Saturday, 22 August 2015

Author 2 Author - VI

                       Ian Richardson

“I am a South London based writer who, after a near death incident, started acting around four years ago and resumed writing about a year later. It seemed like a good  idea.

My work, including short stories, poetry and short plays has received professional rehearsed readings in local literary festivals and events.

Two full length pantos have been performed in Community Theatre runs.

I don’t write in any particular genre.  Lots of it is mining incidents from my own life particularly childhood.  What I’ve been writing is somewhere between short story and Gonzo journalism.  I’ve recently reread some short stories by Heinrich Boll.  Some of them are only five pages long and nothing happens in them really.  But they’re absolutely intense.  They pull you in.  If I had a choice I’d be doing that. 

Quite a lot of my work was originally short comedic plays.  I’ve written two big pantos for the Telegraph Hill Centre.  But I write whatever’s in front of me at any given time.  The pantos came to be through the writers group you and I attend on Telegraph Hill. 

I was diffidently bringing along a dead novel called Aunty’s Inferno.  The main character’s aunty has a little séance and he finds himself in hell. 

But everyone at the group said they thought I should have a crack at theTelegraph Hill Panto.  I dreamt most of it, got up, wrote this whole hour and a half.  It just poured out.  It was just there and ready.  Most of my good stuff is like that.  I’m very productive when I’m unconscious. 

When I’m active the more stimulated I am and likely to write. My health has been so off since the heart attack.  I think one of the reasons I find it difficult to write is because the heart attack screwed up my aspirations.  When I knew I wasn’t going to be working I had this vision of my keyboard ticking away like a grand piano.  Because I’ve been tired that’s not happened. 

Then I beat myself up about that.  I constantly beat myself up about the maxim – Writers Write.  It’s one of the worst things to beat yourself up about.  If you don’t have this massive output you feel like you’re a failure.  You’re not really a writer.  You’re just pretending.

As a writer, it’s mostly theatrical stuff that makes me think of myself as a writer.  I’ve had readings at Actors Reading Writers and two other community events which went over wonderfully.  I’ve also had a monologue in the Brockley Max Festival.  The great thing you have with these is the audience feedback.  If people start falling about laughing then you’ve cracked it.  I stood behind the audience every night; start to finish, watching the audience to see what was working and what wasn’t.  The two best bits I was chuffed for weeks about:  one night I saw somebody literarily double over with tears of laughter and another night I saw a girl slide off her chair and under the seat in front of her.  You’re never gonna get that kind of feedback from a short story or even a radio play.

Ian has a YA short story due to be published in an anthology 'Hex Support' late in 2015 and a modern fairy tale in the August 2015 issue of the online literary magazine, Bartleby Snopes.  Please read his story and vote for it.  I certainly will.

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