Loners is a collection of six stories by Adrian Slatcher, three of which are published for the first time. It also features images created by the artist Steven Heaton in response to the stories. The book is the second in a series of collaborations between writers and artists - the first, Interpolated Stories by David Rose and Leah Leaf, was published in 2022.
The stories vary widely in form, from ‘Last Testament of a Lighthouse Keeper’, ostensibly a written journal, to ‘sleeveless itchery and parched throat’, an unpunctuated monologue. While all six stories are about ‘loners’ in one way or another, it would be wrong to think of the characters as being without hope – in each case, their isolation is something they are trying to break out of, in search of redemption, often after some kind of trauma. The characters are loners out of either choice or circumstance, but it is never easy to be alone.
Adrian Slatcher was born in Staffordshire in 1967. He studied English at Lancaster University, and creative writing at the University of Manchester. He has co-edited several literary magazines, and is a trustee of Castlefield Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in Manchester. His fiction has featured in a number of anthologies, including Best British Short Stories. He has published two poetry pamphlets: Extracts from Levona (2010) and Playing Solitaire for Money (2010). Loners is his first collection of stories.
Steven Heaton is an award-winning artist represented by the Saul Hay Gallery. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, and is held in private collections, galleries and museums throughout England, the United States and Canada.