The Fiction Desk new collection: ‘Crying Just Like Anybody’.
November 12, 2012
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On 20 November, The Fiction Desk releases its new short fiction collection, entitled ‘Crying Just Like Anybody’. This includes a story by me called ‘Can We Have You All Sitting Down, Please?’ Some of you will see a resemblance to Raymond Carver in this title.
This is the third printed book my work has appeared in. It took me five attempts to get a story accepted by this outlet, which I don’t think is too bad. I don’t know any of the other contributors to this collection, other than through a few messages on Twitter. When ‘Slow Dance With A Skeleton’ won 2nd prize in the Grist Short Fiction competition in 2011, there was a launch party at the Huddersfield Literary Festival. This time there is no launch party, but I would expect that the collection, which will also be available to download in Kindle format, will reach a wider audience than the Grist collection did.
‘Slow Dance With A Skeleton’ and ‘Can We Have You All Sitting Down, Please?’ are very different stories. I don’t just mean that the characters, setting and plot are different. I mean that the way I came up with the ideas and wrote them are different. SDWAS gained its title from a chance remark made by my son, Jared, as we were preparing a room for a Hallowe’en party. It struck me instantly as the title of something, but I did not know what. I kept it in my notebook and it started to crystallise during a creative writing course I took with the Open University. The story is a very selective re-telling of relationship events, most of which actually happened. I just re-arranged them in order to make a story. CWHYASDP is entirely fictional. In technique and style, I think it is the better of the two. SDWAS covers much too long a span of time for a short story. The main part of CWHYASDP is over in less than an hour. It is partly an attempt to emulate Raymond Carver, and to “get out quickly” from a story.