Pangea is here! Or, more accurately, Pangea is all over the world.
As hinted at in the title, Pangea: An Anthology of Stories from Around the Globe is a collection of stories written by writers from far reaching corners of the world – 25 writers from 13 countries, in fact. I went to its UK launch last Thursday, at Blackwell’s in Bristol, and heard award winning contributor Vanessa Gebbie read her beautifully written and wrought story, ‘Breakdown’; a tragic tale about Tom, a breakdown man – breaking down. The stories in Pangea feature a range of different voices covering themes of loss, identity and entrapment, and order versus chaos, with ’Breakdown’ fitting into the ‘loss’ category.
I was also gripped by ‘You’re Dead’ read by author, Tom Remer Williams; an unsettling story slipping nicely into the ‘chaos versus order’ theme.
But as well as being hugely impressed with the worldwide spread of authors and range of voice and style of the stories in Pangea, I’m also impressed with the huge choir of voices announcing its launch – even Nokia have got in on the act! Obviously the internet plays a vital role, but who wrote the score and conducted this choral symphony? I asked Sarah Hilary, author publicist, to tell me a bit about the stories behind the global spread of Pangea‘s promotion.
Hi, Debs, and thanks for hosting this leg of the Pangea blog tour. You’re quite right about the choir of voices, and I like your symphony analogy (we had our fair share of bum notes along the way, but it’s good to see – or hear? – it all coming together now). You’re right, too, about the internet playing a vital role. However, my part in the publicity came about as a result of living in Bristol and meeting up with Rebecca Lloyd, one of the editors. Since Rebecca also lives in Bristol, she suggested we meet up and as we chatted it struck me that I could do something to help promote the anthology. There are really important stories in Pangea (and some light relief, too, such as my kitsch offering, LoveFM) – they deserve a wide audience. Talking with Rebecca, I discovered that I felt pretty passionate about this. Small presses are great, and thank goodness for them, but it was clear that if Pangea was going to get the attention it needed, we the authors would need to take charge of promoting the anthology.
With so many authors involved, I relied on the internet and social media to get things going. Quite a few of our authors aren’t online, however, so there was juggling to be done. Luckily, everyone had email so I was able to establish contact and discuss how best we could involve everyone in the campaign to get Pangea noticed, talked about and read.
Our authors are a fascinating bunch. Joel Willans, for example, works for Nokia and writes features for their hugely popular blog, Nokia Connects. Thanks to Joel, Pangea reached an audience of around 8million online, on 18th July. That’s simply astounding, by any standards.
Then there’s Caroline Robinson who lives in a caravan on her own croft in the Scottish Highlands, and blogs about her cats and chickens. Our authors really do span the globe, and their stories do something wonderful – they bring the world close, for everyone.
Thanks very much, Sarah. And I defy anyone to read ‘LoveFM’ without going straight back to read it again – and discover its subtleties!