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This summer (2013) I was commission by the West Midlands Readers Network to write a short story for a library book group. It turned out that the book group in Coleshill Library were not interested but that the writers group that was also based there was.

I went over in late July and met the group. They were a friendly bunch who made me very welcome. I talked a little bit about the type of things I write and they told me about the stories that they were interested in; it was quite a range. We had crime stories, historical fiction, satire, science fiction, comedy and so on. I made lots of notes.

It would be impossible, in the time I had and the amount of words available (2000,) to write something that covered everything they wanted. As it was I wrote two stories, both set in Coleshill. I couldn’t decide which was the story for them, which was the story that would best please them and cover some of what they asked for. In the end I asked Roz. Roz Goddard is a fine poet, short story writer and she runs the West Midlands Readers Network; her advice was bang on. She said use the best one.

I knew which was the best story I was just worried it wasn’t right for the group.

I visited the Coleshill Writers Group last Monday and read them the story. They liked it and had some excellent questions for me afterwards. If you’re near Coleshill and are interested in writing you should get down there.

If you’d also like to hear my story entitled Night Swimming, then come join me and a whole host of others at the New Birmingham Library on Monday the 2nd of December, it’ll be great.