Last month I discovered that a film about Charles Dickens’ affair with Ellen Ternan, known as the ‘invisible woman’, is due for release on February 7th. I had a sudden rush of blood to the head, for I had written a story on that very subject some years back, a story I’d never published. Surely it would be a good idea to get my story out there before the film appears?
More blood to the head – why not issue the story as part of a collection of short stories, with a common link? Why not write about crucial events in the lives of famous writers, but from unusual or unexpected angles?
Brain now in overdrive: six stories are mapped out. Internet and library research begins. A gorgeous cover is commissioned.
Then events in real life decide to make trouble – so much so that progress temporarily halts. And I have no intention of compromising these stories by bringing them out prematurely, just to beat the notional February 7th deadline.
In the meantime, here’s a tiny taster:
I was suddenly sure that he would not live long. His incandescence was self-consuming, like a train of gunpowder.
And of a sudden, at that moment of revelation, we were indeed close to death, in a shriek of whistles and a coarse incompetent grinding of brakes.
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