I’m fortunate enough to have another of my short stories published by the Manchester school of writing.
But instead of talking about me, I want to let the other authors and editors talk about their work.
So here is the first of my Crimelines interview series.
Today, I’ll be talking to
[©2014 K. Hutson]
1) Tell us how you got involved in the Crimelines project?
I’m about to complete a Masters in Writing for Children at MMU and I was involved in last year’s Timelines project through my course. We were asked to submit for Crimelines because of the success of last year’s book. It was great opportunity to have experiences like public readings, signing books and seeing my name in print for the first time in this context.
2) Was it your first time at writing a short story to be published?
No, as I mentioned before, I was involved with the Timelines anthology last year so had a story published in there too. I’ve entered lots of competitions in the past and actually won one once, so my story was in the anthology for that, too. I’m also currently writing a children’s picture book to be published at Ordsall Hall, the Tudor house museum where I work, later this year. My story for Timelines was actually about Ordsall hall, so I’m excited to be doing a reading there during the Manchester Children’s Book Festival at the end of June.
3) What is it you enjoy most when writing short stories?
I love the challenge of getting a fully formed story into such a restricted number of words. My favourite part of a story is the set-up and the characterization, so trying to convey those things with a limited word-count makes the process very interesting. I also love trying to think of interesting twists and playing with points of view which wouldn’t work so well as a full length novel.
4) What are the main difficulties?
The things which make it enjoyable also seem to be the difficulties! Working to a tight word count means that you can’t go off and describe everything in as much detail as you would in a novel – the style and process is very different. A short story has to have everything in a little package and be self-contained so it can be like a shot of understanding for the reader. It can be centred around a specific moment in time like a snapshot or it can be a fuller story. I was always told that a short story must always have a twist at the end, so I try to make sure something unexpected transpires.
5) Tell us a little bit about what’s ahead for you as a writer.
I’d love to know! I finish my Masters at the end of September so by that point I should have a full manuscript of my novel The Times and Life of Mr M. ready to start sending out to agents and publishers. The Ordsall Hall picture book I mentioned, Oscar and the White Lady, is being illustrated by a fantastic artist called Adam Pryce and should be published in July this year. I have been offered a place to continue on to PhD study at MMU from 2015 which would be a practice-based project on YA Gothic fiction part of which would involve writing a YA Gothic novel and researching the topic from a writer’s point of view, I just need to really work on getting some funding or organize some kind of financial windfall in order to pay the fees now!
Thank you Kim for this lively interview and I cross my fingers you find the funding to do your PhD.