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The in-between stories

I received some good news yesterday. My short story Bric-a-brac American is going to get published by Litro magazine. It's a prestigious UK mag (there's a US version too) that published the likes of Man-Booker-winning Eleanor Catton, so I am very excited.

Unfortunately, due to some Covid-related production issues, the edition I'll be published in will only have a digital version at this time. It doesn't matter as much because it's still Litro, but I would have loved to see another physical copy of one of my stories.

But why am I complaining? This is one of those stories that I wrote while I was writing my novel. From time to time, these in-between stories pop into my head and I just have to write them down.

I feel these kinds of stories are a win-win. They're a win because it doesn't mean I'm taking a break from my novel because I'm still practicing my craft, I'm still writing. They're a win because it means I keep my distance from my novel when I think I'm getting too close.

I think it was Flaubert who said that if you participate in life, you don't see it clearly: you suffer from it too much or enjoy it too much. I think it's the same with novel writing. When you're so into your novel, you lose the pen and become a character. So it helps to remember that I'm the one in charge.

There are lots of affectations involving writers. One of them is about letting the characters do the talking and that the author has no control over his creations. Besides believing that this is an affectation, a kind of fetishistic view of novel-writing, I believe it's also a very bad example to set for someone who wants to write stories.

Characters do get away from you from time to time but it's important to rein them in so the story remains intact and doesn't become too crude or sentimental. It's still, ultimately, a creation.

But I digress!

The point is that Bric-a-brac American will be published in Litro in July. I'm very grateful. It's a story about an American expatriate in Coventry who turns his garage into a museum of American memorabilia. I think it's a good story but you can be the judge of that.

As you will be the judge of my novel, I hope. Incidentally, I am on draft three of White Light Pictures now. It's well on its way to becoming a YA fantasy I can start sending out to beta readers.

Onwards and upwards.

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