No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.
(Samuel Johnson, from James Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson)
As night the life-inclining stars best shows,
So lives obscure the starriest souls disclose.
(Hymns and Epigrams of Homer – George Chapman)
In a burst of short story production last year, I wrote five tales in quick succession. At the back of my mind was the notion that when I had twelve stories I was satisfied with, I could publish a collection. At the same time, I had been musing on what I could produce in the form of a reader magnet. For those who haven’t come across this term before, a reader magnet is a giveaway of some kind that independent authors use to entice readers to sign up to their mailing list. It’s a fair exchange: I give you a freebie and you give me your email address. Anyway, I thought: why not use these stories as my reader magnet?Read More
In January 897, the corpse of Pope Formosus was disinterred from the tomb it had occupied for nine months, re-clad in its papal vestments, and brought to the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome to stand trial. Read More
I re-read Jorge Luis Borges’ short story ‘Emma Zunz’ last week. It’s a tale of revenge and I went back to it because I was writing my own tale of revenge. Read More