September Fringe: Chloe Headdon & Anna Smith Spark

Thanks to some very fast work by Tom Parker we have Monday’s Fringe readings available already.

Our first reader for September was Chloe Headdon, who had so impressed us in the April open mic.

Ever since she was little Chloe has wanted to be either a writer or a knight, so she now combines a bit of both. Chloe’s work is inspired by myths and legends, especially King Arthur, medieval history, and the British landscape. She is currently working on a young adult fantasy novel as well as other short stories. In her spare time, Chloe practises Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) and can regularly be found fighting people twice her size with swords.

Chloe read from the opening chapters of her novel. Before she got going, I introduced a guest from the USA.

Next up was Anna Smith Spark. She lives in London, and loves grimdark and epic fantasy and historical military fiction. Anna has a BA in Classics, an MA in history and a PhD in English Literature. She has previously been published in the Fortean Times and the poetry website www.greatworks.org. Previous jobs include petty bureaucrat, English teacher and fetish model.

The first book in the Empires of Dust series (The Court of Broken Knives) was published by Harper Voyager in June 2017. Anna read from the opening chapters of the book.

Finally there was the Q&A. I talked to Chloe about hitting people with big swords and her job in the heritage industry. I have huge admiration for her willingness to get in an arena to fight Francesca Terminiello. I talked to Anna about epic poetry, studying ancient history, what she feeds her shoes, and whether she had any advice for Chloe about getting published. Then Justin Newland asked a philosophical question about history and we discovered that, with three historians on a panel, the discussion can go on for ever. The conversation touched on the sex life of Alexander the Great and tasteless bathroom conversions in historic buildings.

Pete Sutton previewed this year’s Bristol literary festivals, of which BristolCon will of course be a part. The festivals seem to be breeding as we now have a horror convention and a poetry festival in October as well as the Festival of Literature. There are rumors of a festival devoted to Westerns as well.

There is no Fringe next month, but there will be an open mic at BristolCon. The guests for November are Jonathan L Howard & Baylea Hart.

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