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Since discovering and blogging about the novels of local authors Jake Nelson and Annette Keen a few months ago, I've become more aware of the writing talent we have around Eastbourne. My first love is still printed books and I can spend hours browsing in real bookshops, but now we can download and use the Amazon Kindle software without needing to splash out on the device itself, I've taken to book reading on my laptop as well. Plus the immediacy of ebook versions means I can buy and download books straight away, rather than needing to remember to search out titles, so I do. Impulse shopper? Me?!
My latest recommendation came via my Twitter feed for Love, Life, Loss and Leaving, a collection of twenty short stories for adults which have been penned by Andrew Baguley and Janet Rawson. You might have heard of Janet as a member of Twisted Events Presents. I vaguely remember something about an interactive Shakespeare play on the Western Lawns last summer but failed to blog about it so am at a loss for details now! The company specialises in creating interactive theatrical experiences for business and conference situations.
"Andrew Baguley and Janet Rawson. Two friends, two genders, two different but slightly twisted views of life. Much red wine. Between them enough years to be wise and considered, yet not enough for hope and amazement to cease. Janet acts, has plays published and hawks around her first novel. Andrew acts too, ponders and gets up late. He’s writing a radio play about power thrust upon an ordinary man. Both love words, cities and sea air. They write and live separately but merge dreams and ideas. Both are from the south east of England, just outside the city sprawl, close enough to enjoy the heat but distant enough to feel the breeze. This is their first collaboration."
As it is made up of independent short stories and poems, Love, Life, Loss and Leaving can be dipped into and I've found myself returning to the collection on several occasions over the last couple of months when I have spare time. I like the way the book alternates between authors because the different voices compliment each other well. The subjects of the stories appeal to my dark side and there are certainly a few that should not be read too close to bedtime - especially if you're prone to bad dreams. I think my favourite stories are Far Fathoms and Time To Kill by Janet Rawson and The New Jesus by Andrew Baguley.