“Twisted Tales of Hybridity”

I was a guest last weekend at the Gothic Manchester Festival, appearing as part of the Twisted Tales of Hybridity event alongside rising star of the weird fiction scene Dr. Helen Marshall, and legitimate rockstar Rosie Garland.  All three of us have been guests at previous Gothic Manchester Festival events, and were returning to discuss how hybridity influences our work.

I read from ‘Naming the Bones’, and was lucky enough not to have to follow Helen and Rosie, who knocked it out of the metaphorical park with their respective readings. I should add that the building itself – the Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester – was something really special, a perfect venue for the occasion.

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Here’s David McWilliam introducing the event, and myself in the middle looking suitably nervous and sheepish. But the event went well, and the Q&A following the readings sparked some interesting discussion, not least of which was the origin story of Helen Marshall’s excellent ‘The Hanging Game’.

There was also a signing, in which I signed a Kindle, which was a brand new experience for me:

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(photo courtesy of Malcolm Devlin)

(The signing was soundtracked by background David Bowie, which was a happy accident but felt like it had been deliberately chosen just for me.)

Mr Mauro and I also got to experience Manchester for the third time, albeit only for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday – meeting with old friends, and enjoying delicious cake in hipster establishments (I know, I know, but…delicious cake!)

The Gothic Manchester Festival exceeds itself every year, and I’m grateful to the team for giving me the opportunity to take part for a second time. If you ever get the chance to pop along, I can’t recommend it enough.


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