A big welcome to Mandy Huggins for today’s blog. Mandy has two new books to promote, one of which is published by Retreat West Books. You may recall Mandy’s poetic short story, Giddy With It, in last year’s anthology from Retreat West Books, What was Left. If all that wasn’t keeping her busy, she’s just been announced as judge for a travel writing competition from imustbeoff.com.
Those of you who have been following the exciting developments at Retreat West Books will know that my first full-length short story collection, Separated From the Sea, will be published in June. I’m really enjoying working on the book with Amanda, and I can’t wait to see it in print.
However, that’s not the only fabulous thing that’s happening in my writing career this year – it seems that just like buses, books come along in twos! I’m also thrilled to announce that my first flash fiction collection, Brightly Coloured Horses, has just been published by Chapeltown Books.
I love the flash fiction form, the challenge of crafting a complete story in a few hundred words and striving to make every one of those words count. Capturing entire worlds, creating plots and characters, evoking a gamut of emotions in a few short paragraphs, fully aware that you have to pull the reader in from the very first sentence. And you know you’ve got it right when people tell you that they were moved to tears in those few hundred words, or that they couldn’t stop laughing, or that they want to know ‘what happened to her next.’
And it’s amazing how many oak trees grow from these tiny flash acorns. So many of the stories in Brightly Coloured Horses have developed into longer stories, many of which will appear in Separated From the Sea – because I had to find out what happened next as well!
Publishing and promoting two books in the same year isn’t for the faint-hearted – I have a full time job in engineering as well – but I’m certainly learning fast. I want to give both my books their best chance in the world, and I’m lucky to be working with two dedicated indie publishers. I know Amanda is totally committed to making Retreat West Books a success for both herself and the authors she signs, and I really appreciate her faith in my writing.
“Twenty-seven tales of betrayal and loss, of dreams and hopes, of lovers, liars and cheats. Stories with a strong sense of place, transporting us from the seashore to the city, from India’s monsoon to the heat of Cuba, and from the supermarket aisle to a Catalonian fiesta. We meet a baby that never existed, a car called Marilyn, a one-eyed cat, and a boy whose kisses taste of dunked biscuits.
These stories all have something in common; each is a glimpse of what it’s like to be human. We make mistakes, we do our best, and most of the time we find hope”
Already garnering 5-star reviews, Brightly Coloured Horses is available both in paperback and for Kindle.
Thanks Mandy! The cover of Separated From the Sea will be unveiled tomorrow (Wednesday, 28th March 2018) across our social media.
You can follow Mandy on Twitter.
Mandy is judging a travel writing competition at imustbeoff.com