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 (

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

For genuine short story lovers: PELT GIVEAWAY !

prosecco in San Marco, Venezia. Move over, Mr. Clooney
The past few days have been heady, full of champagne, white wine and lovely September light. The Pelt Blog tour has kicked off. It started with a radio interview - in Italian - with Australian national multi-cultural radio station SBS (links will follow when I have them - it's not been broadcast yet) and was followed by my guest post Sex and the Short Story (somebody had to write it!) on Averil's naughty blog. Next, a guest post about assembling an interlinked story collection on the talented Tom Vowler's literary blog.

Prolific Mel Ulm of the vastly followed blog has written an insightful and appreciative review. And I have interviews and guests posts to follow in a lazy fashion over the two months (by then you'll be sick of this book!). Here goes. I'll insert the links as they happen:

Interview with Maria Gismondi - SBS Radio Australia 
Sex and the Short Story - chez Averil Dean
Guest post on Tom Vowler's blog
Interview with Rae Fenton - Snow Like Thought blog
Guest post on Kimberly Sullivan's Blog

Guest post with Nuala ni Chonchuir - Women Rule WriterGuest post on Ether Books 
Guest post with Vanessa Gebbie - More News from VG
Radio Interview with Hannah on Talk Radio Europe
Interview with Cate Allen - Aerogramme Writers' Studio
Guest post with Liane Spice - Novel Spaces
Interview with Sue Terry - Whispering Gums

There'll be reviews hopefully, and I'll post a few snippets without driving you mad.

I'd love to offer a virtual glass of champagne and invite you to a mild (not wild after the Young Adults last week) party out in the garden. But, failing that, I can still do a super giveaway. Just tell me: Who is your favourite short story writer and why? Come on, I love competitions! Write your comment below and my soprano daughter will choose a random winner next week.

***BTW If you are near London do come to the Pelt and Other Stories Book Launch!
7pm, Friday 13th September,
The Big Green Bookshop,
Unit 1, Brampton Park Road,
Wood Green
London N22

Venice across the lagoon from San Servola island

for an evening of red wine and raw tales from a dreamy author currently in a Pelt Daze !