Showing posts with label Words from a Glass Bubbble. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Words from a Glass Bubbble. Show all posts

Monday, 2 November 2009

Calling Short Story Writers, new and old...

If you are a short story writer – old hand or new to the game, pop over to Sally Zigmond’s blog - The Elephant in the Writing Room HERE- for a fab series of articles and discussions. This is a fantastically generous and useful thing to be doing for writers.

Sally will be posting the whole manuscript of the title story of my collection, Words from a Glass Bubble, (prize-winner at Fish, runner up at Willesden Herald short story competitions), and deconstructing the story as part of the series. She is inviting questions and comments from anyone who is interested to participate – do pass on the invite –I will pop in and participate if I can be helpful.

For those who don’t know Sally, she is a very well published and prize-winning short story writer, a novelist, editor and judge of competitions. She finds time to write reviews, and also critiques fiction for reasonable rates. (I know… she has been very helpful to me). Her novella CHASING ANGELS was published in 2006 (HERE it is on the publisher's website)and her novel, HOPE AGAINST HOPE is on the chocks at Myrmidon Books scheduled for 2010.

Here's her page at Fantastic Fiction

Monday, 10 August 2009

Salt Publishing Bestsellers of all time

Well, I can't tell you how many books Salt Publishing has been midwife to, over the years. A lot.
And it is extraordinary, see that there are a few familiar books in their All-Time Bestseller list, posted this week on their website.

The White Road and other Stories by Tania Hershman
Some New Ambush by Carys Davies

Words from a Glass Bubble
by Vanessa Gebbie

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Review of Bubble on Vulpes Libris

A mixed review of Words from A Glass Bubble on Vulpes Libris today by the prolific and straight-talking writer Anne Brooke. I am eternally grateful that people take the time to read closely for comment, whether they give me a glowing endorsement or not.
To the review. As I say, some OK, some not. Some lovely, generous approval, of stories like Closed Doors, for example. And the title story of which she says,
There are some stories that are soul-grippingly good. Particularly class acts included the title story itself, “Words from a Glass Bubble”, which is a fascinating tale about the strangeness of religion and loss and how every human peculiarity can be used to produce a positive and satisfying result. Characterisation here is both intricate and clear – a special pleasure.

Poor old ‘Tommo’, among others, (see post below) comes in for less good comment.
On the negative side, some of the stories teeter dangerously towards shades of the melodramatic – parts of the already very dramatic “I Can Squash the King, Tommo” seem rather overwritten and the end particularly took me out of the world the author wanted me to stay in at a point in the text when I should have been fully immersed in the tale.

But the most interesting (and puzzling) assertion is that I ‘write for competitions’. I am not sure where that comes from. I have never said it, only done it once myself, and indeed, when I teach, I tell writers not to! My single exception is the flash on ‘lust’ for Small Wonder Festival slam back in 2006. It is on the Small Wonder Website.
This is what she says:
It also struck me as I was reading that some of the stories, especially those in the first half of the collection, had that particular feel of being competition entries that had not been edited rigorously enough to feel entirely at ease at finding themselves in a working collection – I’m not sure I can fully explain what I mean by that concept (and yes, shame on me for that evident failing). Something perhaps about the smoothness, the turn of phrase or the ideas expressed …? I could be wrong here (heaven knows, that happens often enough) but surely there is a difference between a story written for a competition and a story written because it demands to be written, and the writer’s life would be incomplete without it. It may be to do with the passion that every tale should have, and some of these here have a lighter scattering of that vital element than they should.

I would love to be able to ask her, how should one edit a story that happens to have won a comp, for a collection? What does she mean? Make it worse, somehow? I guess I will never know!
The whole Review on Vulpes Libris, HERE.

Anne Brooke blogs HERE and her bio is as follows.

Anne Brooke has been writing for eighteen years and is the author of seven novels, numerous short stories and poems. She was shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Novel Award in 2006, longlisted for the Betty Bolingbroke-Kent Novel Award in 2005, and shortlisted for the Royal Literary Fund Awards in 2004 and the Asham Award for Women Writers in 2003. In addition, she has twice been the winner of the DSJT Charitable Trust Open Poetry Award. Her GLBT romantic thriller, The Bones of Summer, is available at Dreamspinner Press. Her crime thriller, Maloney's Law, is published by PD Publishing and available from Amazon in the UK and US. In addition, another crime thriller, A Dangerous Man, is also available from Flame Books. Her psychological crime novel, Thorn in the Flesh, and her romantic comedy novel, Pink Champagne and Apple Juice, are both published as eBooks from Bristlecone Pine Press, and are also available as paperbacks from Goldenford Publishers. Her latest poetry collection is A Stranger's Table, which includes poems about mysteries, boats and women. This is available via her website.

Footnote: I was disppointed to see that Anne used the review to bash Salt for their recent Just One Book Campaign. I am not convinced that is strictly relevant to my work!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008


Last night, at London's Foundling Museum, Words From A Glass Bubble was launched.

It was the best possible event. I was surrounded by 130 friends - writers and non-writers. The champers flowed, the noise level was high, there were three readings and a constant opportunity to explore this wonderful place with the help of experienced guides.

I will post pictures when they come through... but HERE IS A LINK to Elizabeth Baines' blog, with her piccies, a lovely account of the party, and the book...

And Sarah Hilary, a super crime writer (and winner of one of the Fish prizes this year) has written it up on her blog HERE

Can't ask for nicer words from either of them. Thank you both. It was lovely of you to make the journey to London, one from Manchester, one from the Cotswolds.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Words from a Glass Bubble: Update

The collection is coming together. I have to say that working with Jen Hamilton-Emery at Salt Publishing is great.


It's like having a friend who emails you and is putting together your precious first book, who really cares about getting it right, who isn’t shy of saying ‘I think these bits don’t go’, and who is happy to flex initial ideas.

The contents list is now twenty two stories, a real cross-section. Some are long, a few are shorter. One is truly flash length. Some are prize winners, some not. Most have been published before. What holds them together are the themes and the tone, I think. A muted palette, with the occasional vermillion spike.

(It’s interesting to see work in colour. I always look at each piece to find the ‘colour wash’ it inhabits.)

I have created the dedication page. I am dedicating it to a friend who died just before Christmas last year. I was trawling about for quotes. Should I, shouldn’t I have a quotation to say something about Jan, or would that be schmaltzy? I flicked onto some place or other and found a wonderful quote that really chimed… by Sir Winston Churchill. So I have the great man hovering around at the start. Terrific!

The acknowledgements page came next. Golly that is tough. My instinct was to name everyone I felt had been touched in any way by this obsession with writing. (Because writing is like a love affair for this writer. It takes you away from friends, turns you into a more intense being. Makes you high one minute and low the next. And it is impossible to explain to anyone who isn’t also in love…)

My acknowledgement page drafts were like bad Oscar acceptance speeches. I’d like to thank my agent, my granny, my local greengrocer and my bus conductor…
In the end, I named only those individuals who have really played a part in growing this writer, and mentioned others by group tags. Most of the page is taken up with ‘First Published In’ detail and so on. But I also wanted to acknowledge the influence great writers have had and always will. So I do that. I wonder if anyone reads that page?

Jen has all the files and the stories are now off to the typesetters for proofs.

I am on tenterhooks about the cover. I know how vital good covers are. (Hey, it was the cover that made me buy Austerlitz by W G Sebald, starting the process of turning me into a writer.) I have sourced a wonderful photograph and have agreed with Jen that we will go for it. It is so ‘right’ for the book, I can’t imagine anything else fitting. But of course, it will. The problem with the photograph is that it is with a top agency, and the photographer must have final say if it is to be used for the cover of a book. It’s also expensive.

But what the hell. I may only do this once, and I want to be as proud of it as I can be.