"Carriage Return" - the beginning of something brand new...

# "Adjectives on the typewriter, he moves his words like a prize fighter... The frenzied pace of the mind inside the cell" # - Cake

If you read my last post back in April, you'll get the sense that I rather like a good story title... The title of this blog post "Carriage Return" for instance, is one that's been rattling round in my head for a while during 2015... It's another of my 'titles without content' at the moment but I love the multiple meanings an individual reader can take from a title and the power they have to draw an audience into a narrative...

I've used this particular title on this particular post because I wanted to revisit a theme of my writing which I've oft-derided since beginning my online creative scribbles quest back in 2006, and that's one of "self-publishing".  In the almost-decade since I first launched my own writing presence online (in effect "self-publishing" my own short fiction on my Official Writing Homepage, the notion of what is "publishing" has began to change significantly, and I guess it's this shift that has also slowly been taking place in my own mind about my own notions of where I want my writing to end up.

The “prize” still remains a publishing contract, after finding a literary agent I can work with to build a career as a working author of adventure fiction, but on my ever winding “Road to Publishville”, it’s become clear to me that there’s all sorts of stops and sights that can be taken in, in order to help build my 21st century creative writing CV.

So with this in mind, I’ve decided to work towards a 2016 launch of my first book of short stories in one collected edition.  I’m still working on the title of this (at the moment, it has the working title of “With a Contented Smile”, simply because in a lot of my stories, that seems to be how I end up describing my main characters by the end, with a contented smile) and looking at the idea of the “ebook” from all angles, I’m thinking that this might also be a print-on-demand book, to please the traditionalist side of my writerly sensibilities.

As I’ve said, next year will be the ten-year anniversary of my e-writing online so it seems appropriate to somehow mark the occasion, and so over the next 12 months or so I’m going to be revisiting the various “Featured Fiction” pages of my Official Writing website and picking out 10 of my favourite stories to collect together (along with a few exclusive tales that haven’t appeared on my site to date).  There’ll be some work to be done to edit the stories together into one book too but after the recent editing pass I’ve been carrying out on “my space saga” first novel, I’m looking forward to this process, especially since I’ll be viewing some of the stories through an older eye than when I first scribbled them onto paper.

Another part of the process which I’m quite excited about is appointing an artist to design the cover of the collection.  I’ve got someone in mind but haven’t approached them yet, so watch this space in the new year for more news on that new collaboration.  I’ve found working alongside an illustrator in the past to be a rewarding experience (and those particular “Adventures” are still ongoing, I might add – more news in 2016!), so joining minds with another creative on this latest venture should make for some interesting ideas to spark off one another in the process.

There's an old adage that says "Publish and be damned" but as I've said, I'm still a cautious follower of the modern trend to put all of my creative writing out there in cyberspace (especially for free, when it's this area that I want to develop a career in) but this first collection will be an interesting experiment, I think.  Back before the 21st century rise of the e-book, back in the 17th and 18th century self-publishing was similarly popular in the form of “chapbooks” which were sold by travelling pedlars of wares around the country and contained short or small stories on a single piece of folded paper.  They were an important part of the history of publishing as a whole... Hopefully my small story collection next year will form an important part of my own personal publishing history too... I'll just have to publish and be damned, and wait and see...


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