Thursday, 19 September 2013

Cat in the Bag

Well, the pleasant part is done. Good Australian and Chilean wine, a mustard dress (made by Gazèl, feelin' swell - thanks Ale), a shoe competition (Susi won!), a shaky read of a not-too-inappropriate short story ('Gorgeous Eyes' - and now I must explain a 'dessicated road' to a reluctant reader who prefers his authors not-living or, well, dead!), a debate on the merits of the short story (which some continue to find dissatisfying: read PELT!). And a splendid hat. (Penny, I wish I had a photo.)

It was a swell night. Books sold and cheese consumed. A warm, intimate group while the London rain pelted outside. Haha Pelt! Get it?

And now the hard work continues. Blog tour articles and interviews, requests for reviews. Pushing and weighing up. Making proposals. Sounding sassy and interesting. If you thought having a book accepted for publication was difficult then you should try promotion! These days, unless you are Stephen King you will have to pull out a spade and shovel deep. It's as endless as the internet is a frontierless, 24-hour heaving monster. Enter and you will exit with cramped wrists and warped eyes. Hungry and exhausted, the fridge empty and dinner over hours ago...

Who said writing was creative, solitary work? Solitary yes, and creative in terms of being original, finding a entry point into busy, distracted brains. At least I passed through the frosted glass doors of Waterstones Piccadilly and there's a chance 'Pelt' might be stocked there.

So photographs. There aren't many. Said author and friends were too busy drinking and catching up, telling stories, talking of stories. Penny came in a stunning hat. Susi wore divine shoes. Book? What book? Oh yes, that one. Mmmm. 'Pelt and Other Stories'. What on earth was she thinking?

Thanks to all who have bought books, written lovely supportive words, allowed me air space on their blogs, become readers and short story mates.

I have two new lovely interviews this week. Don't be shy and do read them!
Her Royal Majesty, a Paris-based Literary Arts Magazine - an interview with editor Harriet Alida Lye
Ether Books - Who do you think you are? A discussion about voice and authenticity - are you allowed to change gender/race/culture in a short story?
A Guest Post on the lovely Vanessa Gebbie's blog involving art and short stories!
My Life in Short Fiction on the talented Dan Powell's blog

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I'll also be reading an excerpt from the story 'Claudia Cardinale's Flesh-Coloured Lips' at the Literary Marathon of the Women's Fiction Festival at Matera next week. Can't wait!

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Last week's giveaway winner is Jennifer K. Dick with her spectacular answer to short-story-lover question. Please email me Jennifer or leave a message here (


  1. You look happy and proud, as you should be. Wish I could see more of the dress - looks fab!

    1. And tipsy! Wine was very goood. Dress is from Gazèl, my great friend Alessandra's company. I still don't know why she doesn't appreciate my jingle-writing skills: 'Wearing Gazèl, feeling swell, you just can't tell, it isn't Chanel.' She won't have a bar of it!

      Twas a fun night. Very good discussion about the merits of short stories afterwards.

  2. Looks like you had a superb time - congratulations - much deserved. Love the dress - you rock the mustard!

    1. Thanks Rae. Whoever woulda thought? Wearing mustard to a book launch. Had a great night - wished you'd have been able to pop over xx