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