Introduction: Paul Servini
Eight years ago my family moved to a small, historical town in the East of France. We knew just one married couple here. First priority was to get to know people and to make friends. I can still remember flicking through the catalogue of the local cultural centre and coming upon the advertisement for the creative writing group. “Out of the question. They all write in French,” I told my wife… and myself. Yet, I was tempted. “I could give it a try. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll just quit.” I did and I almost quit after the first session. I’m glad I didn’t.
Apart from the occasional over-long missive sent to an unsuspecting friend, that was my first foray into anything vaguely resembling serious writing. But the seeds were sewn years before in the hundreds, even thousands of books I devoured from childhood onwards. People telling their stories; telling them in such a way that they captured my interest and made me want to read on. That for me, is the essence of fiction writing: people. My characters are real people. They only live in my mind but that doesn’t make them any less real. My job is to enable them to express themselves; gives them words that draws in the reader.
So doubtless, a lot of what you’ll be hearing from me will have characters as their subject. There are a lot of them about and I’m sure you know a lot that I’ve never met. Please feel free to share with me.
Eight years on I still participate in that writing group. I have also become part of the Write Anything community, through which I have been able to develop and hone my writing. You can read some of my short fiction at Writer’s Notebook. I’ve also had stories published in the Chinese Whisperings and Literary Mixed Tape volumes.