We are in a glorious time for writing.
Writers now have immediate access to readers—not only through books, but through a vast compendium of outlets: magazines, newspapers, blogs, social media, and now ebooks. The Internet has given us freedom to create and share our work directly, and this unfettered access is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
I was an early adopter of the idea of independent publishing, selling my shorts on Amazon as individual stories and anthologies.
Content wasn’t hard to come by—instead of quipping on Facebook and Twitter, writers spent their down time trying to impress each other with clever and scary short fiction. One of the saddest casualties of the social media storm were the smaller online sites and magazines, run by laypeople, writers all, that encouraged writers to share their free-form work. Flash fiction, a very short form, usually less than 1,000 words, was a hit, with multiple websites supporting authors, published and not, who wanted to try their hand at the challenge: tell a complete story without breaking the fixed word count.
Many of us took the challenge, myself included. There was something magical about sharing these quick little stories, written the same day as they appeared online. Of course, now that we can publish a novel the day after we finish it (thought I wouldn’t recommend that course—editing is still paramount, and that takes time) the novelty of flash fiction has worn off.
I’ve long looked to short stories as a way to have a bit of fun with my writing, to step outside my comfort zone.
I call it my Johnny Depp career path, doing only what I love, and what’s fun. First person, horror, flash fiction—these are the ways I get my jollies on the side. I’d written three novels before I ever tried my hand at short fiction. But when I did, I discovered an entirely new world, and my love of the short form grew from there. I began placing stories in magazines, writing for anthologies, for the online forums, the works. I love the freedom and limitations of the form, and I still use it as a playground of sorts, a way to stretch my wings and explore genres I wouldn’t normally write in.
My short stories are little slices, vignettes. Crimes of the heart, the mind, the soul.
They’re the bits and pieces that fall from my mind while I’m writing long form novels, the ideas that don’t have a place in my current work. Some are quite short, others have bloomed into novellas. Some have been published before, some are brand new.
I decided to start my own publishing house, Two Tales Press, so you could get a taste of these sweet little lies, too.