writers thrive, or should I say survive, on. That and making sure we are in the right places to fall over those opportunities in the first place.