I put the last five short stories I’ve written together in a collection and published them. Over the past few years I’ve written a story to give away as a holiday gift to friends; this grouping includes those stories, which have been edited and reworked, as well as two new ones.
Producing multiple stories over a period of time helped me see a pattern in my storytelling: I like characters off the mainstream. This is probably years of people watching paying off. I like the weird ones. The odd balls. I like like thinking about who they are and how they became the way they are, what they want and what they’d like to accomplish. This angle meant the stories I write sometimes come off feeling dark. The working title for this collection was, “Christmas in a Minor Key,” because when I read them back to myself, I hear tin-tunes and sad winds pressed by the feelings of people we all look past.
Self-publishing has been an adventure. It’s vulnerable and difficult to be all alone; the imperfections scream at me. The stories themselves had several passes with my fantastic beta readers but the marketing images and hard copies were all on me. Right away, the high of getting the first copy in the mail and sharing it on Facebook met the hard slam of humility when a friend found a typo on the front cover, which had to be corrected. I think I had a whole 60 seconds of euphoria! But, I’m grateful someone with a keen eye caught it. These are lessons learned and solid confirmation that my goal of pursuing traditional publishing with an agent is still the way I want to go in the future. I’m thankful for the accessibility of self-publishing and distribution, but I value having company on the journey.
In 2018, work continues on Hindsight, my novel in progress. I’m relieved to have these five stories released into the world with some formal closure. These characters were ready to send on their way.
I’ll be highlighting the backstory of how each of these tales came into being on my Facebook page. If you buy a copy of Not Feeling It, please post a review on Amazon and come say hi on Instagram or Facebook!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all, even if you find yours comes with the shadow a light always brings.