Chilled Ambient

I left Greece without knowing his name. Our encounter was fleeting, troubling. Not a summer romance. You can’t romance a dead person. Besides, my heart is already tied up in knots over someone else, and that person — oh, why bother being coy? Arjun. He doesn’t feel the same way about me. Why would he?

from Liquid Continent

I’ve been absent from this blog for a while as I begin the process of writing the first draft of my ambient literature story. “Liquid Continent” resides within a storyworld I’ve been creating over the past two years; my main character, Flo Evans, is a young woman who can communicate with the dead through her phone. “Liquid Continent” is about Flo but it’s also about student debt, the workplace, families, friends, and the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. It’s about grief, and longing. Plus jokes. Ideally, you will read my story at night, alone, in your bedroom. You’ll wear your headphones and hunker down, prepared to be chilled and, hopefully, satisfied.

One of the things we’ve been exploring in our research is the way the word “ambient” or, indeed, “ambience,” means different things to different people. One company whose lorries I came across on the motorway the other weekend works with “ambient products that we have successfully been delivering to temperature controlled customers for years.” Their drivers get the right products to the right place at the right temperature. This is not a million miles from what I’d like to do with my ambient literature commission — the right story to the right reader at the right time. After all, who doesn’t relish the idea of an audience of “temperature controlled customers”?

I’m going to tell you a story. It’s a bedtime story. It doesn’t matter if you’re not in bed. But think about it that way. Imagine it that way.

from Liquid Continent

— Kate Pullinger, May 2017

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