Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Searching Glance

My book of short stories is in your bookshop any day now (or if it's not, please ask them to stock it!). I will have everything crossed for Salt Publishing on the 8th March when they hear the results of the 'Nielsen Innovation of the Year' of the Independent Publishing Awards for which they are shortlisted.

It's a brave act to publish short stories in the current climate - they are notoriously hard to market and unpopular with readers, bookshops, libraries. I would argue though, that this is partly lack of practice. Perhaps we need to read a short story more as we read a poem than a novel - more than once, carefully weighing it in our mind, being prepared to work hard at eliciting meaning. I like Richard Ford's view, that 'short stories are the high-wire act of literature', they require bravery from all of us - writer, publishers, readers... COURAGE!!

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