A Bowl of Cherries by F.E. Birch – Release Day Author Guest Post
Posted by kirstyes
Happy Release Day to A Bowl of Cherries by F.E. Birch, a writer I have known for a number of years.
I am excited to delve into these tales when they arrive but in the meantime she has agreed to share an insight into her writing process.
About the Book
There’s nothing cosy about these crimes.
Succulent rich stories of the dark and unknown that might terrify, horrify, or deliciously delight. Thirty-two previously published and prize winning tales that contain themes of death, destruction, abuse and emotion, each one a veritable stride into a unique and different world.
From the psychologically disturbed, the raging mad, the vulnerability of victims, and desperately needy, there’s not much that isn’t covered in the dark genre for those that like their stories to be troubling, distressing and quirky. NOT for the faint of heart, this comes with a triple X warning!
“A delightfully dark rollercoaster, dipping into a selection of slickly written shorts.” — Robert Scragg, author of All That is Buried
“A patchwork quilt of daring fever dreams, stitched together with effortless, bewitching prose. Highly recommended.” — Rob Parker, author of Far from the Tree
About the Author
FE Birch is one writing pseudonym of a writer that first put pen to paper at the age of five but really took it seriously from 2004. She has had over 150 short stories published and/or placed in competitions, a ‘faction’ book published by Harper Collins and her first crime novel is currently out on submission. A Bowl of Cherries is a self-published collection of 32 shorts that will steal your breath and make sure you never look at cherries in the same way again.
Author Guest Post – Planning the perfect crime … short!
I’m not an expert on flash fiction, or short story writing, I only know what works for me.
I like the short story form as they are quick reads, often intense, emotional, and leave you with a taste that lingers. When you live a busy life like I do, and I read slowly, it takes ages to read a novel and sometimes I just want a satisfying fast read.
When I’m writing I often start with a prompt or series of prompts. It could be someone I’ve noticed, or something that’s happened that I store up for future use. An idea forms, and it could be a character, a feeling, a setting, or a plot. Something has to happen. I was always surprised when people talked of short stories that were thousands of words. To me they are mini novels, novellas, or short novels. A story can be told effectively in a paragraph, if it’s done right, or three hundred words, or three thousand. My longest short story is five thousand. I don’t know if I could keep the momentum of a short story for longer than that.
I wasn’t sure if I could write a novel, but I have, and that is a totally different process.
I think a story has a limit and as you start to write, the story flows and ends when it needs to. If I have to write to a word count, say two thousand words, I know I have space to add characters, add settings, scenes, sensory detail, that add to the story, but it mustn’t be seen as filler. If I only have 100 words then it has to clipped, tight, in and out, no messing about.
It’s easier when I don’t have word count to work with because as I type the story ends itself then I can edit the rubbish and mould the rest. I like that.
I sometimes write a couple of paragraphs that might be a set of ideas rather than stories and then I store them for future use to prolong, to make into something more. If I write a character I like, I can revisit them, give them more of a story, build up a ‘happening’ , take something very short and turn it into something darker, something more enticing, or sinister. Then others are just right as they are.
It’s as individual to the writer as it is to the reader. I like to be provoked as both, so for me anything goes, and the rules are your own to make. I know I’m not to everyone’s taste.
There aren’t too many avenues for the stories I like to write and read and there are no mainstream magazines to submit to that take stories like mine. Nothing I write would fit People’s Friend!
Competitions and anthologies have been kind to me over the years and given me an outlet, but again, it’s difficult to find them on the shelves of bookshops, unless they are written by famous authors.
Whilst I’m waiting for a publishing deal for my novel, I’ve pulled some of my best stories together for Bowl of Cherries. All different, all quick reads, all dark and twisty. All short.