Sam Russell wrote a non-fiction article for Inkspill Magazine, and since then we’ve been chatting via Twitter. After kindly downloading my short story collection (‘The Hours of Creeping Night‘) to read, Sam then wrote an amazing review on her site.
I didn’t know what to expect, though the forewarning of ‘dark speculative fiction’ probably should have prepared me.
There are nine tales in this debut collection, each distinct from the next if not for the underlying drive to say something more than what the story itself is saying.
For me, Playle has the same ability to convey theme and meaning as George Saunders does in Pastoralia, could probably give the Brothers Grimm a run for their money when it comes to conveying terror, and reminds me of Chekhov with her brevity and pace. … (READ MORE)
Thank you, Sam!
A few days ago we had the launch party for our MA anthology, Bedford Square 5. The anthology is a showcase of the work produced by two years’ of Royal Holloway’s Creative Writing MA, and includes a mix of prose and poetry. It contains the first chapter of my novel.
The launch was a lot of fun. It was great to see lots of my MA group there, and also to meet a number of other students I hadn’t previously had the chance to meet. The event was organised by Susanna Jones, one of the tutors on the course and whose latest novel, When Nights Were Cold, has just been published. Adele Ward, the publisher of the anthology, was there, too, as was Andrew Motion, the MA director. I spoke briefly to him about Angela Carter, as she is one of my literary heros and he knew her before she sadly died, and about the poety taught in schools. There was at least one literary agent that I spoke to, but as I had expected from such an event, she was only interested in literary fiction.
I see the publication of such an anthology as less of an ego stroke, and more of a momento of the course. As I’ve said before, an anthology of extracts is not the kind of publication that will fly off the shelves, but it provides an example of the MA’s work for prospective students and for potential agents and publishers. For me, the launch party was more of a chance to see my fellow writing buddies again, and to imerse myself in the creative buzz of such a crowd – something that’s always energising to me.
But it’s also nice to know that part of my novel is already ‘out there’, waiting for the rest of it to join it one day…