Prelude – Autumn 2016

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Greetings dear readers, welcome to the autumn issue.

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Well, after a deliciously long summer and unseasonably warm September we’ve finally arrived at that season of mists and mellow fruitfulness (such a well-used phrase, but so apt).

Our little crab apple tree is groaning under the weight of its fruit and yesterday morning the first few impossibly glossy conkers appeared, fallen in the dew-spangled grass. Just the other evening, while stepping out to clear my head, I could see my breath on the air, the first sign of the waning year. But even so, the days continue to defy expectations and bring us summer warmth. Even now, writing this, I’m sitting in the garden in shorts and T-shirt. I’m not complaining.

But what a summer of creativity we’ve had to slake our aesthetic thirst, with art trails, pop-up galleries, live theatre and performance – Worthing Theatres’ Summer of Circus brought us thrilling energy, a total highlight – plus music and literary festivals and a slew of indie authors producing new work for the discerning reader, two of which are reviewed in this issue.

Now, more than ever, it is easier for the aspiring writer to bring his or her work to the public eye, giving a voice to many hitherto untold stories. Judging by the number of successful authors whose first attempts at getting published were fraught with difficulty, this can only be a good thing. J K Rowling is a well-known example of this – Harry Potter almost didn’t exist beyond her imagination. Another case in point is author R J Ellory – who we had the pleasure of interviewing (see page 49) – whose award-winning crime fiction novels have met with acclaim on both sides of the pond, but he struggled to get his first novel, Candlemoth, published. Now, with 13 novels under his belt and a fistful of awards, you could say that he has answered his critics. There is so much great writing out there, I wonder anyone has time to get bored! I saw a woman in a café this afternoon, playing some arcade-style game on her iPad, sending little coloured balls across the screen to knock out other little coloured balls… it made me sad. I nearly went over and gave her a book…

The Worthing Symphony Orchestra season starts again after their summer hiatus, bringing world-class musicians to the Worthing Assembly Hall with its wonderful acoustics. I attended their Remembrance Sunday concert last year and it was an unforgettable afternoon. This year’s concert marking the lives lost at the Somme 100 years ago looks to be just as memorable.

It goes against the grain to start thinking, let alone talking, about Christmas while we’re still sunning ourselves in the resplendence of early autumn – but needs must. The industrious makers and artists across the South Downs and High Weald (and beyond) are readying themselves for the festive season. In our Spotlight On… section you will find a plethora of creative gift ideas for the discerning consumer.

Read on and enjoy!

Gill Kaye, editor

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