I enjoyed it. The whole thing it was delightful. It was held at a wonderful museum in a 14th century building called the Almonry in the town, which is one of those places which we tend to overlook in the UK but are genuinely ancient and overflowing with stories. These are buildings with low beams because people used to be shorter. Listen, I’m going to say, without bothering to check on Google, that this building is older than America. (White people America). It was doing its thing before McDonalds, imagine that.
I have got used to doing readings now. Reading from my books. Reading from my oeuvre. But it took me a while. Now I just get up and do it, don’t worry about the crowd – just plough on, couple of jokes, couple of pages, Evesham, thank you, thank you, you’ve been amazing.
At this event there were about seven or eight authors reading. There were various styles. Everyone was a winner I would say. There’s a way to win by being nervous or shy when you read. To admit it up front, then do well anyway. Or you could just read, slowly, calmly, and kind of get through it – that’s still good, hoping the listener focuses on the words, not the tone of voice.
Only a couple of us attempted to put any kind of effort into the performance – but, let’s face it, we are always going to come a poor second to people who actually specialise in acting, or politics or any of those front of house professions. Just as those guys come a poor second to writers when it comes to eloquence – which is why we write their stuff for them.
So it was an evening of good readings rather than good performances – that’s what we do.
By the way, if you’re in the area, I’m giving a talk at the festival on July 1 on writing for short story competitions – come along! Click here to see the festival website where you can find out more and get tickets.
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