Picture the scene, group of people and someone suddenly announces "I've written a novel"? Does it pique your interest or do you want to run and hide? I hope it is the former! To be truthful I've written a couple of novels, they are currently collecting dust in a drawer. One day I will show them daylight, re-read them and quite likely, re-write them.
Short stories, now that's a different story - literally. It seems I am able not only to write these, they get published too. I suspect because I'm always in a hurry to get a story out there. I glean satisfaction from seeing the beginning, middle and end come together in a relatively short space of time.
How did I get into writing? It starts with reading – lots. A book a week from a very young age. I was also fortunate to have amazing English teachers at school, one in particular who would read extracts from novels with passion worthy of winning an Oscar. Next ingredient: a vivid imagination (that's what my Mum has always said and I'm not going to question that!) Add a touch of eavesdropping, it is incredible what you overhear especially on a work commute. Mix together, let it 'bake' for a while and hey presto - a story.
Armed with a catalogue of short stories I attended a few writing courses. I absorbed every bit of information and buoyed by encouragement and advice I began to submit. A few appeared in magazines and then I was asked to write for Accent Press who at the time were producing charity novels rather cheekily called Sexy Shorts (not as racy as you may think!) So there it was my stories in a couple of books – Sexy Shorts for Lovers and Sexy Shorts for the Beach. I was in good company too!
It was shortly after these publications a writing competition popped up hosted by Ford Fiesta and Carole Matthews. The challenge: write a short story featuring a Ford Fiesta. Not your everyday subject matter but I thought I would give it a go. My story was based on a couple who were reluctantly separating and quarrelling over who was going to keep the car. It won the competition! My sons can remember me opening the letter and squealing, yes squealing with delight! The prize: a brand new Ford Fiesta for a year and lunch with Carole Matthews. Today my eldest son drives that car and Carole Matthews is one of my closest friends, a competition well worth winning.
I was ready to forge ahead and write, write, write and I did for a while until I was introduced to paper craft and in particular die cutting. I was suddenly on a different road, a hobby then became a business and my writing fell by the wayside. But it is not forgotten. Those dusty novels in the drawer….stay tuned.
Some of my short stories can also be found on my writing blog - Desk Adventures.