Oh yes, I stayed calm and carried on :-)

Paula Reading at Mozart, Swansea.
Paula Reading at Mozart, Swansea.

It’s one thing to say you will face up to your fears and another to do it. I’ve always been able to back away, but this time, I just didn’t want to walk away.

After making the long journey to Swansea from Essex, I knew I couldn’t not do it. Out of thirteen writers only eight of us could make it to the launch. Claire Houguez, editor and marketing officer at Parthian told us we all had ten minutes to read from our stories.

I asked if I could go first, while my nerves held out. Rebecca Parfitt, editor of The Ghastling, (a new literary magazine devoted to ghost stories, the macabre and the oh-so peculiar) introduced us.

When she said my name, I felt my stomach drop and for a moment Russell and I stared at each other. I whispered I can’t do this. Then I took a deep breath and stood up, introduced my story and said I hadn’t read to an audience before so I hoped they would bear with me.

It was wonderful, I just heard myself, in my head reading my story alone in my writing room. Claire and a couple of the other writers commented on how well I read.

Just as Russell and I was leaving two young people asked me to sign their books and said they were looking forward to reading the rest of my story.

I’m now looking forward to the 6th Dec book launch and hopefully Debz will let me read aloud at the launch of Bridge House Publishing Light to the Dark anthology

Paula with some of the other authors at the launch of A Flock of Shadows
Paula with some of the other authors at the launch of A Flock of Shadows

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