Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Death of the Short Story?

Short stories.
I've loved them since, well, since I could read.  And growing up, they made a huge impact on me.  I usually had a short story book on the go most of the time.  Stephen King's 'Skeleton Crew', Clive Barker's 'Books of Blood' or some other short collection was always on my beside table alongside whatever novel I was reading.

But then, for a variety of reasons, they went out of fashion.  Or at least they disappeared from the shelves of my local bookshops (before the bookshops themselves disappeared.). The magazines I also bought for their short fiction also dropped out view one by one. 

When I first heard about e-books a few years back, my first thought (hope?) was: hey, maybe short stories will make a comeback! Thinking about it logically: people are busier, looking for ever quicker forms of entertainment.  Surely, short stories fit that bill perfectly?

Seems not.  Books have, against trend, been getting longer and longer sprouting series and spin-offs as they go.  People seem to like big, complex books. That's where 'the market' is.

So, why to I still write and publish short stories?  Simply: I love them. I love the way they let you experiment.  Sometimes, they're short and almost silly.  And that is part of their charm.  Plus, they don't outstay there welcome:  an idea that needs only a few pages to bloom, should, only be a few pages long. 

I'm not though a zealot or stupid (or that stupid).  I've a finished long form crime novel "White Lies for the Dead" finished and being prepared for a launch at the end of the year - and I'm halfway through writing a second one "The Handover".

 But I'll still keep putting out short fiction e-books from time to time, hoping that the other fans of short stories out there get a kick out of them.


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