Adam Bird


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Sunday, 20 November 2011

Things that go bump in the night


Time seems to have very elastic properties right now. The past two weeks have flown by in a blur of babies and excitement and yet, life as we knew it seems so distant and long ago. November has been a monumental month in the grand scheme of things, not only did I witness the safe arrival of my daughter Phoebe, I was published for the very first time.

'Things that go bump in the night' is an anthology of Ghost Stories written by students and collated by tutors of The Write Place, a creative writing school in Dartford that I have been attending this year as a part of a work sponsored initiative. The “Me, Me, Me” fund allows each staff member £200 to learn something new and being published as part of the anthology is the unexpected but delightful climax of a year where I have learnt a huge amount.

The book itself is available from Amazon at a bargain price of £3.16 in e-book format, which makes it compatible with their Kindle e-book reader, or any associated Kindle software which can be downloaded for your smart-phone, tablet or if you prefer your plain old computer (Not sure which is which? The best way to check is to visit the Amazon Kindle page).

As expected with any anthology there is plenty of choice for the reader, so whichever way you like your horror, ‘Things that go bump in the night’ will sure to have something for everyone; gothic horror, poignant tales of the unexpected, contemporary fiction and even a small dose of comedy!

As well as myself, there are twenty other contributors, which I’ve listed below along with the name of their story:

  • ZoĆ«'s Car by Christine Webb
  • Nana's Helper by Gerry Savill
  • Better Late than Never by Catherine Burrows
  • The Cherry Orchard by Angela Johnson
  • Buddha by Natalie Kleinman
  • Good Ghost, Bad Spirit by Stephen Reed
  • Highly Strung by Rosemary Goodacre
  • One Man and his Cat by Michael Deal
  • The Old Medicine Chest by Pat Clarke
  • Daffodil Hill by Samantha Whayman
  • Flight 45 by Andy Prue
  • Christmas Cottage by Elaine Everest
  • Stained Glass by Linda Tovey
  • Gone by Barbara Clements
  • The Puppet Master by Giovanna Burgess
  • Boo! by Adam Bird
  • The Voice from the Old Pumping Station by Judith Webb
  • Small Blessings by Mark Bigg
  • Innocent until Proven Guilty by Valerie Miller
  • Danny's Special Project by Tracy Phillips
  • The train to Necropolis by Francesca Burgess

Being in such distinguished company was something that I never expected at the beginning of the year, joining up to a class where I knew nothing about what to expect. But for me, seeing my name down in print hasn’t been the highlight, its the process that taught me so much along the way that has been a real blessing.

My story in the Anthology is called “Boo”, I’ll let you download a copy and read it, so won’t post any spoilers here, but the version that you’ll (hopefully) read is very different to the story that I wrote to begin with.

Firstly, I should confess, I’m not a fan of the genre, blame it if you like on the scourge of Hollywood films that consist of unbelievable creatures/maniacs chasing unbelievable characters (mostly female and/or teenagers) resulting in a ninety minute muddle of where the only thing horrific is the acting. For that very reason I decided that this project was going to be way out of my comfort zone, but to try and do something that will do myself and the genre justice.

I thought that by writing a children’s story I would have greater freedom in putting something unbelievable in a more believable setting - using a child imagination for the ‘ghost’ and wrapping a story around the child’s experience, but although well written, it didn’t really work first time around.

If at first I was disheartened, I can look back now and be glad of it. Nothing is ever done first time around, whilst writing, particularly for a short story, you need to follow a few golden rules which looking back, were absent from my first draft. I’m grateful for the advice and encouragement from the tutors and the classrooms elder statesmen who also passed judgement on my first and second drafts - passing all their experience and know-how so that I could deliver something that would fit in with the anthology and have something that I can stand up and be proud of.

Writing a blog on a tiny space of cyber real estate for a handful of people, least of all myself has been fun and I will continue regardless. But writing for the greater public, who invest a small fee to read something that I’ve written has been an amazing challenge and has inspired further ambition in me, least of all the completion of my novel which I’ve talked about but need to go that extra mile and finish. It’s a daunting prospect, it took three revisions for a short story to get it up to scratch, goodness knows how many iterations will be required for a full blown novel!

But nonetheless, that’s a challenge I a shall relish for another day! For now though, I’m still celebrating being part of a collaborative effort and enjoying the success of being part of a talented team of writers. All of whom should be thoroughly applauded and kept an eye on in the future - as make no doubt, they will all, I’m sure, go onto have much more success with other ventures anytime soon.

Download the book now »

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Anonymous said...

Awesome! Congrats! It's really fun when you get away from the solitary work of writing into the more collaborative work of publishing. Hurray for you and Boo and the new baby! - MB

Adam Bird said...

Thank you very much MB x

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