|Posted by Stuart Hughes on October 24, 2011 at 12:20 PM|
Derby Scribes member Richard Farren Barber talks to Hampton Reviews about his short story "Last Respects" - published in the Derby Scribes 2011 Anthology.
Richard says, "'Last Respects' is a short story set in the World War I trenches. I ended up reading a lot about the Battle of the Somme and events on the 1st July 1916 in particular. This was after I’d written the first draft of the story and so I wanted to ensure what I wrote was factually correct. For me, I think the genesis of the story was considering what people consider worth enough to sacrifice their own life – whether that was for another person, a philosophy or the idea of freedom. There’s something about people who are prepared to give up their life for an ideal which I find fascinating.
"The title was very much suggested by the ending of the story – without giving too much away. I didn’t want it to be a “twist in the tail” story where the reader gets surprised at the end with how events turn out for Bryan (the main character). When I was writing the story I think the words that were uppermost in my mind at the time was respect – respecting those who made the ultimate sacrifice. I was intrigued by the stories I’d heard about the first world war soldiers who climbed out of the trenches and *walked* to certain death. That calm, measured pace very much set the tone of the piece for me."