India Knight’s Comfort and Joy

I really wanted to like this book. I love India’s columns in The Times, and find her tweets often hilarious – especially when she and Caitlin Moran are watching Downton Abbey at the same time. I think she usually has a lot of interesting things to say and a sarcastic, yet honest, way of writing. It doesn’t feel, in her columns, as though she’s going for a cheap laugh or a moment’s entertainment at the expense of the point she’s trying to make. But I didn’t feel the same warmth from her novel. Set over three conscutive Christmas Days, 2009-11, …

Christmas Ghost Stories

Ghost stories always seem to have a particular resonance at Christmas. Perhaps it’s the atmospheric frost, fog and snow that almost inevitably occurs. Perhaps it’s the late-night images of telling them around the fire, or the thought that somehow there is something about Christmas, the way that people are so open with one another and more forgiving, which thins the boundaries of this world and another. The Victorian Christmas annuals became a tradition of ghost stories, with famour authors vying to have their contributions accepted – particularly in those published by the likes of Dickens. The Turn of the Screw …

E-Publishing stories

In this post, I’m going to look at the three main e-publishing options available for short stories – amazon, lulu and my own website. Having decided to experiment with e-publishing I chose a story I’d written while at university and think is pretty good. As much as anything, I want to see what the process is like and whether it’s viable. Obviously, when trying to sell writing, marketing is crucial, and that’s something to look into once I’ve got my head around making it available. There is clearly an option to post writing online for free on various websites like …

First steps into e-publishing

In September, I took the (scary!) step of entering my name for the Ilkley Literature Festival open mike competition that ends the festival. October, then, found me reading a short story in front of around 40 people. It was an experience that had me literally shaking – despite standing on my feet all day talking in front of people, nothing scares me like seeing people read my own creative work…except reading it to them. Despite my nerves, however, I was pleased to be Highly Commended by the judges – who said that it as brave to atempt a short story …