This first collection of stories has, I hope, a bit of everything. Originally released as individual stories for download on Amazon Kindle and through Smashwords (including iTunes and Barnes and Noble etc.) these first seven stories have been compiled into one paperback released in 2018. I’ll write a bit more detail on each story separately, but in the meantime here is a summary of each:
The Legend of Muam Tam Say: An encounter with an ancient wonder of the natural world in the shadows of the Himalayas; a short extract from the diaries of a young soldier on the eve of the First World War. The diaries describe the spiritual and psychological impact of the ‘wonder’ on the young soldier. (Think of it as a ‘Jules Verne traveller’ stumbling across the Giza pyramids for the first time.)
The Dot Matrix: A young man re-evaluates his office-bound existence when he comes across the printout musings of an old dot matrix printer.
Scary Afternoon in the Garden: An eleven year old boy describes his encounter with the 'creatures from the woods' when they visit his garden one really, really, scary afternoon. Based in a slightly alternate universe, the story is written in the voice of (and from the perspective of) the young boy giving the account its own particular flavour and humour.
The Florin Smile: A meteor shower brings a new chemical compound to earth resulting in a change to some people’s smile (and/or brain chemistry). The new ‘florin smile’ soon has far more currency than the US dollar/GBP pound as it changes the way people assess (and assign) value in modern society.
Parked in a Ditch: ‘The course of true love ne'er did run smooth for a middle-aged, middle manager stuck in the mire of administration.’ It’s a story of bloke planning to make a (romantic) move on a colleague and how his plans fall apart (and evolve) when confronted with reality. Dark humour of a desperate (even sad) situation.
Fear of Lions: A doting uncle offers advice to his niece on how to confront her fears ... and deals with the unhappy aftermath. Quite a dark tale, but humourous, I think/hope.
The Totty Boat: A grumpy uncle writes a letter to his young nephew offering advice on the stuff that matters.
Having researched the publication options I opted to make the paperback available online through Amazon but for high street shops through the print-on-demand service provided by Lightning Source / Ingram Spark.