On Steve Carr
I first became acquainted with Steve Carr when I started to explore the world of independent writing back in 2017. His name seemed to be everywhere: short stories were being published in a wide variety of venues, and sometimes the social media posts announcing these successes appeared more than once a day, for different stories printed in different places. Whoever Steve Carr was, I thought, he seemed to be onto something.
And then I thought: ‘What if a reader wanted to read more than one story by Steve? Where would they go?’ and the idea occurred to me that what Steve needed was a collection of stories published in his own name so that readers could find him. I approached Steve and he was amenable to the project. In fairly short order, we (Steve and my publishing company Clarendon House Publications) had the now-legendary collection entitled Sand available to readers everywhere, and it proved very popular.
It was followed over the months by other collections of Steve’s stories by Clarendon House, eventually including the hardback volume The Very Best of Steve Carr, and then, when I launched the Inner Circle Writers’ Magazine, Steve was the first author to feature on the cover and in an interview inside. The picture you see now circulating of him (above) was one which I managed to persuade him to have taken for that very cover. He and I were in close touch for a couple of years, and it was I who urged him to produce the collection of stories for children, The Tales of Talker Knock.
As the years went by, Steve moved on to develop Sweetycat Press, his own imprint, which produced ambitious and successful anthologies of its own, and we dropped out of regular communication, but I always found him to be passionate, generous and skilled as a writer. His stories struck me as deeply cinematic. Though he occasionally protested that he was no poet, I begged to differ: his poetry was in imagery, often haunting, frequently unique, so visual on occasion that it became almost musical.
It was with disbelief that I first heard of his recent passing. I wondered, indeed, in these strange times of social media rumours in which we live, whether it might not be true, and whether he would soon pop up to proclaim that he was indeed still alive. But as time drew on, no such pronouncement appeared, and now I must accept that he has, in fact, departed from us.
His presence on the stage of independent writing — passionate, kind, magnanimous, gifted — will leave a void. Let us try to fill it with our memories and gratitude, and remember Steve Carr in our hearts.
Thanks for the stories, Steve.