Monday, 14 September 2015

Secondary Character And Other Stories - Launch


Secondary Character And Other Stories is an anthology of Welsh short-story writers, just published by Opening Chapter.
"The twenty-eight stories collected here offer a wealth of both connection and contrast in plot, theme and style. By its nature the short story is capable of leaping into the reader’s imagination to vivid and startling effect, as demonstrated here; each story in this diverse anthology plays with both the everyday and those profound and life changing emotions of loss, jealousy and regret."
My cheery story Miasma is included so I attended the Cardiff launch and read my work, along with some other lovely writers (Chapter Arts Centre, Saturday September 12th 7.00pm). An uneventful train journey got me to Cardiff, and I used it as an opportunity to work on some other short story ideas for my forthcoming collections.

On Saturday evening it was really sunny and bright as I set off walking to Chapter Arts Centre. A good omen. I chatted with people as the room filled up, then we got started. I was the second reader, which is good from the point of view that you can then relax for the rest of the evening! I said a bit about myself then read Miasma. It is quite a dark piece of fiction, disturbing to some (at the end I should have pointed out I was a cat lover), and it is always interesting to read out something challenging and watch people's faces. I've embedded a video of the reading below, and included captions you can turn on.


Then I was able to sit down and just enjoy the show, and appreciate all the different kinds of stories and reading styles. The readers for the night (I think I have the order right!) were:
During the post-event "mingling" people said lovely things about my reading - one person told me that they didn't really like my story when they first read it, but hearing me read it out changed everything, it suddenly clicked for him and he loved it. Feedback like that, where you connect via words, means a lot. I was happy and proud.

Quite a crowd for a literary event! 

Karl "Two Drinks" Drinky 

Lots of lovely books 


If you want to buy the book you can order it from bookshops or get it online: Opening Chapter; Amazon UK (print / e-book); Amazon.com (print / e-book). Short story collections are satisfying for the variety they contain - so consider treating yourself or someone else to a copy! You'll find my review on Goodreads.

Cardiff The City
I'm not really a fan of cities. I like the opportunities they offer - especially eating opportunities! - but don't like the litter, traffic, crowds, commercialisation, advertising everywhere, and the wash of endless grey. In Cardiff there are pedestrianised areas such as St. Mary's/High Street which are a missed opportunity - the Council could have planted lines of native trees there to provide cover from sun and rain and to green the place up a bit (it's a real contrast to tree-lined Cathedral Road). Still, it was great to buy lots of tasty vegan food. Clancy’s, Simply V, Vegetarian Food Studio, plus market stalls along the river on Sunday. I think I ate seven different types of vegan cake in 24 hours... I'll have to do a lot of cycling this week to make up for it! It is always good to get back home though. The cat flicked her tail when I came back through the door, so she must have missed me.
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