A Case of Black Rock is a collection of short stories covering many aspects of life. Subjects range from romance to inspirational, crime to family and drama to science fiction.
I thoroughly enjoyed the stories in this short story collection. There is dry wit and suspense, thrills and chills, and best of all twists at the ends that I did not see coming. The writing is very effective in getting such large stories condensed into only a few pages and making them entertaining at the same time. I found myself comparing the writing style to Jeffrey Archer, one who is very well known today for not just his novels but also his short story collections. I hope Simon Marshland continues to publish his short stories as I will for sure become a regular reader of his work! I suggest anyone who enjoys short stories to check out this book. And if you don't normally, try this one for when you just have a few minutes here and there, you might just get hooked!
And here is an interview with Simon Marshland himself ......
Tell us about yourself.
Rolling stone with most of my life spent on the move, living and working in places diverse as East Africa to South America. More recent activities have been based around the Mediterranean ranging from yacht chartering in Greece to fish farming in France. But wherever I am and whatever I do writing remains a compulsion and I can’t kick the habit. Currently living in the West Country but admits to itchy feet.
Tell us about your writing experience.
I suppose I’ve been writing most of my life. Even as a child I would get bursts of literary energy, scribbling short stories and recording events that lasted a week to a month before spluttering away to doze somewhere at the back of my mind. Then for no particular reason some subject or event would set me thinking again and the urge to write would surface once more for another brief period. As I grew older the periods grew longer and I wrote an increasing number of articles, commentaries, odes and better short stories, which eventually led to my first book. All writers need imagination, the more vivid the better and the ability to observe even subconsciously, but they also need as much life experience as possible. Here I have been very fortunate in spending a lot of my life travelling around the World, meeting different peoples, taking part in their customs, seeing and merging into their way of life has been immensely valuable to me as an individual as well as a writer.
What lead to you coming up with the idea of this book?
The short story went into decline when so many of the magazines that supported them died. That is not to say there are not short story magazines around from the prestigious New Yorker and possibly Harper’s to the leading newcomer Amazon for on-line stories. But in the main the rest of them now cater for science fiction and horror which narrows the horizons for most aspiring short story writers. That said there are a number of on line publishers of short stories but few of them pay and for those that do the remuneration is hardly worthwhile.
Many dismiss the short story in favour of the novel which is understandable for in comparative terms one is a full blown dinner while the other is just a snack. That said the creation of a good short story requires just as much skill as a novel, possibly even more, as there is less room for mistakes. A novel can survive a sloppy passage or run the risk of boring the reader provided his interest is recaptured in the next chapter. While the short story can afford no such luxury, for it must grab the reader’s attention at the very start, hold it through the middle and satisfy it with a solid conclusion often within the confines of two to three thousand words. The novel is a mansion in comparison with many rooms some magnificent and some more mundane, whereas the short story though a humble cottage must be spic and span throughout with great pictures and highly polished copper ware.
Masters of the short story include Poe, Fitzgerald, Flannery, O’Connor, Hemingway, Carver, Cheever and O’Henry. But every writer should give it a try; if nothing else it will enhance their writing discipline and probably improve their paragraphs. I have tried to emulate these great writers in my own humble way with a published eBook called A Case of Black Rock and other stories in the hopes that others will be tempted down the same path for it would be a shame if the short story died.
What led to your decision to self-publish?
Firstly because few publishers will even consider a book of short stories unless the author is a well known figure in the literary world which unfortunately I am not, and secondly because with the advent of Kindle an author can now publish a book to a huge audience without requiring the services of a publisher.
What obstacles did you come across in the process?
Apart from having to master the technicalities demanded by Kindle which though a struggle for me will I am sure be a breeze for most, I had no problems.
Would you / are you planning to self-publish more books in the future?
Yes, I have self-published two further books on Kindle and converted a paperback.
To get a hold of A Case of Black Rock and other stories go to http://www.marshlandmuse.blogspot.com/p/purchase-page.html