Readings in their basement – well lit, excellent acoustic, from Author Liam Hogan taking on health tips for Lycanthropes, out-of-hand artistic installations and the cliff hanger to end all cliff hangers, and Actor Carrie Cohen as the unflappable one woman emergency service, Mavis Ethelwright.
When you are touring a book of short stories, and it’s an anthology, it’s usually fairly simple – who can get there to read? and then a bit of tweaking, so that we don’t end up with wall-to wall-fantasy from a book that is less than 30% that genre.
When it is a single author collection however, with 27 stories to choose from, it is more complicated. The discussion goes something like this:
Author: these are my favourites. (list of 12 stories)
Publisher: Yes. This is my favourite, let’s have this one too.
Author: Or this one?
Publisher: It’s a bit long, what about an extract? No more than 10 minutes.
Author: So from here – until the cliff hanger?
Publisher: Yes, but leave out that paragraph, it doesn’t make sense without the beginning,
Author: I love this one too.
Publisher: It’s a first person narrative of the opposite gender. But I can get an actor.
(long conversation full of stereotypes about the people likely to come to each reading, which stories are most representative of the book, balancing light and dark, how often the author is willing to read the same story… leading to a long short list)
Publisher: OK, so which do we read where? I think this one is a shoo-in for Greenwich, it’s set there. And this one is about werewolves so the reading that’s up the road from Monster Supplies?
Author: Yes, and the Alice in Wonderland one for Oxford. Do you think the Art installation is too obvious for Hackney?
Of course, on the day, sometimes, we change our minds – but a lot of thought goes into preparing a reading, to make it a professional enjoyable evening out for the reading (listening) public.
So here is a little quizzette for you.
Which stories are Liam Hogan, Carrie Cohen, Lisa Rose and Annalie Wilson reading where?
Match the story to the venue!
Stars Temp To be a Hero Worming Advice For Werewolves Miscellaneous, Spooky, Weird Late Feathers Bring Rope The Burden Greenwich, Noon
You think you’ve been paid to impersonate a Valkyrie for the computer nerds who think they are heroes, because you are blonde, muscular and really tall – and then you discover there is rather more to the gig than you thought. Is that – actually – Odin?
Louisa Gummer reads an extract from ValCon, one of the stories in Liam Hogan’s debut fantasy short story collection, Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed.
Oxford: Albion Beatnik on Friday 28/04/2017 7.30 Walton Street, Oxford, OX2 6AA (£2 on the door)
Get yer readings, they’re luverly. Only three a week, catch em while they’re ‘ot!
Tottenham Court Road Thursday Books Showoff is a monthly literary comedy night in the basement of Waterstones TCR. Joining compere Steve Cross for April’s edition are:
lots of other people including Liam Hogan – London-based writer Liam Hogan will be picking apart the economics of short story writing, using his recently published collection as an example. Trigger Alert: may cause authors in the audience to weep bitter tears.
for those of you who missed it here’s Liam and Louisa Gummer (reading Valcon) at this week’s North Kensington reading.
There will be video eventually, trouble is being had with uploading.
In the realms of fantasy, it is foolish to upset the wee folk, downright dangerous to incur the curse of a witch, and above all, it is perilous to ignore a warning.
Happy Ending Not Guaranteed Contains twenty-seven stories of dark fantasy, from chess-playing automatons to smooth-talking Celtic faeries; from the Longitude Act of 1714 to the End of the World (in fractal form). Bad Kings, bad demons, and bad days abound.
There is humour even in darkness. You just have to look harder for it.