Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once…
You find me dear reader, on this chilly Tuesday, hiding in a dark cupboard under a staircase. I’m not pretending to be Harry Potter, I’m keeping what we in the criminal-underworld refer to as “a low profile”. For those of you who caught my last blog some 14 long days ago (read it here if you missed it), you will know that there is a lot of political pressure on my shoulders. The local council are labelling me as public enemy number one or “PEN-1” (a rather ironic nickname for a writer I’m sure you’ll agree) as they hold me personally responsible for a dip in the year’s tourism. They seem oblivious to the financial slump the country is in!
Anyway, since we last spoke I’ve been ducking down in dark ditches, hiding in hollow holes and cowering in cold corners, doing anything I can to keep out of sight. I’ve even gone so far as to temporarily move in with my in-laws (safest place to hide, I mean, who in their right mind would voluntarily move in with their in-laws; they’ll never find me!) they are after me, I tell you, after me! The reason: my novels paint a vivid image of Southampton as a violent and unsavoury city.
They’re right of course: I’m guilty of the crimes I’m charged with. That doesn’t mean I want to be publicly flogged in the streets like a nineteenth century urchin. Imagine the humiliation!
So worried am I about the long arm of the law that I’ve bought a new house! Well, let me rephrase, I’ve bought a shell building that I’ve spent the last two weeks painting, priming, plastering and picking carpets. It’s been hard work! Hopefully it might even resemble an adequate living space by the weekend.
I was building a flat pack table on Sunday night and it struck me how so many small and insignificant parts, when carefully constructed, can form such a practical and solid solution.
“If only writing were so easy,” I said to myself and then realised I must be mad for talking to myself!
And then I realised: writing can be that easy!
Imagine taking 8 or 9 well-written short stories by vibrant, yet different, authors. On their own these stories are small and insignificant, yet when they are brought together, and glued in place by the wonder of digital means, they form a masterpiece.
Introducing ‘Death Toll 2’ (from the authors who brought you ‘Death Toll’).
The new anthology will be out on Kindle on Friday 01 November featuring stories from Stephen Leather, Alex Shaw, Liam Saville, Matt Hilton, Harlan Wolff, José Bogran, Milton Gray, Scott Lewis and some author formerly known as Stephen Edger (he’s quite good, according to the council in Southampton).
All those stories from that fabulous fiction fraternity make this an anthology not to miss. We’ve even sent the links to Saint Nick so you can add it to your Christmas list without fear of the Elves misunderstanding what you have requested.
Do you hear that knocking? I think I might have been rumbled. I need to go. If you don’t hear from me again, order ‘Death Toll 2’ as it might be my last work…
Happy reading, Stephen.