I have a free Kindle book promotion running over the next two weeks on Amazon: “At Maunston Quay” – 1st to 5th March “Degrees of Separation” – 6th to 10th March “Secrets & Wisdom” – 11th to 15th March
To call Ernest Heminway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” a collection of short stories is a mis-labelling. Indeed, it could be argued that very few of the eighteen tales within the book qualify as a ‘short story’. Many are very short – almost vignettes – and a number, which all centre around the same character –… Read More “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”
I have, in the not too distant past, been less than complimentary about Ernest Hemingway (To Have and Have Not). Undaunted, I decided to try “Men Without Women”, and I confess to be really pleased to have done so. The stories are lean and enigmatic. The medium seems to suit Hemingway’s somewhat ‘punchy’ style, and… Read More “Men Without Women”
OK. Let’s get a couple of things clear up front… This post isn’t about speed-dating Actually I’ve never had any experience of speed-dating, so if you hear anything to the contrary they are just vile rumours So, speed-dating. The ‘topic’ – or at least the title of the topic – comes from a recent post… Read More Speed-dating
There is a tremendous degree of variety in Zadie Smith’s short story collection, “Grand Union”. Variations in style, theme, tempo. There is also (for me at least) considerable variation in terms of what one might euphemistically – and dangerously! – bracket as ‘accessibility’. Some of the writing is breathtaking; some less so. A number of… Read More “Grand Union”
I daresay a case could be made to argue that it is only when a novelist is writing short stories that you get a true measure of their abilities: the need to be economical but not too sparse; the creation of a plot that is coherent but not over-blown; the establishing of character without having… Read More “The Shell Collector”
Today is the first ‘new Monday’; the first whole week where I can decide what I do with my time, how much I write. Staggeringly it is a month since I wrote The Daunting Prospect of Reinvention – and what’s more bizarre is that it feels as if I have been footloose and fancy-free for more… Read More Missing work already..?
Although I first came across Anthony Doerr through his novel “All the Light We Cannot See”, if you wanted a more subtle introduction then his collection of short stories then “Memory Wall” wouldn’t be a bad place to start. The stories are engaging and well-written, and you somehow feel ‘safe’ in Doerr’s hands. The subject… Read More “Memory Wall”
“Thirteen Ways of Looking” is the novella headlining this collection where it is joined by three much shorter stories. Although the subject matter of each is different, they all share a number of characteristics like tone, voice and style. More importantly, they also have in common the fact that they are really well-written. I admit… Read More “Thirteen Ways of Looking”
Perhaps to start with a caution. Even though “Tenth of December” is a collection of short stories, you are going to have to work at them. This is partly because of their gritty realism, and partly because of remarkably fluid style George Saunders chooses to write them in. Often you find a mixture of real… Read More “Tenth of December”
I can’t quite decide whether or not I should recommend this small Vintage ‘mini’ as a suitable introduction to the work of Haruki Murakami. The stories in “Desire” are more or less typical of his style and – interestingly – they give each of his major into-English translators a run-out too. (Through experience, I’ve found… Read More “Desire”
This week – Monday 30th March to Friday 3rd April – Amazon are giving away free Kindle copies of my collection of short stories, “Secrets & Wisdom”. So today’s the last day! Recently I read one of the stories from this volume, “Welshman” (see the link below). Now you have the chance to get the… Read More Free e-book this week – last chance!
This week – Monday 30th March to Friday 3rd April – Amazon are giving away free Kindle copies of my collection of short stories, “Secrets & Wisdom”. Recently I read one of the stories from this volume, “Welshman” (see the link below). Now you have the chance to get the whole collection absolutely free! Partly… Read More Free e-book this week!
I have always wanted to read my short story “Welshman”. Written a while ago, it was published in 2017 in my collection of short stories “Secrets & Wisdom”. I hope you like it.
Really looking forward to appearing on the panel of writers at this free event in Ripon Library on 14th March, being grilled about being a writer – and only having a minute to answer each question!
Later, after the fog had lifted, I discovered I had become invisible. It had tumbled down the hill like an afterthought forgotten by the morning, as if it had missed its alarm call and was trying to make up for lost time, scurrying across the lake to where I sat alone, accompanied only by the… Read More Anonymous – a short story
The idea is simple enough. A bi-annual literary compendium containing prose, poetry, and literary non-fiction. It would be produced in paperback book not pamphlet form, and probably run to about 200-pages long. Significantly, the bulk of the content would most likely come from writers capable of crafting high-quality material yet who are struggling to get… Read More Is there room in the market for a new literary journal?
One of the things at which Kazuo Ishiguro excels is writing first person characters who have flawed views of themselves; they believe they are perfectly rational, charming, intelligent, while all the while they are something other. And he depicts them in such a way as to allow us to see both sides, permitting us to… Read More “Nocturnes”
Someone’s moved the goal posts. The Holy Grail has shifted. It used to be that writers dreamed of being published, because ‘being published’ meant something. Now, thanks to Indie Publishing and services likes Amazon’s KDP, lulu, IngramSpark etc., getting published is a piece of cake; having your words turned to into real physical books (or… Read More Getting published is easy; it’s getting read that’s hard…
Occasionally you come across posts from people who are struggling to write, either because they say they can’t find a subject, or because they are waiting for ‘the Muse’ / inspiration to hit them. But in a way, writing is no different from almost any other endeavour. Take golf. When once teased about how much… Read More Just write! It can be that easy…