Archive for short stories

First 5* review for “A Pocketful of Stories”

Posted in Book review with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2017 by Kate Jack

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the Silver Flute trilogy I looked forward to reading some short fiction by the same author. I was not disappointed. Katrina Jack delivers a collection of wonderful fantasy stories that have an immediate impact on the reader. It is not easy to write engaging short stories but she has brought together a very satisfying collection of quite different tales, some lighter, some quite dark. A personal favourite was A dream of thorn and bramble, and I found Starlight, starbright very moving.
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Available now…

Posted in Book Club with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2017 by Kate Jack

… from Amazon, Smashwords, itune and Kobo.

For your delight and delectation – absolutely FREE! 😀

Welcome to a world of faeries, dreamers, history and much more. A Pocketful of Stories contains twelve short fantasy tales, filled with delightful, and not so delightful, characters, plus a bonus free chapter from book I of The Silver Flute Trilogy, Land of Midnight Days. From the dreamer who does not wish to face up to reality, to the shopkeeper and his daughters who yearn for adventure, A Pocketful of Stories will take you through multiple worlds and situations.

 

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Seasonal writing

Posted in Writing with tags , , , on March 24, 2016 by Kate Jack

seasons

Does your writing mood change according to what time of year it is? I have to say that although my novel writing is mainly dark, when spring and summer roll around I find my mood lightens. This is when I write short stories that are frivolous, whimsical even: Dreamtime part l

shop

https://goo.gl/d6H5x3.

I started my writing career, many years ago, by writing short stories, but abandoned this  when I eventually graduated to novels. I’d begun to find short stories vaguely dissatisfying, in a way I couldn’t quite define. All I did know was that writing books gave me a sense of achievement I’d not experienced before.

writing

Now, after a long time, I’ve returned to short stories, albeit it sporadically, and find myself enjoying the challenge, and it is a challenge. In comparison to writing a book, were the author is free to expand the plot as they wish, one has to be far more disciplined when composing a short work of fiction. All the elements of novel writing: plot, narrative, dialogue and characterisation, have to be fitted into a much tighter space, which for me means racking my brain to the utmost.

brainstorm1

I’ve always admired authors who can squeeze whole worlds into a few thousand words. Robin Hobb, author of The Farseer trilogy is such a one. I heartily recommend Silver Lady and a Fortyish man, written under her real name, Megan Lindholm, and A touch of Lavender  as sterling examples of the art of short story writing.

kj

https://twitter.com/kateannejack

 

Stepping stones to becoming a writer.

Posted in General with tags , , , , , on April 30, 2015 by Kate Jack

stepping stones

All writers travel a long road to reach their ultimate goal, but what happens along the way? What stepping-stones do we cross to achieve our aim? For most it’s a hard journey, from trying to decide what to write, to learning how to actually get their ideas down in readable form. “Write what you know”, is a common phrase, and for the most part it’s true, at least for “realistic” fiction. But what about speculative fiction, such as sci-fi and fantasy?

animated

Most non fantasy readers assume it’s easy to write. All you have to do is conjure up some fantastical creatures from your imagination, throw in a few swords, dragons and dungeons, and there you go. Far from it. A great deal of research goes into such work. For classical fantasy, research is needed for weaponry, horsemanship, battle tactics, etc. Even though the world and characters are products of the author’s imagination, they still need to convince the reader to suspend their disbelief and believe in the story and live the adventures of their heroes and heroines, and this means getting the “real” parts of their stories correct, in order to give them verisimilitude.

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armour

My first stepping stone, on my way to becoming a writer, was to decide what I wanted to write. I began by writing short stories, but over the course of time I realised this wasn’t enough, I needed to expand my horizons. I’d always loved fairy tales as a child, and the first fantasy novels I ever read were Alice in Wonderland and Through the looking-glass by Lewis Carrol.

alice

As I grew older, I moved onto The Chronicles of Narnia, and even though I didn’t know it, my writing destiny was set – I would become a writer of speculative fiction. My first published novel, Land of Midnight Days, uses elements of my hometown, Liverpool, as its backdrop.

midnight 2

The second, Through the Gloaming, is mostly set underground, and for that I used memories from when I used to go away with my school to the Lake District. We would take day trips, some of which involved visiting, not only Lake Windermere, but also some of the caves in the area.

cave

I remember one of them had a pool in it, of such a deep blue, I instinctively knew it was bottomless. I retained this memory and conjured up the image when writing Gloaming.

gloaming 1So, by using these stepping-stones, from reader to writer of short stories, to novelist, I have grown and evolved as a writer. What does the future hold? I’m not sure, but I will hopefully follow my stepping-stones onwards, ever onwards, until the time comes to stop.

book tree

http://goo.gl/dyj5Fc

Shiver with delight.

Posted in Book review with tags , , , , on December 8, 2014 by Kate Jack

Shiver from Accent Press Oct 2014

This is a cracking little book, for lovers of halloween. Filled with short stories, all with the theme of halloween, but otherwise very different from each other. Some have a humerous take, some more “ghost, goulies and bats”, but all are extemely well written. Well worth reading.

http://goo.gl/hBmtqG amazon.co.uk

http://goo.gl/3MgtWq amazon.com

Short stories vs novels.

Posted in General with tags , , , , on November 29, 2014 by Kate Jack

Kate Jack dawn horizon

Which do you prefer to write? Personally, I like writing both. I started off my author journey by writing short stories and magazine articles, the latter of which I found very unfulfilling. Why? Well first none of them were published, and secondly, I found most magazines very much the same; you’ve read one, you’ve read the lot.

breakfast1

Every Saturday morning I take myself off to the local supermarket, and when I’ve done my shopping, I treat myself to breakfast. I always take my kindle to read, but one time I left it at home, so I bought a magazine – what a mistake! The entire thing was filled with diet tips – I kid you not 😀 Anyway, getting back to the point, I stopped writing magazine articles, but continued with short stories, until I joined a local writing group and became inspired to start writing books. It wasn’t easy. I had no technique and treated each chapter as a short story, which married the flow and made the road to writing a novel extremely rocky.

bumpy road

Now, many years later, I’ve managed to smooth out the surface and the old pen flows a lot more smoothly. I continue to write short stories, more as a writing exercise than anything else, but it’s surprising how many a short story can be expanded into something longer.

short-stories1

So what’s your preference – one or the other – or both?

THE END.

christmas-wreath71

http://goo.gl/qw64zu Land of Midnight Days UK
http://goo.gl/VMJLS2 Land of Midnight Days US
http://goo.gl/c0rR2K Through the Gloaming
http://goo.gl/uCg094 Through the Gloaming US
http://goo.gl/g1XcrQ dawn horizon uk
http://goo.gl/PiJfA3 dawn horizon us

I’m really impressed with myself!

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , on May 27, 2014 by Kate Jack

reading I’ve just been notified by Readwave that I now have 5000 readers! Gobsmacked? You bet. I know in the grand scheme of things that 5000 is not a lot, when compared to other authors, but even so I’m reet chuffed, as they say here in the north of England.

So, if you have the time and inclination, please drop by and sample some of my short stories, articles, novel extracts and so forth; you never know, you might like ’em 😀

readwave_full_logo

http://www.readwave.com/kateannejack/

 

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