What is ‘Reception’?

In 2011 I went to Australia and had a great time in Cairns and the surrounding rainforest, just poking around and writing bad poetry and doing all of the usual touristy things. It was rather hot and everyone was relaxed and friendly, and I decided that I would spend a couple of days in Tokyo on the way back, you know, seeing as though I was in the neighbourhood.
It was a long flight from Cairns to Tokyo and when I arrived I caught a bus to the city and found the hotel, by which time it was about midnight, only to find that he hotel had completely lost any information about my stay. Not exactly an adventure, I know, but I was jet lagged, tired, and kind of culturally confused after having just arrived from the rainforest of Australia to the most modern metropolis on the planet.
While I was there an idea came for a novella which I started writing immediately, jotting down paragraphs and descriptions as I walked around the city. I flew back to England and wrote the whole manuscript in a couple of weeks. I’d just finished the last few paragraphs when I discovered that there had been the earthquake and the tsunami. My thoughts turned to the people I’d met and I wondered how they were and whether they’d lost loved ones.
I spent the next couple of years refining the manuscript and rewriting it, but at the same time my performance poetry was picking up and I really became swamped with poetry and spoken word gigs, until I put the manuscript aside and completely forgot about it for three years or so. By chance I came across it this year and thought, hmmm, I should really do something with this.
So I have published ‘Reception’ in all its glory. Rereading it now is a strange experience because it brings back so many of the people and situations I found myself in. Almost all of the novel is true, from the young lady I met in the coffee shop, to the man playing bagpipes. The back story of the Robert character, involving Ryan and Darren, is completely made up, though the idea of it came to me while I was in Tokyo.
It’s a happy little book which I really enjoyed writing. My style has changed dramatically since, so it’s a fascinating insight into the preoccupations I had at the time, and the philosophical nuance which I laid over everything. Sufficient distance has passed for it to read as if someone else has written it.
Reception is for sale for £7.99 from the Lulu website.

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