Short Stories

Happy Christmas and Thank You

Happy Christmas and Thank You

I’d like to take the opportunity to say a very happy Christmas and a very big thank you to all of you who have supported my writing over the last year. It has certainly been a very exciting year for me and next year is looking to be just as exciting.

This year has seen the publication of The Complete Entlebucher Mountain Dog Book and Embers of the Day, both of which have been very well received. It has also seen both my novels The Appearance of Truth and New York Orphan doing well, so thank you all.

You’re going to have to wait to hear about next year’s plans. Although I can tell you that the prequel to New York Orphan is likely to be available in February, but I’ll bring you more news of that nearer the time.

What I may have omitted to mention is that together with three writing friends we have put together a short ebook, Are We Nearly Famous? which is available to download for free. It includes a short story by each of us and an extract from one of our books. We’ve done it as a way to introduce people to our writing who may not otherwise be familiar with it. Please feel free to share the link with anyone. 

https://books2read.com/AreWeNearlyFamous

May this Christmas bring you and your families peace, happiness and health and may next year be a good one for us all.

FREE to download – Are We Nearly Famous?

The book Are We Nearly Famous? has come about as a result of four writing friends looking for a way to promote each other’s work. Patsy Collins, Sheila Crosby and Rosemary Kind originally met through an online writing forum while Lynne Pardoe joined the group later.

Together with fifth group member, Susan Jones, they give honest feedback on each other’s writing projects and help to make sure that the work their readers see is the best it can be. “We all have published books,” says Patsy Collins, “and were looking at ways to help each other promote our writing. Offering a free back with stories written by each of us seemed an obvious route to take.”

The book contains both short stories and opening chapters from some of their novels. The writers hope that if readers enjoy this they may go on to try other of their available books. “Although some of our work is in different genres,” says Sheila Crosby, “we all write some women’s fiction and it was that which drew us together initially.” Between them they also write everything from science fiction to crime, and historical fiction to humour. All four also write non-fiction drawing on their individual areas of expertise.

“The great thing about working online,” says Rosemary Kind, “is that it doesn’t matter where we are. Sheila lives in the Canary Islands, while Patsy and I both do a lot of travelling. As long as we have an internet connection we can still work together.”

Between them the four have more than thirty published books to their names – and they are all working on more. Their stories and articles have been published in a wide range of magazines both in the UK and abroad. The book title Are We Nearly Famous? is a tongue in cheek question by the authors. “We’re not household names yet,” says Lynne Pardoe, “but we’re certainly working on it.”

Are We Nearly Famous? is published by Alfie Dog Fiction and is free to download HERE.

Book Launch – Embers of the Day

Today my short story collection Embers of the Day is out. For years readers have been asking me when my short stories will be available and at last I can answer that question with some confidence! NOW!

The book contains 20 short stories, many poignant, others laugh out loud funny. For those of you who know my writing, you will enjoy my usual writing style and many twists and turns along the way.

Here’s the blurb from the book:

From the movingly beautiful, to the laugh-out-loud funny. This collection of short stories covers the breadth of Rosemary J. Kind’s fiction writing in her usual accessible style.

Be inspired by The Old Oak Tree, consider what can go wrong when murdering your husband in The Perfect Crime. Be careful what you wish for in Princess Isabella and the Tale of the Three Wishes. Be moved by the life-changing events of Music Saved My Soul.

You’ll even learn the truth behind the real story of Snow White, at least as far as her step-mother sees things! You can laugh with Sandra at her excessive purchases of chocolate.  Be inspired by Alison in finding a new use for junk mail, or follow PC Dave Jones as he gets on a bicycle for the first time in years. This collection has it all.

It’s available in ebook or paperback HERE

As always I’d be very grateful if you post a review once you’ve read it. More than that, I’d love to discuss the stories with you. Which one is your favourite? Mine depends what mood I’m in. The Perfect Crime worried my husband when I wrote that one. The Old Oak Tree was inspired by the trees I used to cycle round as a child. Shadows of the Past was inspired by my aunt. Of course, when you read some of them, you really need to remember this is fiction! I’ve never killed anyone, advertised for a one night stand or won a cake competition. I do however have quite a vivid imagination!

5 years and we’re celebrating!

It is five years ago today since I launched www.alfiedog.com the short story download site. Over those years I have built it to being one of the biggest paid short story sites in the world with 325 authors and over 1600 short stories.

We’re having a bit of a celebration with some special offers on stories by those authors who have been with us all five years http://alfiedog.com/fiction/featured/ and a special sale of some of the best stories we carry, with six different stories brought to you each week over the next five weeks http://alfiedog.com/fiction/sale/  Then we’re having with a big online party which you are all welcome to join on June 11th from 7pm to 9pm UK time https://www.facebook.com/events/214250785730563/?active_tab=discussion Finally we are finishing off our celebrations by offering five of our short story collections absolutely free as ebooks and we’ll let you know the dates of those later.

Spread the word and join in the celebrations.

Morning the loss of kwality fikshun

‘Lies damn lies and statistics.’ Book sales were up last year. You would think that was good news, but should adult dot to dot books really be included? Even when you take those out and look at the rest of the sales it can make for depressing reading.

Whilst there has been much criticism of self-publishing ‘dumbing down’ literature, I fear that the problem runs much deeper. It is a long time since I’ve read a book without a significant number of errors. Even supposed modern classics like The Red Notebook had a record being 33 1/3 inches! (If you don’t immediately know what’s wrong with that then you’re too young to know your vinyl from your cassette.)

I’m not sure whether to be appalled or relieved. As a publisher, I know it is almost inevitable that the odd error will slip through. The reason being that the cost of catching them all is too high compared with the likely return on the publication.

The problem lies with a society that has the attention span of a gnat on caffeine and which expects something for nothing, or at best paid for by hidden means such as advertising.

I’m told that one of the big things for writers is Wattpad where books are posted in instalments and are free to readers. If this is the next big thing, then the thing after that will be the most dreadful standard of written English amongst the following generation as they learn from what they read… and what they are reading is not good!

I’m not against the progression of language and its ongoing simplification; development and change is part of what keeps it alive. However, I do believe that we’re at risk of losing quality fiction because of the lack of interest and respect by the population at large. Is that inevitable in the age of electronics? Does it matter? I think it does.

I set up Alfie Dog Fiction to publish quality short stories for paid download. An author has to earn a living. Giving their work for free does not enable them to do that. By quality I don’t mean literary. Of course we do carry some high class literary fiction, but whatever the genre a reader deserves to be able to read stories which are well written and well crafted. I didn’t set it up because it would make me a millionaire (if you’re counting, it has made me zero so far) I set it up because I believe in it and I believe in the authors whose work we carry.

Five years on from the start of Alfie Dog Fiction I still live in hope that readers will one day come to understand why good quality writing is important in the fast paced, throw away age we inhabit.

Rosemary J Kind

www.alfiedog.com

We carry 1600 short stories written by more than 300 authors around the world

Author / Editor / Publisher

Publication Day

final-cover-small-front-251016It’s here. It’s available in time for Christmas and, though I say so myself, it’s well worth reading if you want to learn more about writing.

From Story Idea to Reader

From Story Idea to Reader is an easily accessible guide to writing fiction. Whether you are brushing up on your writing skills or starting out, this book will take you through the whole process from inspiration to conclusion. No matter if you are looking to submit your work for publication, enter a competition, or want to self-publish, this practical guide will help you every step of the way.

Between them, Patsy Collins and Rosemary Kind have sold hundreds of short stories, written sixteen published books and produced numerous articles for Writing Magazine and similar publications. They’ve both judged writing competitions and run workshops, and Rosemary has read and edited thousands of short stories and published dozens of books for other writers.

With the information, help and encouragement in this book, you too could see your work in print.

Available from:

Alfie Dog Fiction – HERE

Amazon UK – HERE

Amazon.com HERE

Also available from other online retailers.

From Story Idea to Reader

final-cover-small-front-251016Don’t let the grass grow under your feet! Whilst I’ve been waiting for responses from agents on my novel, I have not been sitting idly staring at a blank screen.

Earlier this summer, prolific short story writer, Patsy Collins and I began to discuss writing a book with advice for writers. Patsy has a number of novels to her credit and has written hundreds of short stories, which have been published in all the leading women’s magazines both at home and abroad. I, as you may have realised by now, have not only written several books, but as editor at www.alfiedog.com have edited several thousand short stories in the last few years.

What all that means is that Patsy’s and my combined experience could prove very useful to other writers. We’ve also both run workshops and judged in writing competitions as well as having written articles for the writing magazines.

We began to look at the whole process and between us have written a guide taking you from how to generate ideas, through to how to get your work published. It runs to nearly 300 pages and hopefully has something for every writer. The project is now complete and ready to be launched into the world. It comes out on 30th November in paperback, but is already available to pre-order as an ebook. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you when it comes to launch date. If you don’t need it for yourself, it really would make a great Christmas Present for the writer  or wannabe writer in your family.

Paperback ISBN 978-1-909894-32-7 £9.99 in the UK

Ebook from all leading outlets £3.99 Amazon UK is HERE

Not a Moment’s Peace

I planned today to simply bring you the good news that having written ‘The End’ after 82,000 words and completed a fairly thorough edit, The Orphan Train is finally out with beta readers for feedback. However, that was before I went for a walk! I’ll come back to that in a moment.

The Orphan Train will still have a further round of editing when I get comments back from the wonderful people who have volunteered to read it at this stage. It has already been through the writing critique group I’m part of, and has been refined in the process, but their final feedback, together with what I receive from the current readers, may lead to other changes. First I need to let the dust settle so I can come back to it with the eyes of a reader myself. When you are the author you can be all too close to your characters and reluctant to ask certain things of them. In a few weeks, the final round of edits will begin and hopefully the final product will be all the better for it.

Does that mean I am now idle? Oh how well you know me, of course it doesn’t. I’m already part way through co-authoring a non-fiction book with a fellow writer, but more of that shortly. In addition to that, while I was walking one of the dogs this morning characters starting vying for recognition for my next novel. One by one the three lead characters introduced themselves and started to tell me about their oddball ways. One even discussed the book’s opening and how she sees it developing and, as essentially it is her story, it would have been rude not to listen.

I came home and wrote up the notes and have asked the characters if they could show a little patience. It is as different as you can imagine from The Orphan Train. It’s set back here in England. It’s set in the present. It’s a humorous tale and quite firmly would find itself in the women’s fiction market. In fact, other than there being strong female characters and me being the author, you would not find much else it had in common with the book I’ve just finished. To be honest, I think that’s a good thing. I think, unless you are writing a series, there is a danger in finding yourself in the same plane as your last work. I do want to come back to historical fiction and I’ve got a couple of ideas developing, but in the meantime, following a reader email, my short story A Test of Friendship is going to grow into a full length novel.

If you want to read the story that the novel will be based on, you can download it for free HERE

New Year’s Writing Resolutions

A very Happy Christmas and New Year to all my readers.

This feels like more of an end of term report than my New Year’s Resolutions. ‘Must try harder’, ‘Would do better if she concentrated on one thing at once’, ‘Talks too much in class’ (for talks read spends too much time on Facebook!). However, what are resolutions borne out of, if not the need for change?

In the next year I want to achieve two main things. Firstly, the completion of my next novel – The Orphan Train. So far it is 40,000 words in and has been stuck there for a few months. Oh so I’ve been busy with Shadow’s puppies and the arrival of our own new puppy and of course Alfie Dog Fiction, but there is no excuse. Let’s be specific, by the end of January that needs to be at least 45,000 words. 5,000 words does not sound much, until I think about the fact I need to recap everything written to date to get back into the right voice for the book I’m supposed to be writing. Some writers can do that at the editing stage and believe getting words on the page in the first place is the most important. For me, that doesn’t work so well. Whilst the words on the page may not ultimately be the right ones, they do need to have the right feel to them.

Secondly, I want to record The Appearance of Truth as an audio book. Again, much of the work has been in preparation for a while – but there it stopped. I am resolving to complete the edits to the text, to make it read easily, by the end of January and begin recording in February. That is a lot easier than the novel as it is already in progress and the points which need editing have been highlighted on my Kindle version. The Kindle is much better to use for recording an audio book as you can turn the pages silently.

Should I stick at just the two? In terms of making sure I achieve them that would be wise, but I’ve rarely gone for the easy option. There is a short story that I have written for a forthcoming anthology that I had in mind making the basis for a novel. However, then I received a letter from a reader of one of my short stories saying ‘Have you thought of turning this into a novel? I want to know what happens next.’ I hadn’t thought about it, but when I sat down and did so I realised it would be rather fun. It’s a humorous story and I enjoy writing humour. The story concerned, ‘A Test of Friendship’ is available as free download HERE, feel free to send me your comments and just maybe you can influence the direction it takes in becoming a novel!