Brighton Festival Fringe – Grit Lit
My Brighton Festival Fringe event, Grit Lit, on 13 May was great fun. The Red Roaster Coffee House was packed and had a really friendly atmosphere.
I don’t get that nervous about events these days (jaded old author!) so when I arrived in Brighton at lunchtime, I could look forward to a whole afternoon of pretending to be on holiday. I had an omelette and chips at Buddies then sat on the beach working on revision notes for my next book, For the Love of Freaks. A stroll up and down the pier, and then I went back to my freezing B&B room (whose shared toilet sported a Yale lock for some reason) to have a quick practice of my reading and make myself look as presentable as can be expected.
The other writers on the bill were Jake Kennedy, Tim Lay, Dave Swann, Amy Riley, Neil Ansell and Ross Sutherland, so it was an ecletic mixture of flash fiction, short stories, novel extracts, memoir and poetry. I was lucky enough to be second to read, which meant I’d be able to relax and enjoy the rest of the evening. Disconcertingly, I got on stage to discover there was a huge mirror opposite, but I ignored it and concentrated on the text and the audience.
Although the order of the day was unromantic realism, the venue had a warm and happy ambiance. You get to know whether an audience is there to enjoy itself or to find something to dislike, and it’s easy to get a confidence-knock from the rare event that gives cold vibes. This audience, however, was one of the best I’ve ever read to.
I read Kill-Grief‘s most gruesome scene and while it’s rather disturbing, I was delighted to get a good response to the dark humour offered by my surgeon-apprentice character. Humour, in fact, was in abundance throughout the evening – despite the premise, this was far from being a bleak, depressing event.
UPDATE! Grit Lit won the Latest 7 Award for Best Literature Event at the Brighton Festival and Fringe! Congratulations and thank you to organisers Tim Lay and Amy Riley.