Yay! My sampler has been published!

I have been remiss - and my publisher is not at all happy with me. Oh dear!

In my defence, I have been extraordinarily busy - more on that soon.

I have been so excited to get this one out. This is - as the cover says - a sampler of my family flashes, which I wrote for the PhD artifact. I am still working on the larger project, which will be a novel containing the remainder of the flashes I wrote in the past 3.5 years - with a number of added flashes aimed at bringing the existing work together. Obviously, these aren't germane to the larger project. 

This is where you can buy the book, there are three options; soft cover, hard cover, and hard cover with a dust jacket (for those people who love classics). Please feel free to spread the word because, you know, I'm a really good writer (hey, seriously, you keep coming back to this blog and my life is not that exciting, so you know I'm a good writer - make sure you tell everyone how great I am).

The flashes are based on family stories from my own family - they're quite true (though obviously embellish because I wasn't present at any of the events which led to these stories). Personally, I love reading family stories - I am a bit of a voyeur in that sense. I believe every family has a novel in it - and flashes are a great ways to access those stories in bite sized, and manageable, pieces. In my research, I was looking at a thing called 'narrative identity' and the idea behind this theory is that people form their identity through stories, both in the stories they keep about themselves, and the stories they reject.

A really good way to learn about a person is to ask them to tell a story about themselves. Most people will have some sort of anecdote about themselves and these anecdotes can be very revealing. They can tell you if the person is optimistic or pessimistic. You can tell if they are self-deprecating or keen to impress. You can tell if they tend to be humorous or more serious.

So, extrapolating from this idea, the stories most commonly repeated in families about their members can reveal a lot about the culture of a family. The great thing about an anthology of flashes is that they are very short stories. They're great to read in those short spaces of time - on the train, while waiting for the kids to come out of class, on the loo (c'mon, you know you do this - well, most of you do). More than this - in a collection of flashes about a family, means even if you read the flashes out of order, you will still get the overarching 'feel' for the family culture. Basically, it's win/win!

So, there you go! Follow the link, buy the book, pass the word on, and let me know what you think. If you like it - great! If you hate it, I'd love to hear your critique so I can improve my writing - though I'm pretty confident you'll love the book (or I wouldn't be asking you to invest in it).

P.S. The photo is of Reykjavik - which means at least some of the characters will have lived in one of the houses visible in the photo (trust me, Reykjavik isn't that big).