Since becoming an indie author I have found myself deluged by books and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. You see I can’t refuse any book that I come across, whether it’s free, on offer or made attractive enough to me by its author – and as you’re all weavers of wonderful words, that’s not difficult! So I find myself with mountains of books, figuratively speaking, obviously, as they’re on my Kindle but you get the picture!


There’s no problem with having all these books but finding the time to read and review them is becoming an issue. On many occasions I’ve tweeted that I’ve just bought them and the author makes contact to thank me and hope that I enjoy their work and I assure them I will review. Months pass and I can only read one at a time. However I have found a solution at least to some of this…I don’t want to call it a problem, since when could too many books be considered a problem but I think you know what I mean…and the solution is this – the short story.


I have always enjoyed short stories and have now found them to be an added joy. They are easy to read and digest, quick to review and, bringing me to the point of this post, a great introduction to an authors work. They act as an appetiser if you like, tempting you to tackle the meatier course of someone’s novel where you need to commit serious time.

I have enjoyed what I shall now call my ‘short story experience’ twice recently. The first book I came across was Nine Lives by Terry Tyler. I was fortunate enough to be treated to a day out by my daughter at a health spa and found this book of, unsurprisingly, nine short stories ideal for such a day.

Bite sized stories read in the few minutes you have between ‘relaxing’ treatments – I say relaxing as whilst some of them were there was one rather horrifying experience involving being scoured vigorously with what felt like a wire brush before being so liberally applied with aromatherapy oil that when I went to move I slid off the bed like a slippery eel…

That indignity aside I finished this delightful series of stories in a day and I’d recommend them to anyone with a short attention span or little time. Waiting rooms are ideal and travelling to go on holiday perfect.

On a more serious note short stories have a special place for me I remember the words of a friend, one who is sadly no longer with us, who spent a lot of time in hospital and although he took books with him to fill the time he told me he couldn’t read them, couldn’t get into them because his concentration was constantly broken by the necessary interruptions of hospital life – he would have loved short stories such as these.

Nine Lives

My second interesting taster was Don’t Turn on the Light by Max China. Now, I had already bought China’s novel, The Sister, and although it looks very much like my sort of book, I still haven’t got to it. One day I saw a tweet from China about a short story he’d written and on the spur of the moment I bought it – read (loved!) and reviewed it over lunch and felt at least I’d done something to support someone else in their writing but more importantly I really, really enjoyed the story, it connected me to China’s writing and it has definitely moved The Sister up my list.

Don't Turn On The Light

There is also a great deal of variety in the way these offerings of short story are put together and as examples I currently have the following awaiting my attention:-

A Long Way from Home by Jan Ruth – now these are slightly longer, advertised as long short stories, but three tales in one book – marvellous (and what a beautiful cover).

A Long Way from Home

Scared edited by Rayne Hall, which contains ten horror stories by ten different authors, ten introductions right there – how brilliant is that? As an added bonus I’ll be reading a genre I wouldn’t usually choose.


Lastly I have just picked up Emily by Chantal Bellehumeur which is a family orientated series of 12 stories featuring the same characters but revolving around Emily and this sounds like an interesting take on a short story format, I am looking forward to it.


There was an excellent post on Facebook recently by The Literary Consultancy sharing an article in The Telegraph called The Irresistible Rise of the Short Story which highlights their growing popularity and prominence in literature.

Perhaps this the way forward, authors putting out a variety of short stories to attract new readers which all sounds good to me however I’ve only ever written one short story. It’s just been rejected which is fine because even as I wrote it I could already see its potential as the basis for a novel. Clearly for me this tempting by short story approach is going to be a work in progress…

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15 Responses to Introduction by Short Story
  1. Hello Georgia, yes, that’s an excellent idea and I totally agree, and an excellent blog post too. In fact, I think I’ll go ahead and do it myself, putting my short stories from my blog into a book. As you say, a lot of people like a nice short ‘bite’ and don’t always feel like wading right into a book by an unknown person. Are you going to try it?

    • Hi Geoff, excellent idea and I’m sure Jack would approve! I really think this is a good way to go though no time to do it myself at the moment – perhaps when I have all the Trilogy out I will turn my mind to it. It’s a very good offering alongside your other books because although you put them on your blog at present I find many people don’t understand blogs and have no experience of them and your stories there don’t reach the readership they could. Good luck and I shall look forward to reading 🙂

    • Good idea Geoff, especially as you have them all there, waiting! Please see my comment, below 🙂

  2. Georgia. This is a great idea not only from a reader’s perspective but from an author’s perspective too. I wrote a number of short stories years ago when studying for my writing diploma. In fact, I had forgotten just how many I had written until I stumbled upon them recently. Although there aren’t quite enough for a published collection, I have also written outlines for several more. Therefore, my next project after the launch of my debut novel is to publish a short story collection. With so much material already written, it will be much quicker than completing my second novel. The other good thing about short stories is that it can show readers your versatility in writing for a variety of genres.

    • Hi Diane, this sounds like a great idea especially if you are most of the way there with so much already written. Short story writing is a skill but at least due to their size they are easier to tighten up and get ready to publish – certainly easier than a novel. I can see I shall have to become far more prolific with my writing in the future if I am ever to publish something similar! Georgia

  3. Thank you so much for featuring Nine Lives here, G! Last summer I couldn’t decide on a short story collection or a Christmas novella (I wanted to bring out a third book that year), and am so glad I went for the short stories, even though the Christmas novella is always a sure-fire seller. So many people have told me that they’ve gone on to read my novels afterwards – I agree with you, committing to a novel by an unknown writer is sometimes difficult, whereas a short story tells you whether or not you like their style enough to carry on. For any writers who haven’t tried this yet, I’d suggest putting the first chapter of one of your novels in the back, too. I put Nine Lives out free on publication (it’s still only 77p, which is the most expensive it will ever be!), with a chapter of ‘What It Takes’ in the back – six weeks later, What It Takes got into the Amazon Top 1000, where I hadn’t had a book for 18 months!

    • Thanks for all this info Terry, very useful. I hadn’t thought about putting the first chapter of a novel in there as well, great idea and clearly very effective!!

  4. That’s the great thing about anthologies. You get stories by several authors, each with a different writing style and a different approach to storytelling, so you’re bound to find something you like. 🙂

  5. Hi Georgia. You make an interesting point about short stories being useful when reading time has become boiled down to a snatched few minutes. I’m having one of those sort of periods at the moment! I tend to read non-fiction, then (currently Millions Like Us, by Virginia Nicholson).
    As far as writing goes, I ‘cut my teeth’ writing short stories and have written loads over the years (most unpublished) but once immersed in novel-mode, I find it hard to come up with short story ideas, though I’d love to be able to. I’d like to ask Terry if he has a way of compartmentalising his brain to get over that problem!

    • Hi Wendy, I’m glad it’s not just me that struggles with this. Every idea I come up with seems to start transforming itself into a novel as soon as I start putting any more thought into it! Though you could have a look through your stock of short stories and see if you have an anthology in the making? I think the idea Terry (she not he) had of putting a chapter of a novel in the back of the short stories is a great idea. Certainly if I found that and was captivated I would buy the book immediately. Also with the rise of ebooks as you brought new novels out you could change the chapter that you put in at the end to your latest novel and gain extra readers that way. I think once I get to the end of my Trilogy I might take some time out to try a few short stories and see how I get on – however I already have novel number 4 itching in my brain so who knows 🙂 Georgia

    • Hi Wendy again – I’ve just heard from Terry who has tried to respond to the question in your comment but it keeps getting rejected so she has sent it to me and here it is:-

      ‘When I’m writing short stories my head goes into ‘blog post mode’, in that a short has to have a punchy beginning, absolutely no digression and a satisfying denouement or twist. I get ideas for short stories from incidents, or observations; I’d suggest that if you do get the idea for one when mid-novel, write down notes there and then, so you can go back to it when your head is in the right place.’ Terry

      Good idea, and it stops you getting distracted when on novel mode. Georgia

  6. Thanks for passing on Terry’s reply, Georgia. (And my apologies for getting her gender wrong. Sorry, Terry!) Yes, I’m like you, Georgia. It’s the ideas which tend to grow and get out of control, developing into a novel plot rather than staying nice and succinct! Then once I see the novel potential I don’t want to use them as a short story because I’m excited about the novel idea and want to keep it as such. Hopeless!
    It’s a brilliant idea about the ‘first’ chapter in the back of a short story collection, though.
    Thanks for the tip, Terry. I shall certainly try and retrain my brain! 🙂


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