Rob Parnell - Author

Rob Parnell - Author
Writing faster than the speed of night...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Pursuit of Perfection

We've almost finished editing my short story collection.

The last story, only completed last Tuesday, is currently in Japan with my new editor friend, Chris Ryall. Chris is a talented writer himself who specializes in thrillers.

He's been wonderfully supportive of this collection and his feedback and wisdom have been invaluable.

Next comes a final proofing from my darling wife, Robyn, who, with over 85 published books to her name, knows a thing or two about creating quality manuscripts.

Then comes the formatting for mobi, ipub and pdf - and we'll be ready for release!

There are nine tales in all - written since 2000, a period of over a dozen years. Most of them are horror based supernatural stories - the kind I like to read, surprisingly enough!

It's hard to know what to do with short stories.

You can leave them on your hard drive to fade and die.

 Or, you can submit them individually to magazines. But after they're published, then what?

 Several of the stories in Nine Tales of Terror have been published in magazines and compilations - but never have they been in one place.

 I've fantasized about putting my favorite stories into one volume probably all my life.

 I used to dream that once I was a rich and famous novelist, someone might actually want to savor my cherished shorter works. For that I'm still waiting…

And patience never was my strong suit.

 But now that Kindle has arrived, and authors everywhere no longer have to wait for publishers to take them on - or indeed, even to wait for any kind of public acknowledgment of their talent - it seems like a perfect opportunity to finally show my stories to the world as they were intended to be read.

Leisurely, one at a time, and hopefully with great relish.

Traditional publishers will tell you that there's no real demand for short story complilations - even from established authors. Most readers still prefer a big fat one hundred thousand word doorstop from their favorite authors they say.

For many readers , short stories apparently lack the continuity and the sense of immersion of a full blown novel length story.

That's fine if you're in the mood for a tale that takes a week or two to unfold.

But what if you want something meaty - but quicker to digest?

Short stories are your answer.

And soon, I'll have nine of my very best for your personal delectation.


  1. I take my hat off to you, sir! I can't see myself writing one short story, let alone nine. I wrote three articles for a New Age magazine in 1999. The (figurative) blood, (non-figurative) sweat and tears that I shed over them killed any interest in being a published author. Looking back, it was the dumbest decision I ever made. The writing was the stuff of nightmares. I can now see it was getting better, though no one really gave me any indication of that. You mention the issue of public approval. I think this is one of the real issues for emerging authors. With fewer people reading the short format, it's a lot harder to gauge community interest, let alone whether the author is writing quality or not. I suspect that the likes of Amazon, Kobo and other eBook sites are starting to change the conventional paradigm. Maybe self-esteem for an author can come from downloads or previews rather than a publisher's fickle opinion and vanishing budget for new works.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Henry. Appreciated. You're right. It's hard to know when you're starting out, whether you have "The Write Stuff"! Kindle certainly changed the playing field, though I believe in a good way. Whatever gets published, the good writers always seem to rise to the top - as they always have.

  2. I used to give my children three random words from a dictionary and they had to use them in a short story. It was great fun to see what they would come up with.

    That idea would make a fun interactive website where three words would be posted on Monday and subscribers submit a story by Sunday.

    It is also provides inspiration for those suffering from the dreaded "writers block" with no cure on the horizon.

  3. Sounds like a great idea, Helane. I have a similar exercise in one of my writing courses! Best, Rob.