The final event I attended was the East Midlands launch of Overheard: Stories to Read Aloud and despite what you may suspect, I didn’t go just for the free wine.
(Although that was a fantastic bonus! I advise the powers that be to supply free wine at all future events. Maybe some whiskey too...)
I may have digressed...
The book was edited by DMU Creative Writing tutor, Jonathan Taylor, and contributed to by our other tutors Kathleen Bell, Will Buckingham and Simon Perril, among many others. Although I was sure the other writers would be excellent, I was most interested to hear my tutors’ work. Of course, it did not disappoint.
The idea of stories written for the purpose of being read aloud took me back to telling ghost stories, by torchlight, as a child and ‘story time’ in primary school, gathered in front of the teacher. It reminded me of what first excited me about stories - the facial expressions for emphasis; the whispers and the shouts; the pauses that feel eternal and the look of intrigue in the listeners' eyes. That strength of suspense, humour and involvement can’t be matched when I read text from a page.
The writers brought their stories to life and it was easy to see that the audience was hanging on their every word as the wine stood, neglected, at the back of the room.
If you missed the event, don’t miss the book!