Catching up with my blog at this busy time of year! November's Midlife Adventure saw me read an excerpt from my short story at the launch of an anthology I was part of with other local writers. The book is called Beyond the Battlefield.
The Battlefield Collective is a group of poets and short story writers (alongside other writing and professions) and this is the second book created from successful collaborations. Battlefield is an area in the South Side of Glasgow, and although not personally local to that area in particular, I was pleased to have my story accepted. The idea behind this group is to help build our reputations and exposure to our writing, which can be very challenging as an unknown writer.
There were a few meetings held at Langside Library, and it was decided that the perfect time to launch the book would be during Book Week Scotland. With backing from the Scottish Book Trust, we were all delighted that the event would be included in the Book Week Scotland calendar and began to plan the evening. Names were drawn to decide which of the contributors would read, mine being one of them, and with nervous trepidation I began timing my reading to ensure I would not go over my 5 minute slot. I have pitched as a business owner in the past, but there is something far more nerve wracking about sharing your own creative writing.
November 16th soon arrived and I drove to Langside Library nervous, but excited about the opportunity to share my work. I have read at my writers group before, but this felt very different. We later learned that 76 people attended which was a great turnout for a miserable night in November. After more rehearsing in front of my mirror, I left in plenty of time knowing all too well the challenges of on-street parking in that area, so arrived on time.
I was the first short story reader and "Writer's Retreat" went down well with the audience. People laughed where I hoped they would and I managed to change tone of voice to convey the different characters. Expecting my voice to shake revealing my nerves, I was pleased this didn't happen (that I'm aware of anyway). 5 minutes allowed me to leave the story on a bit of a cliff-hanger and I hope those who bought the book enjoyed finding out what happened next. It was the first time I had heard the other poems and stories too, so a very enjoyable evening. To celebrate my first public reading of my writing, my parents and I enjoyed a lovely meal at the Battlefield restaurant afterwards.
At the latest meeting we discussed the event, what went well, what could have been improved, ways to market the book and what we could work on together in the future. I am pleased to have discovered the supportive Battlefield Collective via the wonders of Facebook, and hope to continue working on future projects. Some exciting news following the book launch was that readers from the night have been invited to participate in a local community podcast. Watch this space to read how that turns out! Managed to step outside my comfort zone once again, and it felt really good. Follow my socials and sign up to my newsletter to find out what further midlife adventures await.
The Beyond the Battlefield book is available via Amazon and please remember that reviews are of huge value to writers: