Reconsidering my place in the local literary scene

After two days of concentrated teen drama (two fifth-graders hitting each other with fallen branches found in the schoolyard and a crying fourteen-year-old lamenting that nobody likes her), I spent last night at the bilingual Brückenschläge reading at the Café Ambiente, a popular venue for readings and literary events in Bremen. German crime and short fiction writer Anette Freundling and Irish poet Terry McDonagh read excerpts from their works.

It was a very nice reading and I had the chance to see some old acquaintances from the university days again. The audience turnout was rather low, though, because of a rival event at the university and the oncoming storm (no, not this oncoming storm).

Finally, the reading also made me consider my place in the local literary community. Now I have been hanging around at the fringes of the Bremen literary scene for years, particularly the English language literary scene, attending readings and working for newleaf. As someone who primarily writes genre, I never quite fitted into a scene driven primarily by literary fiction and poetry, though we also have a pretty strong crime fiction community (only in German alas).

Yesterday night, however, I was struck by how different my path is from that of the other writers present. Because I’m not just the lone genre writer among literary writers and poets, but I also publish my work mainly digital and mainly myself these days, while the other writers publish mainly in print and mainly small press. Plus, my audience and focus is a lot more global than theirs. Of course, e-books are still a tiny part of the market in Germany, though growing, and literary fiction is still largely print in the US as well. Besides, poetry collections are not easy to do in e-book form, though I may try it one day just for the heck of it.

It also struck me that at Pegasus Pulp I’m doing all the work myself that a small army of volunteers used to do at newleaf. Though the experience gained at newleaf has also been invaluable for getting Pegasus Pulp off the ground.

Talking of which, at the Pegasus Pulp blog, I’m looking at the neverending debate about exclusivity with regards to KDP Select and the new iBooks Author software from Apple.

And at the ABC Buhlert blog, I’m looking at the global switchover to renewable energy.

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