the writer is a lonely hunter

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A round-up for this week

While I’ve been away in Cornwall on512px-Port_Isaac_2 a retreat in Port Isaac with three writing friends, plenty has been happening on the promotional front for Paisley Shirt. 

 

 

First there was a lovely review on Frost Magazine for Paisley Shirt. Click on the image to read this.fullsizeoutput_19a5

 

 

 

Then there was an interview on Tracy Baines’ blog. Here I talk about the distinctive nature of flash fiction.

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On Wednesday there was an article in the Dorset Echo about Paisley Shirt reaching the long list in the Best Short Story Collection category of the Saboteur Awards 2018. I was very pleased to find my collection alongside work by Tom Vowler, Tania Hershman and other notable writers. There’s still time to vote for the short listed titles here.

 

 

 

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I also discovered that Paisley Shirt has been purchased by Dorset Libraries as part of their lending stock and is now available for loan in Poole, Bathnes, Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire libraries through Libraries West.

Quite a week and I’m now exhausted by all the activity. Hope you have a good weekend.

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Jessie Cahalin’s Books in my Handbag

As a prolific book blogger, Jessie Cahalin goes out of her way to support authors. Recently, she put one of my flash fiction stories on her foodie page – you can read about it here. Jessie also runs the Handbag Gallery where photos of authors’ books and bags are displayed. (Clicking on the photo gives quick access to the Amazon page where the book can be purchased.) I was delighted when she thought my photo of Paisley Shirt was a good composition and I regularly check out the page to see whose work my book appears beside.

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In an interview with the Romantic Novelists Association, Jessie explains: I have opened the Handbag Gallery to showcase all authors and genres thus allowing the readers somewhere to go to search for new books. I offer this service free to authors and readers, because I have the opportunity to network and to help others. It is an open invitation for all authors, but some are shy. How generous is that? You can read the complete interview with Jessie here.

Jessie’s blog has enabled me to feel part of a community of readers and writers. She is one of many who understands the challenges of writing a book and is committed to help authors reach their audience. I am very pleased to accept this support and hope that through my role as Chair of the Dorset Writers Network I can extend writing support to others.

Do pop over to Jessie’s blog and have a look around. There is bound to be something of interest to you.

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Paisley Shirt is available with free delivery from The Book Depository and is stocked in Gullivers in Wimborne, The Book Shop in Bridport, Serendip in Lyme Regis and The Swanage Bookshop.

 

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Story behind the cover image

Pasiley Shirt Image

The cover image for the collection Paisley Shirt was taken by Robert Sheie who allows images to be shared under creative commons licence.  Robert’s company is called Menswear Market which  is a personalised online consignment service with clients across the U.S. and customers around the world. He helps clients to sell their merchandise online by using websites such as eBay and Amazon.

To thank Robert for allowing me to use image, I sent him a copy of Paisley Shirt. I was delighted to receive an email from him giving a little more background information to the image. The paisley shirt I chose is a silk dress shirt from the House of Bijan in Beverly Hills (“the most expensive store in the world”), so I am pleased to have selected an exclusive product for the collection.

Note to self: remember to put a reply address on packages otherwise they may be regarded as unsafe. Thankfully, Robert took the risk in opening the envelope, so now I can share this information with you.

Paisley Shirt is available with free delivery from The Book Depository and is stocked in Gullivers in Wimborne, The Book Shop in Bridport, Serendip in Lyme Regis and The Swanage Bookshop.

 

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Paisley Shirt recognised in best short story collection category of the Saboteur Awards

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I’m thrilled to find that Paisley Shirt has been long listed in the Saboteur Awards 2018. Organised annually by Sabotage Reviews, the Saboteur Awards highlight the achievements of small-scale literature and live spoken word shows that might not otherwise achieve critical and public attention. Nominations are entirely from the public and over five thousand votes were cast in the first round. To be long listed in these awards means that Paisley Shirt has come in the top fifteen nominations nationally for the best short story collection. The competition continues for those who have been short listed and you can cast a vote here: saboteurawards.org

 

Another Dorset success comes with the long listing of Apothecary in the Best Spoken Word Regular Night. Apothecary is held on the second Tuesday of every month from 7pm at the Beach & Barnicott in Bridport. It provides an opportunity to share a variety of spoken word forms including stories and flash fiction, poetry, rap, comedy and musical contributions from singer-songwriters. Delivered in an open mic format, contributors are offered a five-minute slot to share their work with an enthusiastic and receptive audience. The organisers are now delighted to be officially amongst the top fifteen regular spoken word nights in the country.

 

 

 

 

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What’s in a name?

My maiden name is Chappell. My Dad thought we were descended from those who fled France during the revolution but it is more likely we have Huguenot ancestry. I hated my family name from the first time a classmate shouted, ‘What’s the time, Chappell? Or has your clock gone wrong?’

I was delighted to shed my family name upon marriage. I met my first husband in Tenant Creek, a town in Outback Australia. He persuaded me to travel with him to Cairns where we applied for a twenty-four hour marriage licence. My horrified parents couldn’t understand the urgency but a whirlwind romance is terribly exciting.

Four years later and back in the UK we fell out of love. But, I liked the sound of my name, Gail Marshall, so much I continued to use it for another five years. Upon marrying David, he obviously didn’t want me to carry on using that name, but I was mortified by the prospect of adopting his. I was a primary school teacher by then and anticipating being called Mrs Aldwinckle all day long filled me with dread. So, I chopped off my husband’s ‘winckle’ or rather his ‘ckle’ to become Gail Aldwin.

It is an irony to now find myself back in the Chapel fold. The publisher of Paisley Shirt (my collection of short fiction) is called Chapeltown Books. To reconnect with my family name under these circumstances is a surprise and delight.

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Are you ready for part 2?

I’m on Chandler’s Ford Today with Allisons Symes chatting about characters, writing goals and the Dorset Writers’ Network.

Allison is a fellow Chapeltown Books author.

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Don’t the collections look splendid displayed together?

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Staying in with…Linda Hill

I’m in good company today, staying in with Linda Hill. Here I share the inspiration behind the title story of Paisley Shirt and find out what Linda, a prolific book blogger, thinks about the collection. Why not pop over and take a look?

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Paisley Shirt is now in stock at the Book Depository with free delivery.

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Girls wearing shawls

I had such fun searching for images of women wearing paisley shawls (you can see the post here), that I decided to continue looking for paintings, but this time with girls wearing shawls.

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Girl in a Red Shawl by Alexi Harlamott (1840-1925)

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Aprilliebe by Arthur Hughes (1832-1915)

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Girl in a yellow shawl by Eugene de Blaas (1931)

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Girl with a green shawl by Joseph deCamp (1900)

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Lise in a white shawl by Renoir (1841-1919)

Do any of these images activate stories for you?  You can find out how paisley shawls and the development of paisley pattern have influenced the writing of Paisley Shirt by clicking here.

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Travelling and writing

An interview with Allison Symes for Chandler’s Ford Today has me sharing stories about travelling overland on a converted Lodekka bus with Top Deck Travel in 1981.Group Shot at Winery Lyonn (2)

Find out how this journey links to the publication of Paisley Shirt here.

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Gripping reads

Fantastic feedback from Kim Martins on Paisley Shirt

Up North

For the last month or so, I’ve been reading a fair bit of Gothic Horror. In fact, I’ve become totally obsessed with it. I’ve also been been reading a lot of flash fiction and two collections feature in my reviews in this post. Might be a book or two in this lot for you to read? Enjoy!

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Published in 1902. I know I’ve read this before, perhaps as a teenager. What can I say? This is Sherlock Holmes in top form and it’s a gripping Gothic horror novel. Despite my love of minimalist language with no horrid adverbs, I am drawn to the florid Victorian-era language. And you certainly cop it with this novel.

The plot is well-known so I won’t go into it, other than to say it revolves around the legend of a hell-hound and an ancient…

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