Oh, what a night! I feel so privileged to be included in this event, and working with some of Portsmouth’s greatest talent. It was an evening of laughs, thrills, scares and toe-tapping music and I loved it all.
This year’s line-up was incredible, poets Maggie Sawkins, Sue Spiers and Lord Byro gave a fantastic look into the macabre. The thoughts of a night porter were particularly illuminating and will certainly make me think before arriving at a hotel after check in. We had stories from Tony Noon, Jacqui Pack, James Bicheno and Justin MacCormack. Which included a deal made with a demon for the secret of writing success. A gothic mix from Alan Morris added to the atmosphere of the evening.
The square tower shivered to the rhythm of songs performed by Philip Jeays, Jamie West, Gareth Rees and his friend.
Christine Lawrence buried a cat on stage, while Tom Harris cleaned up the blood. There were more stories from V H Leslie, Diana Bretherick and the evening ended when Matt Wingett turned a gun on the audience.
Best of all my husband found my perfect Christmas present from Headcase Curios.
Sunday also marked the book launch of The Day of the Dead anthology; copies can be found for Blackwells.
If you are interested in Day of the Dead, why not check out their Facebook page?
Don’t forget there is more fun next week, Sunday 6th of November, 6:30 at the Square Tower, you can see the Dark Songs. https://www.wegottickets.com/event/375811
A couple of plugs for my mates, the remarkable playwright Zella Compton latest play Genghis – The Truth is on at the New Theatre Royal on Saturday 5th November, 7.30 pm.
There is a Dark Victorian event at Blackwells on Wednesday 9th November. A panel of novelists and academics talk about the dark side of Victorian life. Local author Diana Bretherick will launch her latest novel, The Devil’s Daughters. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dark-victorians-panel-discussion-and-book-launch-tickets-28548403042?aff=es2
Matt Wingett, who gave a successful talk at my writing group earlier in the year, will be giving a lecture about the creator of Sherlock Holmes and his relationship with spiritualism. That’s at Portsmouth Temple of Spiritualism, Southsea, PO5 2BU on Friday 11th November. http://www.mattwingett.com/conan-doyle-and-his-belief-in-ghosts-a-talk/
Dr Karl Bell and Diana Bretherick will be giving a public talk on how the Victorian media created two Jacks, the demonic Spring-heeled Jack, and the infamous serial killer, Jack the Ripper. Wednesday 16th November, 7.00 pm Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/making-urban-monsters-spring-heeled-jack-and-jack-the-ripper-tickets-28512409384
The Portsmouth Writers Hub is running a workshop based on an authors’ roundtable discussion about the character of the ‘femme fatale’. Feel free to dress up for the occasion.
Featuring Diana Bretherick, Steph Broadribb aka Crime Thriller Girl, Cal Moriarty. VH Leslie and Carolyn Hughes. Thursday 24th November, 6.30 -8.30 pm Eldon building Uni of P’mouth Winston Churchill Ave PO1 2DJ.
Don’t forget The Writers at Lovedean are producing some work at Dark or Darker Shivering or Not! Coastguard Studio, 91 Clarendon Road, Southsea, PO4 0SA Saturday 26th November, 7 pm -1 am. It will be a fabulous evening of audio-visual performance, installations, live artists and theatre makers, all exploring the DarkFest themes. Hosted by 1000 Plateaus. one000plateaus.com/darkordarker/
I intend to end November at a book launch I am included in! The launch of Dark City, an anthology of scary Portsmouth stories by local authors. Wednesday 30th November, Hunter Gatherer Café, Albert Road, PO4 0JR. 7 – 9 pm
I am wildly excited to be performing in this year’s Day of the Dead. This is the brain child of author Will Sutton, and it’s great fun. I do hope some of you will be able to come along.
Day of the Dead iv: Shhhhh
6pm Sunday 30 Oct, Square Tower, Broad St, PO1 2JE
Stories to still shaky souls.
Refreshments. Costumes. Poisons. Stories.
Tickets £7: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/375714
or £4 concession: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/375715
Refreshments at the The Square Tower.
Books from Blackwell’s in Portsmouth.
Poison bottles by James Waterfield from Lawn of the Dead UK.
Costumier advice from Tony and Zoe of Head Case Curios.
Pixel Art with Kendal James of Eyecandy.
Unbeatable line-up of writers & musicians.
See you there.
On Thursday morning I got up at 6 am and jumped into the car and headed for the sunny South Coast Emporium, to be interviewed by the Southsea Lifestyle Radio programme. It was a last minute booking and incredibly exciting.
The host James Kirby invited me back for Saturday’s show! I got to have some great laughs with the team and enjoyed the company of fellow guest Canon Peter Leonard. We talked about the Portsmouth Food Cycle team, the A Level results and how much I miss chips and gravy!
The truth is that strange and unexpected opportunities present themselves if you are willing to jump in and help community projects. I’m a member of the Portsmouth Writing Hub. If you are a writer in the Pompey area, you need to get yourself down to these meetings. It’s a chance to mix with other writers, find out about the events and opportunities in the city. Best of all you can join in with the fun.
Through the hub meetings, I met local author Will Sutton; which resulted in me getting involved in the ‘Day of the Dead’ and ‘Valentine Massacre’ spoken word events. When the Southsea Lifestyle Radio team were looking for guests, Will put my name forward. I never expected to be involved in other community projects when I volunteered to read at a spoken word event. Saying yes, getting out of your comfort zone and mixing with people who share your passions is a brilliant way of attracting more opportunities.
Writers are known for working alone, but that is one aspect of writing. There are other things to consider, editing, submitting, and meeting and working with other creative people.
So I would recommend saying yes once in a while. You never know where it may lead. Today a radio interview, tomorrow the upcoming DarkFest.
Thanks to Will Sutton, Kevin Dean of Southsea Lifestyle, John Pryde, Colin on the machine and South Coast Emporium.