Tuesday, 29 April 2014
A University of Worcester student is preparing to launch his debut book – a varied collection of 32 short stories.
Forty-two year-old Andy Owens, who is in the first year of his Creative Writing and Screenwriting course and also currently developing a film script, is releasing the collection, ‘Portraits of Prose’, published by Black Pear Press, this Thursday.
Andy, who is originally from Canada, developed his long-standing passion for writing by joining the Worcester Writers’ Circle (WWC) in 2010. The following year, he was able to read two of his own stories – ‘Achtung Stampede’ and ‘No Strings Attached’ – to local audiences, and was spurred on by the positive feedback he received.
“In June 2011, the first Worcestershire Literary Festival kicked off and the WWC were asked to put on three spoken word events over the course of the festival,” Andy explains.
“I read one of my stories; the audience loved it and the festival introduced me to spoken word. The next event I performed at was a monthly event in Worcester called ‘42’, and a woman in the audience on that evening asked me where she could buy the stories I had read. I was stunned by this and decided that I would have to write more short stories and attend further spoken word events.”
Andy then enjoyed further success as he saw his stories published in respected publications on both sides of the Atlantic, before being selected to perform his work ‘Bootleg to Paris’ to an audience of 350 people at Malvern Theatres.
“I was beginning to get noticed as a spoken word performer in 2012 and early 2013,” he continues. “I had written quite a few short stories by this point and decided to compile a collection of the best ones and self-publish it.
“During that process, Black Pear Press contacted me to ask if I would be interested in submitting some of my work to their debut anthology of short stories, before offering to put together my collection for me.”
The soon-to-be-released collection crosses genres, and is made up of horror, comedy, romance, sci-fi and personal experience tales, a mix that Andy hopes will include ‘something for everyone’.
The 42 year-old, who was born in Toronto and moved to England in 1996, adds: “I hope that those who buy the book really enjoy the stories. I’d like to think that my collection will reside on someone’s bedside table and just before going to bed, they’ll read a couple of stories and go to sleep with a smile on their face.”
‘Portraits of Prose’, published by Black Pear Press, is released on Thursday May 1. For more information on Andy’s work, visit www.andrewowenswriter.com.