Monday, 30 December 2013

Wishing you a very happy and positive 2014

The photo is courtesy of Cilmeri Studio  taken at my book launch. 

The festive season has brought me a tremendous review in my local paper from Jackie Biggs, a Wales-based journalist and poet, who, I hear, really loved In the Moors. Jackie, thank you for saying such nice things…if you like crime fiction that turns pages fast and keeps your interst to the last…Nina Milton is for you… a balance of mystic dreamlike sequences set against the all-too-real horror of child abduction and murder…when a second child goes missing, the plot takes ever darker turns and as in all the best crime fiction, there is a final twist of fate that reveals the truth of the terror faced by the missing children…the second of the series is on the way and I can't wait for Sabbie Dare's next adventure!

Don't worry, Jackie, news of the follow-up book will be with you all in the new year!


Saturday, 14 December 2013

Alice Munroe; Nobel Prize winning short storyist tells her story

My followers are probably used to hearing the story of how I believe I became a writer; the day in reception class we listened to an Aesop's Fable then were asked to write something ourselves, and I realized that 'real people write the lovely stories'. 



Alice Munro in 2009. (Peter Morrison / AP)

But Alice Munroe's story is even more wonderful…it involves hearing Hans Christian Anderson read aloud his story 'The Little Mermaid' himself.


During this interview which was played at the nobel ceremony for Munroe's award for literature, she is also asked some crucial questions like 'what is important when you tell a story?' and  'when you start a story do you always have it plotted out?' She is also asked some pretty clueless questions, but those get short shrift!

She tells us how her husband helped her writing because 'he thought of it as an admirable thing to do', and talks very openly about her relationship with her mother. 

Go to
 http://www.nobelprize.org/mediaplayer/index.php?id=1973to hear the entire interview, including scenes in Munro's bookshop.

 Munro received this award in 2009; more recently she announced she is retiring from writing stories. In an interview with Canada’s National Post after winning Ontario’s Trillium Book Award, the 81-year-old says she’s “probably not going to write anymore.…When you’re my age, you don’t wish to be alone as much as a writer has to be. It’s like, at the wrong end of life, sort of becoming very sociable.”


I have always loved Munroe for her clear, simple prose and yet find her stories complex to the point of being Chekhov-like in their exploration of human nature. So, it's a sad thought that we will never again read a new story by Munroe; we will have to satisfy ourselves by re-reading all 14 of her collections - her latest being Dear Life, which came out last year.


Friday, 6 December 2013

Great offers for Crime Readers and Crime Writers


You have  heard of the Crime Writer's Association; they are the ones that  give the Prize Daggers to the best crime books each year. But did you know  they have now launched a new club for readers of crime; and writers who want to get their crime fiction published? It's called the;
Crime Readers' Association

They are doing a giveaway to celebrate the launch of their new website.

This 7 day giveaway features prizes of interest to writers and readers of crime and thriller writing.


To enter click the links above and follow the instructions

Entry for these prizes (and all other subsequent prizes) will end at midnight GMT on Saturday 7th December. The winners of each prize will be notified by email within 2 working days and have 2 working days to respond with delivery details before a new winner will be drawn.

And if you are writing crime, don't forget the newsletter that comes with free subscription to the Debut Dagger Competition for unpublished writers. If you fancy a stab at crime writing, go to: http://www.thecwa.co.uk/daggers/debut/

Monday, 11 November 2013

Great Review of In the Moors...they're still coming in!


Poet Joanna Ezekeil has posted this insightful review of In the Moors on her blog,http://mydelayedreactions.blogspot.co.uk 

Friday, November 08, 2013

book review: in the moors by nina milton

Even though I have a tendency to skip to the end of crime novels to find out 'whodunnit'
(or, in this case, whether two of the characters get together) I resisted this impulse when I began reading 'In the Moors', and subsequently could not put this book down.

Sabbie is an engaging character with an unusual profession: she is a shaman who is drawn into a police case involving one of her own clients. Her concern for her client, and her determination to keep hold of her intuition, even at the expense of her own safety, was completely absorbing.

 'Perhaps because I was thinking of rabbit holes and strange, reversible worlds ... I started at the end,' Sabbie says. Nina Milton has also given her readers the challenge of making associations between beginnings and endings, present and past, children and adults, memories and facts, speech and silences.

At one point, a wise character says, 'Everything connects'. Small everyday details are hugely significant here: bicycle wheels, eggs, nicknames. I found the characters - animal, spirit, human - convincing, and the various settings either warm and lively, or haunting.

In the end, Sabbie's search for understanding reminds us how our childhood experiences influence how we live as adults and how we make sense of the world.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Big Ten; Words You Should Never Write


An interesting blog in the US journal Globe and Mail; a quicky and easy to remember list of words that should always be the ones you think of cutting first when you are redrafting;

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-tools/top-tens/ten-words-to-cut-from-your-writing/article15017159/?goback=%2Egde_4338694_member_5803255087199444996#%21

In no particular order, as Tess would say, these are;

just
maybe/perhaps
really
amazing
very 
literally
quite
got
stuff
things 

Don't get too wound up about them though. For instance, in dialogue, if your characters insists on saying "I've got to go the dance" then you'd better let them. In narratative however, it's a missed opportunity for a stronger verb. 'He was reluctant to go to the dance...'
And 'stuff/things' may also come under this class. My character Sabbie often describes things (oops) as 'stuff', but I made sure she does that because that's what she'd do. Again, in a 3rd person narrative mode, you sound lazy.

Although the big ten are a nice easy number to hold in your mind, I'm afraid there are a lot of other words that should be scrubbed through on redrafting. Most of these are modifiers and qualifiers – very is a good example (I was very unhappy…I was unhappy) but there are more; nearly, genuinely, absolutely, actually, seemed to, began to, almost.

Most of these weaken your writing; e.g  ‘suddenly’, makes things less sudden.

And I've not finished. (Sorry!) because there are a lot of other ways you can let your final drafts down. Here are some ways to tighten and polish your drafts;




  • Hackneyed parings – adjectives or nouns that cliche when rubbed together…old codger…loveable rogue
  • Overkill description – especially at the beginning
  • Redundancies - phrases that mean nothing at all… chop and change, in point of fact, at this moment in time, on the other hand.
  • Tired similies – sick as a parrot; Tired metaphors….icing on the cake. Use good metaphors and similes instead. Maybe I'll write a blogpost on just this one subject soon!
  • Overuse of adverbs. Check all ‘ly’s’ and replace with hard working verbs
  • Too many adjectives. Avoid using two together, they cancel each other out.
  • Misattributing the language…she raced out of the house, started her car and dashed to work…she began to get up from the chair…her eyes fell on his plate 
  • In jokes or high-flown phrases that look like showing off
  • Abstract nouns, especially to describe what characters are like, or how they’re feeling....angry/frustrated/political/loving. My OCA students already know my distress on this subject!
  • Factual inaccuracies. Research everything that you’re not sure about. It's what Google is for. Check for continuity mistakes and inconstancies
  • Check that you know whether you are TELLING or SHOWING, and change to showing wherever possible 
  • Avoid the continual imperfect tense (she was walking = she walked) unless it feels bang on right.
  • Anarcisms e.g… greensward…although think about how your character would speak. Would they be archaic? Or would they be bang up to date? 
  • Repetition in words…She screamed, John screamed back… sentences…come into the shop, John.’ ‘Okay,’ said John, coming into the shop… and paragraphs or superfluous scenes in which you repeat your thinking or presume the reader hasn’t understood
  • If you’ve written in the first person, check to see if you can eliminate any ‘I’s’ successfully, particularly at the start of paragraphs, as they can create a ‘blobby’ rhythm.
  • relative pronoun. One of the most common uneccessary words is ‘that’. In some Roman languages you're not allowed to cut out redundant 'thats' but you can in English. Cutting out 'that's' can actually reduce your word count painlessly.
  • Pleonasms. These are words that you simply don’t need to make sense of a sentence. For instance. ‘She hunted down her modifiers’ – you don’t need 'down'. However, don’t cut out pleonasms if they create a good rhythm in your work, or if they feel right in dialogue. Just use a bit of common sense.


  • In fact, a bit of common sense is needed throughout the drafting process. It's like Fowlers Preferences (if you don't know them, you'll find them on the web), which are great advice for good, tight writing but do in themsleves need a final qualifier; 

    Always use the right word in the right situation



    Monday, 14 October 2013

    You, Me, & a Bit of We


    Out very soon now, the latest anthology from Chuffed Buff Books. My copies have arrived,  and I'm already tucking into all the stories, which are starlingly good. It's a collection of mostly 2nd person writing, although my own contribution is in the 1st person POV. You can read a snippet of it on my PUBLISHED SHORT STORIES page, before, of course pre-ordering your own copy for less than seven quid. 


    You, Me & a Bit of We

    ___YMEWEBcovPre-order now for £6.99
    You, Me & a Bit of We
    A Celebration of Writing in First and Second Person
    List Price: £8.99
    ISBN: 978-1-908858-02-3
    Paperback, 216 x 140mm, 190 pages
    Short stories and flash fiction (42 stories)
    Published August 2013
    You, Me & a Bit of We is a showcase of 42 stories written in either second, first or first person plural point-of-view. Through a selection of flash fiction and short stories, readers are invited to discover their favourite seat in a story. Is it front row centre, in the midst of a crowd, or from a more personal vantage point? Where second person thrusts the reader into an active role, first person offers experience through the eyes of an individual or group. Although the use of first person is common, second and first person plural perspectives are relatively rare. Written by an international cast of authors, this collection includes a broad range of themes. There are tales of transition, conviction, lost love, grief, conflict, domestic strife, tragedy, second chances, and stories about letting go and moving on. There are worlds where it is rare to be sighted, skin tells a story, past lives haunt, deadly viruses and parasites threaten humanity, and death is personified. From the poignant to the fantastical, dark, witty and uplifting, each story in this anthology is original, thought provoking, and reflective of the versatility of perspective as a literary device.You, Me & a Bit of We includes stories by Hettie Ashwin, Kim Bannerman, Cath Barton, Sharon Birch, Miki Byrne, Walter Campbell, Charlotte Comley, Annemaria Cooper, Meriah L Crawford, Stefanie Dao, Simone Davy, Laura Dunkeyson, Sarah Evans, Anne Fox, Robert Lee Frazier, Martin Gamble, Susan F Giles, Heidi Gilhooly, Anne Goodwin, Margaret Gracie, Cathryn Grant, E A M Harris, Dora L Harthen, Kati N Hendry, Debz Hobbs-Wyatt, Julia Hones, Amy Hulsey, Alexis A Hunter, Michelle Ann King, Deborah Klée, Tanya Jacob Knox, Meg Laverick, Diane Lefer, Diandra Linnemann, Nina Milton, Monika Pant, Emma Phillips, Barry Pomeroy, Zena Shapter, Jay R Thurston, Abigail Wyatt, Zarina Zabrisky.

    £6.99+ P & P (ships to UK and Europe only)



    Friday, 11 October 2013

    Top Ten Places to Write your Masterpiece

    A new article in Femail First;
    Do you write? A letter to a friend, a blog, a diary, secret poetry, course essays, the novel of your lifetime? I’m betting you do write something, sometime, somewhere. Whatever your writing is, there’s something special in have a ‘somewhere’ to write. Creating a special place will really help your writing experience and get you into a good routine, should you need one. Returning to that place, in the knowledge that this is the place you write can make you absolutely love whatever it is you want to…or have to…write...
    Read more: http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/books/nina-milton-345503.html#ixzz2hQ6qBlq4
    It was still not much after ten am as I drove clear of Bridgwater. Mini Ha Ha was soon navigating the narrow bridges that crisscrossed the waterlands of Somerset. Everywhere, water shone like mercury, from rivers, canals and rhynes, reflecting the light covering of clouds above. Reeds and withies bent in the breeze as if to acknowledge my presence. From In the Moors

    Friday, 4 October 2013

    Malorie Blackman's Making Waves; The Poet Laureate 2013 - 2015


    If you’ve ever read any of the Noughts and Crosses series, you will know what a compelling children’s author Malorie Blackman is. She’s also an abundant writer with 60 books behind her. She is now making waves as Children’s Laureate.This role was created after Ted Hughes (The Iron Man) and Michael Morpurgo (War Horse, etc) had a conversation about the Laureateship. Since then, there has always been a Children’s Laureate; Quentin Blake Anne Fine, Morpurgo himself, Jacqueline Wilson Michael Rosen, Anthony Browne and Julia Donaldson all took a turn prior to Blackman taking the laurel wreath for the two years from 2013 until 2015.  

    In an article in the Sunday Times, she set out her goals, starting with the comments…I bit their hands off…and…I’m stepping into some fairly big shoes - I have some big plans. 

    She does think that children’s literature is in good shape at the moment, and I’d agree; books for young adults are also an area that offers hope for those interested in creating literate school-leavers. Blackman cites Philip Pullman, Catherine Johnson and Michael Rosen as being a strong part of that trend, but actually there are 100s of good writers out there, producing great books for young readers.

    The Children’s Laureate receives a specially designed and inscribed silver medal and – more importantly – a bursary of £15,000 so that the ‘big plans’ Blackman has can be put into action. She wants to make sure every child at primary school has a library card, which might indeed help to revive the failing state of some of our libraries - if the kids want to go, someone has to take them. 

    Blackman recently became the first black woman in the UK to sell over 1 million books and she hopes to highlight cultural diversity in fiction, having set her Noughts and Crosses series in a dystopian future where colour affects everyone’s lives. I was delighted to hear that, having just published a novel for  9-13 year olds recently which features two friends of different ethic origins and themes of slavery and racial attacks. (Tough Luck is now in paperback, by the way). 

    Also, important is her wish that books for older children and young adults to move with the times. Her own novels can be gritty but she has a point when she says that children now need stories that are …grittier and meatier than girls in Switzerland at finishing school. I agree. Adults who think children don’t swear or think about sex live in cloud-cuckoo land. Blackman believes that teenaged sex should not ignored as a subject, or hidden behind a veil, but treated with respect and a natural part of fiction where it is called for within the story. She argues that books are a better way to learn about sex than online pornography. I also believe that writing openly (and realistically) about sex is important for teenagers. Philip Pullman agrees. He’s quoted as saying that this is one of the ways we can…challenge the pernicious influence of internet porn

    Malorie Blackman has been in the news ever since her Laureateship, with headlines like those above, and with comments on education and learning to read especially. She’s now leading 200 writers and academics who call for Gove’s proposed school reforms to be suspended, asking for less incessant testing of children. 

    Rather than testing their socks off, what Blackman would like is for kids to enjoy their reading. Being read to as a kid (even after you can read yourself),  is a way to help a love of books to grow. I can remember reading to my kids before bedtime every night, until they were not there to be read to (out on the town, in other words) and even then, they’d have to listen to me read aloud from the books I was writing.

    Blackman wants every young child to be read to in school for at least 10 minutes each day; I was shocked to think that this doesn’t happen already.  And she wants reading technology to act as a springboard to kids using IT creatively. She supports e-readers, and points out that technology...can make reading cool...

    Even so I was surprised to find out that Blackman gave up her place at Goldsmiths College to become an English teacher because she’d got hooked on computers and worked for nine years in computing. Finally, she started writing stories. Reassuringly, she says it took...eight or nine books before a publisher said yes, but I’m glad I hung in there...

    I don’t think it’s quite that simple - moving from computer manager to Children’s Laureate isn’t just a matter of hanging in there, but Malorie Blackman’s success and the way she’s now passing her love and enthusiasm  of books back to young people is heartening and I do hope that all her aims are realized before she hands the laurel wreath on.

    Tuesday, 1 October 2013

    Short stories (1) – learning to love them

    Today, you can read my first post on the new website from Bristol Woment Writers - WritersUnchained.
    It's the first of an occasional series about one of my first loves; short stories.

    Nina MiltonToday novelist and short story writer Nina Milton gives us the first in a series of posts on the fictional form that is the backbone of the Unchained anthology. 
    “During the hour of perusal the soul of the reader is at the writer’s control.”
    Edgar Allan Poe, writing in the 1830’s in his usual, Gothic style, had possibly given us our first definition of a short story. That is, something that can be ‘read at one sitting’.  For me, Poe’s definition is spot on…
    GO TO http://writersunchained.wordpress.com/blog/  TO READ MORE…

    Tuesday, 24 September 2013

    Can a Shaman find a Serial-killer?



    Such is the question posed by the reviewer of my book on popcorn reads, a great site online for readers. 

    Popcorn Reads describe their site as 'For people who read for Entertainment', so the site suites In the Moors perfectly. 

    The whole-page review is stunningly complimentary to my story and I'd like to thank them for being so nice, although I've no idea how!

    But if you've already read my book, you can leave a comment there about your own reactions, and your thoughts about the review. 


    Thanks in advance for going there and writing something!

    Thursday, 19 September 2013

    Great Write-up by Femail First!


    Lucy Walton, the book reviewer for Femail First has interviewed me and given In the Moors a full page write up in this internet magazine for women!
    Here are some of the questions she asked me;

    1.What can you tell us about your new book In the Moors?
    2. You have been writing fiction since your teacher put a pen and pencil in front of you, so can you tell us a bit about your earliest attempts?
    3. You also write children’s books, so do you have a preference between writing for children and adults?
    4. How much did your MA in creative writing help you shape your work?
    5. What attracted you to crime fiction?
    6. Please tell us about your inspiration behind the character of Sergeant Reynard Buckley.
    7. Please tell us about your light bulb moment for In the Moors.
    8. What is your writing process?
    9. Please can you review for us the book you are currently reading.
    10. What is next for you?

    Read my answers at
    http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/books/in-the-moors-341443.html#ixzz2fKRPvgcv

    Saturday, 14 September 2013

    In the Moors Book Launch Success


    Nina with Professor Ronald Hutton

    What a blast we all had at my book launch for In the Moors! People have been tweeting and messaging me to say that they really enjoyed the event. Sarah said...It was a lovely evening Nina! You spoke and read really well, and I'm looking forward to reading the book. Sue said, Great launch, Nina!. Kit said, Fab evening and wonderful to see so many. Am reading book already. Love it! Ali said... loving it too, and finding great examples of good writing for my workshop  - all those lovely verbs … And book me that lovely professor for my next book launch. He was so informative and entertaining all in 5 mins. Charlotte said, enjoyed it  - lovely to see you in your element x 
    Jane said...Well done Nina! A great launch. And I hope you've recovered from the shock of Becky NOT being in Montenegro after all!

    Yes, I must admit that although the entire thing was a ball, and there were fifty people laughing, chatting, sipping wine and queuing to have their books signed, the most wonderful moment in the evening for me was when I saw my daughter’s face in the crowds as I had no idea she’d be there, living as she does a long way away.

    I spoke about how the setting came to me as my son and I walked in the Somerset Levels one day. It became gloomy and we were almost lost because each field is surrounded by water; rivers,dykes, rhynes, ditches and canals. We came upon the areas where they extract peat industrially; huge chunks like empty back swimming pools are cut from the earth and they slowly fill with water becoming reed beds and marshes. I thought that would be a great place to bury a body. And it was at that time that Sabbie Dare was first entering my mind; how being a shaman would introduce her to a bunch of very disparate...a bunch of quite strange...people.

    signing a book without looking!
    I'd asked Professor Hutton to speak on shamanism because I didn't think a lot of the audience would quite believe in Sabbie's job. Ronal Hutton has written books on many aspects of Pagan History, including shamanism. He's a very lively and sought after speaker (you may have seen him on your TV's) and he spoke for several minutes on the history of Celts in these islands, making everyone laugh and sit up and take notice. He explained what shamanism is and how it works in the 21st Century and  linked this with In the Moors and Sabbie Dare. He had been kind enough to read and review the book while it was still in the manuscript stage and so had previous knowledge of what's between the covers.

    I then read  from my novel. Here are the shortened extracts;
             
     From page 24;
    I knew I was going to shudder as I read the next words and shifted on my seat to disguise it. Cliff was watching me intently, while his fingers twisted at his ponytail, playing with it as a girl does. Some of the earth-coloured strands weren’t long enough to be caught up, and fell over his face. I looked back down at my page.
    “There was only one other thing in the room – a Hessian sack with knots tied around its rim to keep it open, like you see in cartoons. Something glinted in the sack, but in the dim light I couldn’t work out what it was. I can recall not wanting to look more closely, but I walked the few paces over to where it stood and dipped a hand in. I think I had been expecting money, or jewels or treasure of some sort, but a softness caressed my fingers.”
    I paused. I knew I was stalling. I could not bring myself to go on, and I wasn’t sure if that was because it had frightened me, or because it might frighten Cliff.
    “What?” said Cliff. “What was in the sack, for the love of God?”…
      
     From page 314;
    He didn’t reply. Without taking his gaze from my face, he stretched a hand over the side of the sofa. I could see his laptop case lying against it, but he wasn’t reaching for that. I was looking at a gun. A rifle as long as my arm. Its butt was of glossy yellow wood and along its length was a complicated sight of polished steel.

    I took a breath to steady myself. “Did you get that from your loft?”

    Ivan smiled. His eyes lit up. He lifted the gun onto his lap as if it were made of crystal glass. “I’d forgotten what it was like to use it. I took it out for a practice run and I’m still pretty good.”

    That smell I’d detected in the hall was much stronger now I stood in front of its source. It was the overwhelming odour of control, of the power that certain things give certain men; money, authority, or in this case, the clout of a loaded weapon.

    “The fox has gone.” I managed. “There’s no need for a gun.”

    His eyes were sharp as slivers of glass. “Isn’t there?”

    My whole body became ice cold


    My thanks must go to Foyles Bookshop in Bristol, and Robb, who did all the organising, for making the event such a great success. And to all the people who came; without them, it wouldn't have worked! thanks again, and enjoy your copies of In the Moors. Some of you came a long way to be there. My student Pat wrote afterwards; I arrived home around 2200 hrs  Friday evening after a whirlwind stopover in Bristol.  It started by getting up at 0500 hrs on Thursday in order to catch a National Express coach from Gatwick Airport. I soon discovered that there was a Premier Inn next door to the coach station and Cabot Circus was not too far away either - which was very convenient!  …t
    he highlight for me was attending your book launch.  I'd never been to one before and was unsure what to expect. But I must say it was truly great.  It was lovely to meet you Nina, and to find you in such an ecstatic mood.  Especially, the moment when you spotted your daughter in the crowd and not in Montenegro as you had thought.  I can relate to how you must have felt, since my son did something similar many years ago when he was much younger.  He was based in Singapore at the time but working off shore all around South East Asia as a commercial diver.  We hadn't seen him in three years but he turned up unexpectedly about two days before Christmas and surprised everyone.  It was really exciting!  He still loves to do that kind of thing. 

    I enjoyed the whole event, your reading an extract from your book and the Professor's talk on Shamanism.  It was all very interesting.  I'm glad there was a good turn-out for you, Nina and of course, much book signing.  It was also lovely to meet other writers, so thank you for introducing me to some of them.
    Best regards,
    Pat.

    If you weren't able to be at this pre-publication event, you can order the book from my page at Amazon. The ebook version is available now! The paperback can be pre-ordered for 15th October. Or you can go to your local bookshop and order one in (and do recommend they stock it if they're not planning to - I can provide you with information for them). The book should be in the shops by the start of November.

    And if you do purchase via Amazon, don't forget to leave your comments about your experience of In the Moors on their website. If you bought the book at the launch, do consider joining www.goodreads.com  which is fun to be part of and really helps you keep up your reading and find books you'll enjoy. You can leave a review of In the Moors at Goodreads as soon as you're a member. 



    Sunday, 25 August 2013

    Unchained; an anthology of liberation

    The Unchained anthology, out in October, has gone to press. All the members of the Bristol Women Writers have produced one or two short stories, poems and snatches of fact, for this stunning anthology of writing. It was brought together in honour of something writers need through their writing lives; libraries. 
    Bristol Central Library is celebrating its 400th year in 2013 and the anthology has been written to celebrate that fact. 
    Bristol Women Writers is bulging with talent; Shirley Wright was the national winner of the Telegraph Poetry for Performance Competition, judged by by Andrew Motion and Ben Okri. Shirley (Time out of Mind), Ali Bacon  (A Kettle of Fish) and myself (Touch Luck) are all published by local press ThornBerry, and Jean Burnett’s very funny book Who Needs Mr Darcey? is out from Sphere. In the Moors is the latest success for the group but we’re not expecting it to be the last, and come October, we’ll be celebrating the success of our anthology with a reading in the library, as part of the Bristol Festival of Literature.

    Unchained was so named after the group discovered that, when the library opened 400 years ago, the books were actually chained to their shelves. At that time, Bristol was also a slave port, moving people in chains across the Atlantic, a theme I cover in my children’s book Tough Luck. We felt that turning these facts on their head expressed completely the way we felt about our writing; that it unchained us.
    And to prove just how unchained we are as writers, it was our choice that all the pieces in the anthology have 'library' as their theme…but don’t think for one moment that this means they are all about getting your books back on time! There are murders in there, and ghosts, and history, legend and dystopian futures. There are sharp and witty stories and dreamy and lyrical stories.
    For instance, when I first knew what the theme would be, I was immediately reminded of the Library at Alexandria. I heard about this wonder of the ancient world when I bought my first Tarot pack when I was twenty. The legend is that the 22 Major Arcarna of the Tarot (the High Priestess, the Fool, the Moon…) were brought into being as the library burnt to the ground. The great minds of the day used a pictorial form to represent – and hide – all the esoteric knowledge the library contained. In that form, it spread through the world and is used to gain enlightenment to this day.
    It's a lovely legend, but how could I turn that into a short story for the 21st century? 
    You'll have to wait to read the anthology to find out.
    The foreword to Unchained is written by acclaimed short story writer Tania Hershman (The White Road, My Mother is an Upright Piano)…
    “These inventive, evocative tales are a truly wondrous tribute
    not just to Bristol’s venerable 400-year-old library service but to book palaces of every age, shape and kind.”
    http://unputdownable.org/events
    The anthology will be launched on October 23rd as part of the Bristol Festival of Literature during Bristol library service’s 400th anniversary. Join Bristol Women Writers with special guest Tania Hershman. Join us between 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Central Library to discover how centuries of well-thumbed pages and a remarkable building can liberate the imagination. Admission is free and profits from the sale of the book will be donated to The National Literacy Trust.