short story collections step into the
find something to read by:


Author Name

Website: RichardBardsley.net

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 editor. 

Short story collections

Body Parts: An Anatomy of Love (Salt Modern Fiction, 2008) 

Reviewed by Petra Fromm

Interview with Richard Bardsley

The Short Review: 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?

RB:  Anything that holds your interest as a reader.

TSR: Do you have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?

RB: Nope. 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
collection, 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.