I suppose authors know best. They probably go round thinking that there are certain shorter pieces they have written, which really could do with being published. And sometimes the world, or publishers, don’t agree. So you do it yourself.
That’s what Colin Bateman did with his Dublin Express collection, albeit with a little help from his friends, through a kickstarter crowd funding campaign. This is the book he sold from under the table at Bloody Scotland, and I believe it went the same way as hot cakes traditionally do.
Colin read The Prize to us, and it’s everything that you want from Bateman; very witty and a little rude and offering surprises here and there. Simple, but no one wrote it before him, so…
I’d come across some of the stories, or bits of them, before. It’s good to have them collected in one volume. Still not sure what the characters mean about those uncomfortable leather trousers, but I refuse to ask. It might prove embarrassing.
And then there is National Anthem, Colin’s play for the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival 2010. It’s Irish. I understand it was a sell-out. He’s good.