The Brighton Reading

That's me, waving my arms around and pulling faces, as usual. The reading and launch went really well, I thought, and I'm extremely thankful that we did it on Thursday, because by Friday we had small rivers heading down every road to Brighton sea-front, and nobody would have wanted to plough through them, plus the torrential rain, to attend a reading.

The Small Press Review had a superb cake to celebrate its launch, which tasted as good as it looked (not always the case) and it was great to catch up with many old friends and make new ones.

But, I'll be honest. I'm glad the readings are over. It's fun to present your work in public, but it also seems to create an artificial lens on the writer, rather than the writing, which I find soon becomes exhausting. I can understand why writers who have an early success struggle to write their second novel: if you've done a publicity tour and it's all been about 'you', it must be very difficult to step back into the shadows and let the work take over again.

Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone of Apis has been a stalwart of the readings: schlepping books around the country, acting as MC for the three readers and generally being less a publisher than a sounding board, support and general good friend. Kudos to her for all she's done. I hope Two Tall Tales and One Short Novel will repay her hard work ...

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