Trends of one sort or another

Another short list: for my first and probably only ghost story, which bears the peculiar title ‘Potter, Dimity, Lilies.’ When they announced this news, Spooky Tales/What the Dickens? Magazine promised an ebook anthology and – how lovely! – a paper edition as well. Several months and emails later I have discovered that the anthology has been published online. ‘They’ hadn’t informed the authors.  But no sign of the paper version. This is a pity, because I’d planned to impress my non-ebook friends with it. And it contains some good stories. The winner is brilliant and involves a dog called Zeus. My own story features a parrot called Jack. Maybe these non-human characters signal a new trend in the ghost story genre?

Have just finished Alison Moore’s novel The Lighthouse. This was my second attempt; I’d begun it and given up, not engaged, two years ago. This time round I could hardly bear to put it down. The book hasn’t changed (obviously!) so it must be me. Maybe it’s down to the excellent creative writing course I did (Guardian /UEA on the novel). Or maybe it’s because my own struggle to make my first novel accessible, economical and yet pleasant-to-read has taught me to appreciate Alison’s Moore’s expertise. And it’s encouraging for someone like me to see that there’s a market for a short and fairly ‘quiet’ novel (though The Lighthouse does end wth a shock.)

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