When the day of my first ever reading rolled around, I found that I was not really nervous at all. I had practised and felt quite confident that I could deliver my story well enough. The fact that Keith and my parents would be there, plus that I would have company with June Palmer, kind of made things a lot easier too. When I arrived at the venue - City Central Library - and walked into the room where the event was taking place, I was called over to the microphone practically straight away to do a sound check, and that made me feel even better because all was falling into place nicely.
The readers on the night were all women, although the first story was written by a man who unfortunately could not be there. It was read by one of the organisers, Misha Herwin. She was a wonderful, expressive reader.
The other stories were all good in their own way, but I particularly enjoyed June's - a story called "Finding Frank", which was an excerpt from a (maybe) future novella about someone finding a sibling they only just discovered they had. It was so typical of June. She writes in a way that draws you right into her characters and you can hear her personality. Her poems are the same. I will definitely keep my eye out for this novella when and if it comes.
My story seemed to go down well. Every time I looked around, people seemed to be paying very good attention, which is all you can ask really! At the end, there was a collective "aaah", which was fitting for the story, which was about a father discovering - to his surprise - his love for his daughter in the aftermath of a tragedy.
I discovered that I really love reading in public and there are plenty of opportunities coming up for me to get the experience. A couple of days after the 6 x 6, I was performing at Longport Methodist Church with City Voices, and we have our anniversary event in September. Also, on the back of this first reading, Misha Herwin has asked me to read at an annual event that her writing group, Renegade Writers, does at Gladstone Pottery Museum in Stoke on Trent.
Lots of exciting times to come!
Below: Me reading at 6 x 6 Reading Cafe at City Central Library, Stoke on Trent