Please join me in welcoming author Annika Perry, shown in the photo above, to the blog today. I have known her for years now and always enjoy her uplifting blog posts. Now she has published a collection of poems, short stories, and flash fiction pieces into The Storyteller Speaks: Powerful Stories to Win Your Heart. Today she talks about the inspiration for writing this book.
First of all, it is an honour and pleasure to be here – thank you so much, Christy. I welcome the opportunity to chat about my debut book; a collection of short stories, flash fiction and poetry entitled The Storyteller Speaks.
There was not one single moment of enlightenment when I decided to create a collection of short stories. Rather it was a slow-drip of realisation over a couple of years. For the most part, my novel, which is now in its final edits, was my main focus of attention. However, I occasionally posted my short stories and flash fiction on my blog.
Following these postings, the first niggling thoughts were ignited of possibly putting the stories together in a book. My stories were greeted with such massive and overwhelming support and acclaim that I was staggered and deeply moved. As an increasing number of bloggers wrote that they looked forward to reading more and when a few even hinted at a book I started to consider the prospect.
Over time short story collections seemed to permeate the literary landscape; on WordPress several writers released their collections and then established and well-known authors followed the trend. One of my favourites was Rachel Joyce’s A Snow Garden and Other Stories. The book entered my heart and stayed. Her seven stories, which subconsciously on writing carried a thread through them, became my mainstay through developing my own collection – living on my desk for the duration of writing my book.
Whilst my stories do not have physical links between them; rereading them whilst parring the selection down to these 21, it didn’t take long for the magic within them to make itself known. That the extraordinary is in all our lives; that there is no ordinary for any of us.
Although writing has been my passion for my whole life it is only in the past few years that I have seriously started to write fiction. I formerly worked within journalism and the timber trade before severe illness followed by motherhood gave me an opportunity to pursue my dream.
In Spring 2014 I won First Prize in a ‘Writing Magazine’ short story competition which gave me the much-needed impetus and confidence boost to take my writing further. Later I was short-listed for an Inktears Short Story Competition which was a delight.
The Storyteller Speaks is my first published book and my first fiction novel, ‘Island Girl’, is in its final editing stages. I hope to publish this novel in 2018. Furthermore I have completed two books for younger children which requires revisions and illustrations before publication. I’m also proud to have some of my work featured in an anthology published by the writing group of which I’m a member.
About the Book
It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever?
In this eclectic mix of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry the pendulum swings between first love and murder, from soul-destroying grief to reconciliation. The tales veer from the sweet satisfaction of revenge to new beginnings, from heart-breaking miscarriages of justice to heart-warming Christmas misadventure.
One common thread binds them all; the belief that there is no such thing as an ordinary life; they’re all extraordinary.
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