Richard Bardsley was born in Sale,
Manchester in 1975. After graduating Film Studies from Sheffield Hallam
University, he moved to London and worked as a freelance video
with Richard Bardsley
How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?
Richard Bardsley: I
guess about a year and a half altogether, in fits and spurts between
freelance work projects.
TSR: Did you
have a collection in mind when you were writing them?
RB: Not really, though I
knew when I was brewing ideas that I wanted to do a themed collection
with a universal subject matter, something along the lines of Birthday Stories,
the anthology edited by Haruki Murakami.
TSR: How did
you choose which stories to include and in what order?
RB: The order was
dictated to a certain degree by the structure of body parts I'd chosen,
which ran from head to toe, the opposite of the old song, Dem Bones, though I
obviously didn't include every single minute part of the body. As for
deciding which stories to include, the collection was written at random
rather than consecutively, and since I wanted the styles, voices and
tone of each one to vary, I went back a few times, had a cull and
started again from scratch if successive stories became too repetitive.
It all sounds rather calculated but it actually happened quite
harmoniously. In the final book we left a few stories out, Countenance for
example, which was a lot longer than other stories and didn't really
fit in. I also had more than one story for a few body parts, and
obviously the best ones won and the losers remain lurking on my hard
drive like spurned Billy-no-mates.
TSR: What does the word "story"
mean to you?
that holds your interest as a reader.
TSR: Do you
have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?
Tastes are too specific even between people who share roughly the same
palate. I just go with a gut feeling of whether what I've written is
good enough for me, and if it is, hopefully other slightly odd people
will like it.
TSR: Is there
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your
anything at all?
RB: Just the usual:
Did you like it?
TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
RB: Odd! Having
something in the public sphere kind of feels like you've left your
curtains and windows open at night. But generally it's a pretty
exhilarating thing to have happen to a person, especially one who has
always wanted to write.
TSR: What are
you working on now?
RB:I'm doing prep
work on a satirical novel that I'll be starting soonish. It might
concern osmosis of some sort and is tentatively titled This Is How I Will Destroy You.
TSR: What are
the three most recent short story collections you've read?
RB: A Winter Book by Tove Jansson; The Nimrod Flip-Out by Etgar Keret; and The Tent by Margaret Atwood. Or Collected Stories by Vladimir Nabokov, I can't remember.