The cover of my first short story collection. Huge thanks to Ink Tears Press for all their hard work and skill.
Like many short story writers, I always hoped I might be asked to gather a collection for publication one day. Three years ago, that wish came true.
After entering an Ink Tears competition in which one of my stories was highly commended, they approached me about the possibility of publishing a book. They have produced three stunning hardback collections so far and this autumn, mine will be one of the next to follow.
When Planets Slip Their Tracks includes stories that have won prizes or commendations in competitions. Several have appeared in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies. They are often disturbing and startling, but also sometimes funny, as Jilly Cooper states on the cover.
The binding theme is how people's lives teeter on the brink. Since we are all finely-tuned, precariously balanced waifs, an unforeseen wind or turn of the tide can cause us to waver off-course. The stories show how ordinary people cope when that happens. Sometimes life presents them with a dilemma and sometimes a fluctuation within their own minds makes them falter.
Although the man in the cover picture battles against driving rain, he also appears to be enclosed by it; separated from - and protected by - the more savage turbulence life brings. The rain could be a torment or a haven. Perhaps both.
For all the characters in the stories, life deals blows that can conceal blessings, and blessings that sometimes turn into blows.
For those who may not have seen me talking about short stories and how I write, this is the video of the interview I did with Ink Tears while we were busy with the edits.
Almost all the revisions are now finished and I am looking forward to the book's release later in the year. Thank you to Anthony and Sara-Mae at Ink Tears for giving me the opportunity to hold Planets in my hands.