The toad, work (an appreciation)
My new novel, Serious Things, will be published in hardback at the end of January. Though it’s early days yet, the advance reaction seems positive, with a couple of national newspapers taking an interest and booksellers not troubling their noses with too many wrinkles. I hope to ‘launch’ the book in
It’s now more than six months since I finished tampering with Serious Things, and I have to confess that I haven’t started work in earnest on its successor. There are two projects in the pipeline (as well as a completed collection of stories which is still looking for a buyer) but I’ve yet to decide which novel idea to pursue first. One is projected to be a rollicking dystopian fantasy; the other should be quieter and contemporary in setting, a character-driven comedy. I sometimes think I may be running scared from the more ambitious project; yet part of me really fancies, and I hope honestly, the smaller (yet not much less frightening) challenge of a social comedy.
Meanwhile, my great obsession this year has been writing very short stories. There are currently 36 of these Fleeting Tales (the working title of a planned collection) and they range widely in style and form and content. The only rules are that no story can exceed 1000 words (most are about 600 words) and each must tell, or at least suggest, a complete narrative. One of these stories, ‘Gorgon’, I have posted on this blog. Another, ‘The Siren of May’ will be broadcast on The Verb on BBC Radio 3 on 14th December at 9 p.m. Tune in to hear me talk with the great Ian McMillan about mini fiction and ‘playing with words’!