Peruse What’s On and you will find story cafes, literary festivals, conference and conventions in almost every town, almost every week. They often feature established writers with books to promote and fans to connect with. Increasingly you will also find those writers still beating a path toward publication, but whatever their place along the road all of these writers share one thing – an eagerness to share their imagined worlds with you, the reader.
Story cafes in particular seem to be gaining popularity. They are fun to take part in from eiter side of the microphonbe, but ask almost any writer, and I suspect they will tell you that reading to live audiences is both a pleasure and a terror. It does not matter how many times a writer stand up to read their own work it never gets any easier. It is enormous fun, but also quite terrifying at the same time. I for one find it fairly nerve-wracking before I ever get near the event.
And why? Decisions! Decisions!
What should I read? If I have reading cafes in the same area in the same week will the audience be comprised of the same people? And if so should I read different pieces for each event? Will they like it? Will I be struck down by a sudden attack of laryngitis and croak like a toad through the whole thing… I won’t bore you with the downward spiral of rampant stage fright, but you get the picture. Whatever I eventually choose there is one thing that has to be done and that is to practice. Nothing feels worse than stumbling over my own tongue in front of an audience. People assume, quite rightly, that I know how it goes when it was I who wrote it in the first place. All of that said I do very much enjoy taking part in events up and down the country and I sincerely hope the audience gain as much from them as I do.
Various Penkhull authors have three such events coming up during the month of March and I really hope to see some of you sitting front row.
Yes, I have chosen pieces to be read. 1/ a passage from my novel, Sussex Tales, (Penkhull Press), 2/ a short story from Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties, (Alchemy Press) and 3/ a piece of flash fiction from my forthcoming collection Fables and Fabrications, the first book in the Penkhull Press’s ‘Penkhull Slims’ range.
You can see and hear Penkhull authors and others sharing their words at: