Ezra Williams

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Ezra Williams – Appreciation

Ezra Williams

Ezra joined the TSL fold through a Harrow Opera connection who is also a TSL author Rachel Haywood. Ezra had a collection of short stories he was looking to publish – the result was Fairytales and Oddities, illustrated by Steve Poulacheris.
I can’t say I fully understand all of Fairytales and Oddities – it’s definitely not what I understand Fairytales to be, and is also definitely not for children. Ezra’s imagination comes to the fore in this compilation of writing which is well constructed and crafted. He is a versatile word artist and performer.
More my style is Losing Henry which he had published before joining TSL, and also his second book with us, Selected Pieces. The former being a story I’ve previously reviewed, while the latter is a collection of more journalistic pieces he’d written over the years. While more conventional in style, both contain elements of the quirky (to me) thought processes he exhibits in Fairytales and Oddities.
An accomplished Tenor, Ezra has been musical director for Harrow Opera, performs himself and composes – I wait to hear the outcome of his current project. The synopsis of it sounds quite intriguing and in a different direction to what I’ve seen so far produced by Ezra.

TSL author Leslie Tate interviewed Ezra on Radio Dacorum in 2022 – listen here.

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Prologues

Have you ever wondered what a prologue is? or whether to use it in the book you’re writing?
Below are a few thoughts by others on the topic, including a definition.

Prologues: what are they and how did they originate?

Some more on prologues.

A very useful post.

Why not to have a prologue.

I’ve noticed in recent years that the word Prologue is being substituted with Foreword (common in academic/non-fiction writing but becoming more popular in fiction) and Introduction. I suppose essentially ‘pre-story’ is the best substitute for the prologue whereas foreword and introduction generally provide other information the author thinks the reader should know, such as the reason for compiling a collection of short stories. As a reader, it depends on what I’m reading the book for as to whether I read the pre-story sections, as a minimum they all get a skim through. And for some of the information which is often included in the pre-writing section, it could work just as well at the end as an after-word. Here I’m thinking in particular of historical novels where the author sets out what they changed/adapted from the historical account – very useful for those of us who like to check historical accuracy…

TSL books which stand out as having a prologue/pre-story (other than historical books) include:
Alexander Crombie’s So Long Henry Bear.
Jitendra Kumar Mishra’s play The Cobbles of Kanke
James Martin Charlton’s historical fiction script Divine Vision
Ezra William’s short story collection Selected Pieces and Sue Hampton‘s various short story collections.

first published 25 September 2017, updated 2024

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April performances involving TSL authors

Harrow Opera double bill – Ezra Williams is music director
18 & 19 April 2024 at 7.30pm
20 & 21 April 2024 at 3pm
Venue:
Compass Theatre, Ickenham, UB10 8PD
Box office: 01895 250615
Performing:
The Medium – music and libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti
Il Tabarro by Giacomo Puccini – sung in English in a new translation by Leon Berger
Stage Direction: Leon Berger
Music Direction: TSL author Ezra Williams

Clement Attlee by Francis Beckett
Friday 26 & Saturday 27 April @ 7.30pm
Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 April @ 2.30pm
Venues in Harrogate and Ripon – see leaflet for details or visit www.redwalltheatre.org.uk
For more on Clement Attlee and Francis Beckett, click here

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Losing Henry by Ezra Williams #Shortstories #Review

Losing Henry is Ezra’s first published book of short stories. Published in 2007, 14 years before Fairytales and Oddities, it is a very different book to the latter.
The stories are more grounded, less abstract and a few have the same characters appearing. I’m not one for reading titles (or blurbs) – I prefer to get straight into a story so was rather surprised that having read two different stories about losing Henry, the one I thought was to be the title story wasn’t.

Both Ezra’s books are well crafted and written, depicting states of mind which is not surprising given the decade plus between the books. In their own way, they are commentaries of the societies of the time – I’m tempted to say London society but that is too specific, and British is too broad, so read them yourself and decide.

Don’t always expect a happy ending – life is not like that and that’s a trait of Ezra’s writing. He’s not afraid to tackle the darker side of life (or taboos for that matter). He pushes the boundaries – more so in Fairytales and Oddities than in Losing Henry.

TSL has published various collections of short stories – from the more traditional by Josie Arden, through to quaint English with a twist in Tea at the Opalaco (Jane Lockyer Willis) to activism and social change (Sue Hampton and Amna Agib). Nick Horgan and Johannes Kerkhoven have their own niche as does John Samson‘s Cold Fiction inspired by the album Cold Fact.

Of these, Losing Henry aligns most with Stuffed! while for ‘off the wallness’ and abstractness, Cold Fiction and Fairytales and Oddities take prime position.

If you would like to purchase a copy of Losing Henry, please contact TSL Publications so arrangements can be made… all other books are available through the links above.

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TSL author videos #Video #Creative #Insights

Some TSL authors have created videos related to their books. Click on the image to purchase the book(s).

Book titleAuthorVideo link
Francis Beckett

(video features TSL author, Clive Greenwood)
A Youtube taster of my play A Modest Little Man, with @greenwood_clive
as the king, Roger Rose as Clem Attlee, and Lynne O'Sullivan as Violet Attlee.
Mavis Pachtervideo
Ezra WilliamsRadio Interview
Part 1
Part 2
Intros to ...
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Margaret L Moorevideo
Robbie CheadleRobbie's son Greg has captured some videos of Robbie and Michael baking showing you how to make their various creations. Alongside the videos on TSL, Greg and Robbie now have their own channel
Melville Lovatt, Theatre, MonologueMelville LovattThe Wall’ and ‘The Teddy Bear’ from his collection Standing Alone are on YouTube by East Lane Theatre Company
Dave RobsonIntro
Part 2
Ezra WilliamsRiverside Radio ; Radio Dacorum
Poets of the 3rd Agepodcast
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Ezra Williams

About Ezra Williams

Ezra Williams was born in Alaska during a particularly harsh storm in 1978. Fairytales and Oddities is his second collection of short stories, following 2007’s Losing Henry, and he is currently working on a novel, Weltschmerz Inc, a ghost story. His writing has appeared in numerous anthologies, periodicals, and on the stage. He is an award-winning musician, a sometime comedian and enthusiastic filmmaker, and lives in London with his partner and three tortoises.

Listen to Ezra discuss his books and writing etc on Youtube

Books by Ezra