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July 9, 2010 / castingpods99

Casting Pods Show 19 Book Launch for 10 Journeys published by Legend Press

Casting Pods Show 19

Book Launch for 10 Journeys published by Legend Press

(click to listen)

65.28 mins – uploaded 09/07/10

I present the recordings I made at the book launch for the fifth Legend Press ‘short story reinvented’ anthology, 10 Journeys. This includes short speeches and readings from seven of the ten authors (including myself) and from Tom Chalmers, head honcho at Legend. There is also an interview with Gudrun Jobst who designs the cover art for many of the Legend books, which might be of interest to authors and artists interested in book cover design and publishing in general. Other people who feature in this episode are Cassandra Parkin, Dave Foxall, Guy Mankowski, Alistair Meldrum, Josie Henley-Einion (me of course!), Brendan Telford and A.J. Kirby.

In the intro to the book launch recordings I talk about my latest exploits in knitting and podcast listening, mentioning three particular podcasts that I love, Craftlit, QN and Litopia. I was featured in the QN podcast 7 Voices: Ten Years. I also mention this new website for Casting Pods which is now a blog site so you can leave comments if you like! Same website address as before but a completely revamped site which includes the show notes and some transcripts for the archives.

Check out the Casting Pods youtube channel for more videos of book events as well as my general travel videos and my son’s puppet shows!

book launch, podcast, itunes, literature, knitting, lesbian, authors, short stories, craft, video

July 7, 2010 / castingpods99

Casting Pods Show 18 Catch up and what’s on my iPod?

Casting Pods Show 18

Catch up and what’s on my iPod? (click to listen)

30.31 mins – uploaded 06/04/10

This episode features a round up of podcasts and audiobooks that I’ve been listening to as well as some news of what’s been going on for me in the past 18 months since the last show. News is: I’m now studying for a PhD and I have had another short story accepted by Legend Press.

Podcasts/people mentioned in this show: The Lesbian Mafia, QN (Quirky Nomads), Stephen Fry, Mary Beard, BBC Radio 4, The F Word , Stuff Mom Never Told You, Librivox, Litopia, The Room Behind the Bookcase, Cast On, Philosophy Bites, Trans-ponder, Sabrina and more!

Podcasts, itunes, lesbian, psychology, books, authors, literature

July 7, 2010 / castingpods99

Casting Pods Show 17 Silence Book Launch, Cardiff

Casting Pods Show 17

Silence Book Launch, Cardiff  (click to listen)

30.31 mins – uploaded 03/08/08

This show covers the book launch of my novel Silence in Cardiff Waterstone’s. Silence is Waterstone’s Welsh Book of the Month for August so it is a very busy and exciting time for me. I’ve got lots of thankyous at the beginning and then go on to talk about the book, and read an extract, and take questions. Then we had a party at the house afterwards. As it was only a short recording, I’ve also added some more readings at the end.

Writing, publishing, books, fiction, Cardiff, literature, Waterstone’s, novel, Silence

Time Stamp Hello and welcome to Casting Pods. I’m Josie Henley-Einion and I’m your host. Today’s podcast is all about the book launch of my novel Silence in Cardiff Waterstone’s. Silence is Waterstone’s Welsh Book of the Month for August so it is a very busy and exciting time for me. I’ve got lots of thankyous at the beginning and then go on to talk about the book, and read an extract, and take questions. Then we had a party at the house afterwards.I have to apologise in advance for the poor sound quality as this recording is extracted from the video recording. It’s okay, I mean you can hear what I’m saying, but there’s a bit of a hiss and there’s also some music because there was a brass band playing outside the shop! The reason I had to extract the audio was because I took my Dictaphone with me but didn’t realise until I got there that it was low on batteries and didn’t have any spare! How disorganised I was! But Alys was fabulous as usual and had gone to a lot of trouble to sort out the house for the party. And not having the Dictaphone was the only thing that went wrong, so that’s good. Alys videoed the event on my mini video camera so at least I have some footage, which has been edited and put on the Legend youtube site – you can see it at It’s a little bit wobbly in parts, especially when we get to the bit where I read out the dedication to her! And you can hear Alys’ sister in the background going ‘aaah’ because she thought it was sweet. // //
1:27 The event was also filmed by Lisa Haf from S4C as I’ve been interviewed for the Welsh language programme Hacio. It will be broadcast as part of the Autumn series, so hopefully some of her footage will be shown on TV which will be good. This is a shorter recording than I usually make, and because the readings I did at the launch got cut out (video batteries died and Alys had to change them), I’m going to add some more extracts at the end of the show. I’m planning to put up a few extracts on youtube and on my website so thought I could use them here as well.We went down there early and put out chairs, got the cava out and everything and more and more people kept arriving, so we had to get out more chairs, then we ran out of chairs. It ended up being quite packed with people standing at the back. So I was a bit nervous to say the least! The first thing that happened was that I said, ‘unaccustomed as I am to public speaking…’ which was meant to get a laugh but didn’t! So then I got out a long bit of paper that I’d prepared earlier. And I had folded up so it looked small. Then I said, ‘I’ve prepared a short speech’ and then I let the paper drop so they could see how long it was, several sellotaped sheets, um, and it hit the floor. And that did get a laugh. Meanwhile Alys was still fiddling with the video camera. So I started to introduce my speech and then I noticed that she was holding up the camera but it wasn’t on – there was no red light! So I stopped talking to ask her to switch it on, which made everyone laugh. So that’s why there’s a lot of laughter here at the beginning! There are also lots of ‘ums’ which I’m sure you’ll forgive. As you might know, I like to transcribe verbatim and I keep all the ums and ahs in it as it sounds natural, but cut out the really long pauses and repeats or when I go completely off on a completely different tangent!
3:18 [laughter] J: Thankyou! So I’d just like to start with a few thankyous, um, first thankyou, um, would have to be for Gareth who is the manager of Waterstone’s in Cardiff, who has been fabulous and allowing me to have, um, the launch at this venue and for all the help we’ve had because I’ve had two other book events here with the short story anthologies that, um, that have been published. And, um, it’s due, down to Gareth that, um, my book has been named as Welsh Waterstone’s Book of the Month for August which is fabulous, which has, has generated so much publicity and it’s meant that, um, I, I’ve got other signings and things coming up in, um, another three at least Waterstone’s in Wales, maybe more. Um, so that’s very exciting.Of course, um, I have to thank Alys, who is fabulous and, um, anybody who’s already flicked through the book will notice on the first page, um, flyleaf is a dedication to Alys and I’ll just read that out because that’s my thankyou. Um…

This book is dedicated to Alyson Henley-Einion.

Alys for being there even when I wasn’t.
For not giving up on me even when I did.
For telling me the book was worth it.
And for allowing me this big romantic gesture.
And for so much else, I owe you.

Alys actually, um, studied for the MA in writing alongside me, we did it together. Um, and we were both writing our novels simultaneously, um and other students, and we were swapping our work and we were, um, talking to each other about our work. And then after, um, after we finished it, after I’d submitted it, she sat down and she read the whole thing, um cover to cover, and it literally it was something like a hundred and seventy thousand words. This has actually been cut down quite a bit, even though it’s really big, you might think, ‘oh my god that’s really big’ it’s actually been cut down quite a bit. And she sat and read the whole thing and it took her all day, started in the morning and she finished it in the evening. And she was, um, so blown away by it, and I was really blown away by her reaction and um, and that was in 2005. And all along she’s said to me, ‘you really have to get that out, you really have to get it published’ and all along I’ve been saying, ‘no, no, it’s rubbish, I can’t do that!’ Um, and finally when, when Legend actually, um, published my short stories, I thought well maybe I should try it, maybe I should try giving it to Legend. And Alys has been so supportive, all along, um, in, in, in telling me that, you know, I have to keep on trying and that it’s a really good story, and it’s a really good book and it needs to be out there. And um, so that’s for Alys!

6:05 Um, another thankyou is for Kath my friend, who is right at the back. For helping with all the organisation, for the party, for coming over and telling me to calm down and all of those things. And for, for Kath’s wonderful daughter, who, um, has been telling me I’m a famous person since she came to the book launch for Eight Hours in, in April, and since then she’s just been calling me ‘famous person’. Famous person, every time she sees me. And I’m actually starting to feel that it might actually come true! Um, but, um it’s nice when someone says that to you.
6:40 And, um, our son, in his absence, he’s not here tonight, but I’m saying a thankyou to him in his absence for doing the exact opposite. And, and telling me that I’m just ordinary and I should just shut up about my book now, there are more important things in life, and rolling his eyes every time I say, ‘But I’m on telly!’ And, and saying, ‘Oh for gods’ sake, anybody could write a book!’ Um, because he really keeps my head from growing a bit too big.Um, and the, the last thankyou is, again in his absence is Tom, um, from Legend. Tom Chalmers, who is the managing director of Legend Press, um, for taking a chance on a new author, and for reading the book and actually saying to me, ‘Yeah, we’re going to publish that!’ And, um, completely changing everything about the way I think about my writing. Um, by having the confidence in me, really.
7:40 Um, I’m gonna do a reading in a bit, but first of all I’m going to tell you a bit about the book. Um, when we were, um, studying for the MA in Writing and on various, uh, writing websites and various places that I go to, writing groups, everybody always says, um, you should write what you know, um, because then it’s more believable. Um, and in, in a way, you know, sometimes I think in a way that this book, I’ve been writing it all my life, because there are parts of this book which anybody who knows me, um, will actually recognise. Certain incidents, certain character traits, some of the characters. But it is very different to me, it is, it is, um, when I started off with a character, I started off thinking, um, putting myself in their place, um, and thinking if I was in this position, what would I do? Um, so you’ve got the things that happen, quite often they are things that, um, would be recognisable as me. But I changed it so much, um, I deliberately made changes to the characters, I deliberately made changes to the situations, to make it, um, distanced from me. To make it not my story but, uh, a work of fiction, a novel.
9:02 Um, what I, what I did do was I took the advice that somebody has quoted, it’s a, it’s a famous author and it does often get quoted, it’s that you should write a book that you, um, would want to read yourself. So, um, if I, for instance if I was to think, well I really, really want to write, really, really want to read this kind of book, but I can’t find it, I can’t find a book like that anywhere, um, well then I should write it. Um, and that, that’s what I started out doing. I’ve been writing since I was a teenager, I’ve been writing and I’ve been trying to get published. And all along, all the things that I’ve been writing, I’ve been having, um, half an eye on the audience, um, whether it’ll be published, whether it’s, you know, whether it’s marketable, whether it’s the kind of thing that’ll be sold in bookshops. Um, and it’s kind of, it’s kind of been like an internal censor. It kind of, um, restricts you then, and I think that sometimes, some of the things that you write when you’re in that kind of frame of mind, um, come out a bit false. And when you finally abandon the idea that you’re ever gonna get published, and think, I don’t, I really don’t care. I’m gonna write this book because I want to write it, and it was a book I would want to read, and it was a book I would want to give to Alys and say, ‘This is my book, read this.’ Um, and that’s, that’s the sort of standpoint that I came from in writing, writing this book. And lo and behold the world changes, ten, twenty years down the line. Maybe even five years ago this book wouldn’t have been published, um, because it’s too, um, controversial, it’s too, um, challenging, it’s, it, it kind of pushes boundaries, I think, that’s one of the ways that it’s been described. Um, but after spending all that time writing it and then after, um, spending a long time afterwards just editing it, and trying to get a publisher interested, I finally find that there is a publisher, in the meantime, Legend Press only actually only, um, started in about 2005, 2006, so that Legend Press are actually a newer publisher than my book! Um, a publisher comes into existence who is willing to actually take those risks and, and to, to publish a book that, that may, um, be seen as controversial. So I’m really, um, really pleased about that.
11:29 Um, okay the, the story, for anybody who doesn’t know the actual story itself follows a kind of a, a traditional thriller type storyline where you’ve got, um, a murder, you’ve got an incident that happens. A criminal type book, thriller type book. Um, but the way that, there are various ways in which it is different – one is the style, um, style of narration, what I’ve got, I’ve got several – uh there are two main narrators but I’ve got several timeframes as well, so it’s not a linear progression. Um, and the other is, the other way that it’s different is that it actually is, is a completely different world to, to most, um, thrillers, you actually… I think the way that I see it is essentially the book is about the lesbian experience in the, from the 1980’s through the 90’s and into the current, current day. And so that’s, but it actually hangs on an actual plot, so people who like, um, to read a kind of a blockbuster type thriller, it will be interesting, but also people who like to read something that is sort of more deep and literary, it will also be interesting.So I mean I like to think that it’s got a bit of everything, it’s got a bit for everyone. Um, some people might think that certain scenes are a bit too um, adult for their taste and, um, but they are only certain scenes, they’re not the whole book. Um, the, the book in itself has to be seen as a whole thing. Like a piece of artwork really, you wouldn’t just look at one little part of a picture, you look at the whole picture. So, um, the scene that I’m gonna read is actually a little bit racey, but I have, um, I have a mechanism. That what I’m gonna, um, what I’m gonna do when I get to bits that, uh, are probably not, not to be read out loud in, in company, um, I’m gonna do the blankety-blank. So if you hear me say blankety-blank, you know that there’s swearing or some kind of reference that… um, okay so I’m gonna read from the beginning of the book. The actual opening is a, um, newspaper article, um, I should say that there are, it’s not just standard narration. There are newspaper articles in it, there are transcripts from chatrooms, internet chatrooms, that kind of thing. So it’s not your traditional just, um, standard text. The, the newspaper article that opens it is a bit like a prologue.
14:18 PRISON COUNSELLOR KILLS EX-CON.Voiceover J: I’m going to miss out the readings and add them on later in better quality sound.

J: So all the way through the book, you get newspaper clippings and these kind of insinuations in the papers. Um, and they get more and more salacious and more and more sort of, um, anti-Jackie, who is the main character, as you go along. Um, and, you know, she’s just been arrested, she hasn’t even been on trial, but she’s got the trial by media thing that you get going on these days. [music in the background] Um, I’ve got to compete with a band now! Okay, so I’m gonna read…

G: I thought they’d put them there for you!

A: Yeah, background music.

J: It’s all the emotional bits. Okay, so, um, chapter one is actually, um… so that was a sort of a current day, um, newspaper clipping. And chapter one then goes back to 1988.

15:19 Oh yez, oh yez. Now hear this. Shout it from the rooftops, darling.I’m gonna skip a few paragraphs there, and get to a scene where she’s actually, Jackie, who is eighteen, has, um, picked up a, uh, a woman who is an older woman, it never really says what her name is or how old she is, um, who was in the club, who is what might be described, what people describe as bi-curious, if anyone knows what that means. Um…

“So have you always been a lesbian,” the woman asks carelessly. Jack stiffens, is she taking the piss? But the knowledge that she hasn’t felt flesh against flesh for some time helps in shrugging off her belligerence. She doesn’t have to like the woman to blankety-blank her.“Just about as long as I can remember,” she growls.

“Oh. I just wondered. You know, I’ve always wondered what it’s like to be a lesbian.”

[laughs and fade]…

16:15 [applause]…a taste of, of what the, um, what the story is going to be like. That was Jackie when she was a teenager. We also see what she was like in her twenties, what she was like at university and the kind of relationships that she has. Um, in each, each of those backstory chapters then is interspersed with a story in the current day….

Voiceover J: At this point the camera went off, so I’ve missed a bit here where I start to talk about the other characters and the current timeframe story. I bring up the subject of Jackie being very similar to myself, but also Jimmie and some of the other characters being based on me as well. Initially when I create a character I have to get inside her head and that’s why they share some traits of mine. But they are fictional characters and not me at all!

16:59 J: …and, and they are, they are their own individual people. And I’m very proud of them, it’s like, it’s like having my babies, ha! Out in, in public. Um, so I will, I will leave it there and um, we can, anybody who wants to purchase a book is quite welcome to do so and I’m, I will sign and I will…A: Do you want to take questions?

J: …talk to everyone and… Yes I can take questions, but I’m going to sit down now. [laughs] So, I’ll take questions if anybody wants to ask any questions.

C: Yeah.

J: Has anybody got any questions?

C: I’ve got a question. How long did it take you to write it?

17:31 J: Oh right, so yeah, um, the MA in Writing was a three year course. Um, and when I started it, it started back in 2002. It took me a few months to actually work out what, what I wanted to write. Um, I think the first time I put pen to paper was probably in 2003 and then I finished it just, ah, a week before the deadline! Uh, which was in 2005, so the first draft I would say took just over two years to write. But then after that I edited it quite extensively. And then once Legend actually told me that they, they wanted to print it, I went back and edited it again. So I’ve counted, when I say it took me six years to write, I’ve counted, you know, right from when I first put pen to paper with it, um, up to the point where, you know, there was a cut-off and no you’re not having any more! Because every time Tom sent it back to me and said, ‘Can you cut it down a bit?’ because it was too long, I said, ‘Okay, I’ll cut it down a bit,’ and then I added stuff! [laughs] So Tom just decided to edit it himself, so that’s why it’s 140,000 words, because if it was me it would be more like 200,000.
18:47 [party in background]J: Hello, will you, will you video me now somewhere where there’s sun? Saying, that I’ve finally… is there sun here?

A: Yeah.

J: Hello, here I am with my wine! I’m at home, we’re having a party and it’s the end of the book launch, and that’s it!

19:04 Voiceover J: So that was the book launch. You can probably tell that the speech was completely unrehearsed as I went all around the houses. But you can also probably tell how much I love the book and how well I know it. I should do seeing as it took over my life for so long!This was recorded last Saturday night and it’s now Saturday the first of August as I record the voiceover. Last night I was interviewed for a video slot on the Media Wales website and once that’s up I’ll put the link on my blog. Today a review of Silence has come out in the Western Mail, which is the newspaper that covers a large local area, and I’d like to read you this because I’m really pleased with it. It was in the magazine section, at the top of a section of book reviews ‘From Wales’.

Josie Henley-Einion (Legend Press, £7.99)

A “caffeinated roadtrip through time and space, featuring murder and mayhem, sex, politics and cats” is how Cardiff writer Josie Henley-Einion describes her first novel.

Waterstone’s Welsh Book of the Month for August tells the story of Jackie Harris, prison counsellor and ex-drag king, who kills her lesbian lover’s rapist in what she insists is self-defence.

It won’t be everyone’s idea of a good read. Stay away from this if you don’t fancy some graphic sex scenes. Henley-Einion acknowledges her debt to Sarah Waters, whose Tipping the Velvet opened up the literature of sex between women in the way that DH Lawrence did for heterosexual love all those years ago. This is not one for granny – well, not for the conventional granny anyway.

The novel portrays a troubled but resolute character overcoming obstacles and slowly discovering her identity.

This examination of homosexuality, transsexuality, sexual violence and its repercussions, weaves its web well enough to keep you turning the pages. It deals with serious stuff that is bang on the button in an era when a powerful rich man wins a libel action against a red-top Sunday newspaper that publicised details of his sex life.

It questions whether the media has the right to pry into other people’s lives and, ultimately, set the parameters for public judgement on the affairs of others. We come across mental illness, domestic abuse, drugs and addiction (not always the same thing).

It challenges and confronts and asks questions of you, as well as of the issues it tackles.

21:23 That was the review that appeared today. I’ve scanned it and it’s on the blog. I’m really chuffed with it – especially the whole ‘not for granny, don’t read this if you’re easily offended’ angle. I think that is likely to attract more readers than it discourages! Also, please note ‘weaves its web well enough to keep you turning the pages’ and ‘deals with serious stuff that is bang on the button’. Oh yes, for a first review this is pretty damn good.Now, as promised here is an extract from the book. These are the opening scenes.
Jacqueline Harris, 35, prison counsellor at Newpark Women’s Prison has been arrested for the suspected murder of Francis Little, 37, who previously served time at Fenton. Jacqueline, who is known as ‘Jack’, claims that Francis was ‘raping’ her lesbian lover Jemima Albinelka, also 35. Today Ms Albinelka was unavailable for comment but a neighbour who sees them regularly walking hand-in-hand to the car and once spotted them kissing on their doorstep, says that this was inevitable. “They are always at it,” said the neighbour, who does not wish to be named. “I hear them arguing all the time, they have parties till the early hours and now this. It’s disgusting.” A police spokesperson this morning confirmed, “A woman was arrested last night for the suspected murder of a homeless man and is currently being held at the South Valley Station while our officers conduct their enquiries.”
Valley Gazette comment see page 22.
Chapter One – 1988
O yez, o yez. Now hear this. Shout it from the rooftops, darling.She is mixing – a mix here, a mix there – in her element. She is a mixture herself: a crazy mixed up kid. Looking out over the crowd to check they still like it. Not that she cares what anyone thinks of her art, but to be out of a job again would be difficult. To be a paid DJ is tough call enough, but for a dyke in Maddeston, North Warwickshire, there is really only one place to work. She doesn’t fancy hauling her arse over to cardboard city Coventry and slumming it with the rest of the dregs. Though looking out over the crowd, she isn’t sure this place is any better. She leans into the microphone.

“DJ Dance Jack comin’ at you with the b-b-best sounds of the eighties. Get yo’ dancin’ feet on the floor for some Ride On Time.” She eases the dial up for the first chords of the extended dance track and leans back to light a roll-up.

There has always been the possibility of passing for a boy and getting into warehouse work. She is tall and young enough to be beardless. Not yet grown into her skin, she is like a spring-born fawn – leggy and awkward with a potential for greatness. (Oh where are you now, you butch beauty?) Time will come for her to flesh out and slide in with the ranks of sad old bull daggers at the bar, snarling over a piece of fresh meat.

As a gay club, its members at least keep the style that everywhere else lacks at this time between New Romantic and Acid Jazz, although there are still the sheep. Jackie sighs as she sees the regiments of miniature Jimmy Somerville’s and Alison Moyet’s. Something catches her attention, flighty like a ruffle of feathers, and draws her eyes to a figure standing near the DJ box. Jack squints through the haze of stinging smoke and poppers to take a look and there she sees a straight woman quickly looking away. How she knows this girl is straight? Is it the long blonde look, the handbag and Silk Cut cigarette, the polished fingernails curled around a glass of white wine I didn’t know they sold wine in this beer swinging club!, or the tentative biting of lips as lustful eyes follow the butchest dykes on the floor?No, what gives her away really is the fact that she is unconsciously twisting her wedding ring, tugging it on and off her thin finger as if indecision were the worst thing in the world. Jackie feels a tightness in her boxers and with it feels every single moment of the last few months without a lover. The local girls have been warned off her; have learned to call her ‘Jack-the-lad’, and she is suffering for it.
The Ride over, she sets a long-playing twelve-inch of Like A Virgin on the spinner. Knocking the lit end of her roly against the side of the box, she leans over and nods to the woman. “New here, Babe?” The straight woman laughs a reply, but her eyes dance with interest, flickering over the DJ’s lithe body. As she comes closer Jackie can see beneath the make-up that she is older, at least in her thirties. This makes Jack feel good – like a young stud. “See anythin’ you like?” She smiles and then turns away to twist the dials before she hears an answer. Jack sets up another twelve-inch – Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl to play unattended for a while (Thursday nights are not usually too demanding) and drops down out of the box to come close to the straight.Jack wants to be sure the woman knows where she’s coming from. She looks pointedly at the ring. “You going back to your husband tonight?”
“Not tonight…” playful lips draw out the words like an expert, but the tremor in the woman’s hand and voice give her away as a newcomer. Far from putting her off, it only serves to spur Jackie on all the more. They draw closer together and as their bodies move in time to Billy’s agenda, Jackie risks leaning forwards to give a soft, teasing kiss on the woman’s cheek. She groans in Jack’s ear. “Do you know, the last time I slept with a woman I was eighteen.”Jackie laughs, “Do you know, same here!” It is a lie, of course, for she is only recently eighteen and her last sexual encounter was more than a few months ago, but hey, why pass up the chance of a good line?

“What’s your name?” she asks.

“Jackie Harris. Jack. What’s yours?”

The woman, whose name Jack learns and forgets again within a few seconds, buys herself another drink and waits for closing time at Jack’s insistence. They spend the next few hours eyeing each other and flirting with body language until finally the last dancer stumbles out of the club. Jackie then allows her into the DJ box while she packs up.

“So, have you always been a lesbian?” the straight woman asks carelessly. Jack stiffens. Is she taking the piss? But the knowledge that she hasn’t felt flesh against flesh for some time now helps in shrugging off her belligerence. And she doesn’t have to like the woman to shag her.

“Just about as long as I can remember,” she growls.

“Oh. I just wondered. You know, I’ve always wondered what it’s like to be a lesbian.”

She is turned away so the woman can’t see her face. Of the myriad terse replies she could have given, Jackie chooses a mild one. “Oh yeah?” She faces the flighty bird, “Well let’s just see if you can take it, Babe.”

Leading her by the hand out of the deserted bar, she says, “I got a room just up from here.” Jack stumbles into the after-club crowd in the street. Each club has its own clientele who stick together in small groups around the communal courtyard created by the central focal-point of a burger van. The van pumps out its fetid stink, enticing drug-hungry ravers to risk their lives for the sake of a food fix. The January freeze attracts even vegetarian hippies to hang around the back of the burger van. A group of skinheads appraise the couple, at first thinking Jackie one of them due to haircut and dress (and probably the poor light), they snap to attention as they notice the club from which she has emerged.“Hey!” they hear the shout as she grabs the straight woman again and hurries past. “Hey, you two – off for some lezzie licks!!” Jackie speeds up as she senses the fright escaping from her companion: it wouldn’t do to lose her now she is so close.

“Run!” she whispers harshly, and they run as they hear laughter and thudding footsteps behind. Had she been alone she might have faced them down. Cowards mostly, she has enough bravado to pull it off. Although she remembers the time she was mistaken for a gay man and set upon unawares by a gang. When they realised she was female they laughed at the mistake and kicked harder. She shudders at the memory of the cracked ribs and crushed pride as she throws herself down stone steps to her basement room, key at the ready.

Breathless, they lean against the door as it closes behind them. Jackie thumbs the light switch and the bare bulb flicks on dimly to reveal damp walls and stained carpet. Wide-eyed, the straight woman turns shakily towards her. Jackie laughs unsympathetically. “You wanted to know what it’s like to be a lesbian. This is what it’s like.” And she pulls her close again, this time not caring how harshly she kisses, how hungry she is, or whether she is hurting. If this woman thinks another woman would be soft all night then she is about to have her preconceptions blown out along with her cobwebs.
29:31 I’ll have to stop there for reasons of proprietary on the internet! But if you want to read more you can buy the book, or order it from your library. Remember: Silence, Josie Henley-Einion, and the ISBN Number is 978-1-9065580-3-1. It’s £7.99 and it’s published by Legend Press.So that’s it for today and I hope you’re entertained and intrigued and now all rushing out to buy the book. If you’re around in Wales over August, you may want to come and see me at one of the book signing events I’ve got planned. Swansea Waterstone’s next Saturday, 9th August at 12-1, Aberystwyth Waterstone’s the following Saturday, 16th August at 12-3, and Newport Waterstone’s on Saturday 23rd August, 12-1. Thankyou for listening, speak to you again next time.
July 7, 2010 / castingpods99

Casting Pods Show 16 Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, London

Casting Pods Show 16

Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, London (click to listen)

29.38 mins – uploaded 20/07/08

This show covers the event at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park which involved myself and Jae Watson, another Legend Press author. I travelled to London to take part in this which was part of the London Lit Plus festival. This was the first time I had held my novel, Silence, in my hands, as I am given a review copy. There is my reaction to the book, discussion of the cover image and setting up the videoing of our speeches. Then you have my speech, including extracts, and then Jae’s speech.

At the end I go home and show my book to my partner Alys, and get an emotional reaction. I am now a week away from the publication date and plan to record the launch, which will be in Cardiff Waterstone’s. Silence is Waterstone’s Welsh Book of the Month for August so it is a very busy and exciting time for me.

Writing, publishing, books, fiction, London, Hyde Park, Speakers’ Corner, Lit Plus, festival, novel, Silence

July 5, 2010 / castingpods99

Casting Pods Show 15 Foyle’s Short Story Festival, London

Casting Pods Show 15

Foyle’s Short Story Festival, London (click to listen)

31.07 mins – uploaded 26/06/08

The Casting Pods one year anniversary episode, recorded at the Foyle’s Short Story Festival at Foyle’s bookshop, Charing Cross Road, London. I begin by talking about my novel Silence, for which I’m having a book launch soon and the publicity I’ve been doing recently. The festival was excellent and I travelled down with my partner and son, staying in a hotel. So this episode is a hybrid of the travelogue and book events episodes. Includes my speech and some mingling with publishing people and writers. Next event is at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park which I will also record.

Writing, publishing, books, fiction, London, short stories, interviews, decongested, Foyle’s bookshop, festival

(no transcript for this show)

July 5, 2010 / castingpods99

Casting Pods Show 14 Cardiff Book Launch for Eight Hours

Casting Pods Show 14

Cardiff Book Launch for Eight Hours (click to listen)

35.58 mins – uploaded 04/04/08


Eight Hours short story collection was recently released and this show is a compilation of the recordings I made at the Cardiff book launch in Waterstone’s, The Hayes, Cardiff. I met the lovely writing twins, Cathryn and Lindsey Davies, who write as one under the name CL Raven. I’ve chatted to them online but this was the first time we’d met in real life. The podcast includes an interview with the twins and our speeches and celebrations at the launch. How exciting!

Writing, publishing, books, fiction, Cardiff, short stories, interviews, video

(no trancript for this show)

July 5, 2010 / castingpods99

Casting Pods Show 13 London Meet the Author

Casting Pods Show 13

London Meet the Author (click to listen)

31.58 mins – uploaded 26/03/08

I travel to London again and meet David Freedman who runs the Meet the Author website. One video interview with him, a change of clothes and another video interview this time in my publisher’s office. Also being interviewed is Nick Griffiths, author of In the Footsteps of Harrison Dextrose. He carves a face on a melon to use in place of his own head. Great fun.

Writing, publishing, books, fiction, London, interviews, video

(no transcript for this show)