Flash Fiction Friday 056: The Main Course by Christopher Farley

Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the fifty-sixth piece of flash fiction in this series. This week’s welcomes back Christopher Farley with his 661-worder.

The Main Course

He made everyone look up from their meals, both female and male.  He wasn’t good looking; far from it, but he had a certain something.  He was dressed in a blue shark-skin suit, and, strangely, a claret shirt.  It wasn’t this sartorial stew that drew attention though.

His face was fairly pointed and his mouth, unsmiling, seemed a little deformed, as if it had little in common with the rest of his face.  Whatever it was, it had an effect.  People stopped eating to watch him walk by; although his walk also was a little unnatural.  He seemed to glide instead of taking steps.  He was sat at a table toward the dimly lit rear of the restaurant.  He scanned the restaurant, his eyes like black marble holding the gaze of the other people till, one by one, they dropped theirs.

The Maître d’ availed himself immediately.  He arrived at the table; flicking a quick hand across the tablecloth and removing two almost invisible specks of something in one go.

“I feel carnivorous this evening,” said the man.  “I think a plate of bresaola will do me for starters.  I’ll make my mind up on the main course as I chew.”

The Maître d’ nodded.

“A bottle of sparkling water also,” the man said. “I like the way those bubbles go to my head.”

Once again the Maître d’ nodded and, avoiding the seated man’s eyes, made his way to the kitchen.  He sent a waiter with the bottle of water.

The restaurant noise resumed its previous level.  Couples enjoying a romantic for two, a rose placed between them.  Business associates enjoying heated debates over targets hit and missed.  Ernest salesmen continuing their sales pitch between forkfuls of tagliatelle.

The order arrived.  Placing the plate of cured meat in front of the man, the waiter, no doubt briefed by the Maître d’, asked if he’d considered his main course.

“Still thinking,” said the man.  He hinted at a smile, allowing a glimpse of that strange mouth.  The waiter felt a small shiver run down his back but couldn’t put his finger on why it should be.  Returning a professional smile, honed during 25 years’ service, he made his way from the table.

The discussion at a table of hard-nosed marketing execs started getting heated; a little too much wine or possibly after-dinner cognac getting the better of two of them and the argument promised to get out of hand.

The man polished off the starter in less than a minute, all the while keeping his eye on events in the restaurant.  The Maître d’ was standing at the table, imploring calm with his hands held outwards but to little avail.  The shouting reached a crescendo, one of the men, with a fat sweating face and cheeks flush from the booze, was now on his feet and waving his arms around, occasionally pointing a shaking hand at one of his colleagues; a crew-cut kid with the face and neck of a bulldog.

“You’re just an overblown tele-salesman,” shouted the sweating man. “You’ve seen nothing!  We’ve been through the mill, busting our ass, studying what we do.  You arrive, make 50 phone calls and hit a lucky.  What do you know about market analytics or product lifecycle?  You just kiss the right ass in the right place and think you’re God’s gift.”

Crew-cut raised himself out of his seat and leant over the table. Then there came the sound of breaking glass.

“Shit!”

Mr. Waving Arms held his hand to his cheek, blood seeping through his fingers.  Grabbing a serviette to hold against the man’s face, the Maître d’ led him by the arm, pointing to the men’s service area.  As he quickly returned to the table of still-arguing marketing execs, the man in the shark-skin suit, alone in the semi-dark, smiled to himself, revealing a huge set of triangular teeth. He breathed in the smell of blood, and glided from his chair.

Another dark piece… just how I like them. Thank you, Chris.

Christopher Farley.  He lived a sheltered life in the wilds of Kent from where he was saved by the written word.  So much so that he still corresponds with certain people with A PEN AND PAPER!!  Upon moving to London, a bit like Dick Whittington, searching for streets of gold, he happened upon a beautiful Italian lady who later decided to take him to the sunny realm of southern Switzerland, where he can still be found, smiling inanely, continuously in search of Weissbier.  When he is not working or drinking he sits in front of the computer, searching for fictional inspiration. You can find Chris via his blog http://talkingtosh.wordpress.com.

***

If you’d like to submit your 1,000-word max. stories for consideration for Flash Fiction Friday take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with children’s author C Lee McKenzie – the five hundred and nineteenth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast – short stories episode no.15

Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast ‘short stories’ episode number 15 went live today and contained three flash fiction pieces that have appeared on my blog as ‘Flash Fiction Fridays’. Do email me should you like to submit your own.

This episode contained: Sleep well (727 words) by Christopher Farley, a 626 word story entitled Portraits of a young artist in Istanbul by Gene Parola and Fourth of July (871 words) by DJ Paterson.

See the links above to read the stories… or hear my dulcet tones on the podcast.

The podcast is available via iTunesGoogle’s FeedburnerPodbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe).

***

Christopher Farley.  He lived a sheltered life in the wilds of Kent from where he was saved by the written word.  So much so that he still corresponds with certain people with A PEN AND PAPER!!  Upon moving to London, a bit like Dick Whittington, searching for streets of gold, he happened upon a beautiful Italian lady who later decided to take him to the sunny realm of southern Switzerland, where he can still be found, smiling inanely, continuously in search of Weissbier.  When he is not working or drinking he sits in front of the computer, searching for fictional inspiration. You can find Chris via his blog http://talkingtosh.wordpress.com.

Mr Gene Parola is a retired Professor of cultural history at Indiana University and University of Michigan-Flint; the Ministry of Defense, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Koç University in Istanbul Turkey. As a former Naval Air Intelligence officer and a career researcher, he has trained himself to be a keen observer of his surroundings and has acquired a large cultural and social context into which those observations fit. He is a freelance writer of Business (See Honolulu Star Bulletin, July 28, 2002) and Technical (Hurricane Handbook, Sail Net News, Spring, 2003) articles. His short stories have been published in Voices from the Universe and in Bamboo Ridge Press, 25th Anniversary Edition. And the Spring 2006 edition. Mr. Parola speaks frequently to lodges, clubs and service organizations on a variety of topics.

DJ approached his writing with a 20-year run up, which ended on a moment of inspiration and produced a short story called Vampire. This was published on his local BBC website, and in the nine or so years that followed, he has tackled his writing with sporadic enthusiasm.

He has written a number of short stories, flash fiction pieces and completed a YA novel which was ranked in the A&C Black Writers’and Artists’ Yearbook 100th Edition Novel Writing competition to find the best 100 unpublished novels. He has recently started a crime fiction novel, and is a month into his first ever writing group.

He moved from England to New Zealand at the end of 2011, and is pretty sure that one day, he may start thinking about approaching literary agents. DJ is a little guarded about his day job, and says that whilst his hobby is all about being creative, his is paid to ensure that clients are not.

He can be found on Twitter @djpaterson and maintains a random blog at www.djpaterson.com. Oh, and if you’re wondering about the profile photo, he won a writing competition and appeared as a character in Meg Gardiner’s The Memory Collector. The photo shows his pleasant surprise when realising his character perhaps had something that DJ could never possess in real life – an Afro!

Thank you for downloading / listening to this short story episode – I hope you enjoyed it. The next episode will be a hints & tips episode then short stories return a fortnight thereafter.

All the details of these episodes are listed on this blog’s podcast page and my email address to submit a short story for critique (or review for the Short Story Saturdays) is morgen@morgenbailey.com.

The podcast is available via iTunes, Google’s Feedburner, Podbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe).

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast – short stories episode no.13

Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast ‘short stories’ episode number 13 went live today.

I’ve been starting off the first few weeks with the flash fiction that have appeared on my blog as ‘Flash Fiction Fridays’, reading out three per fortnight. Do email me should you like to submit your own.

This episode contained three stories: Revenge is a dish best served… alive (701 words) by Christopher Farley, AJ Kirby’s I dream of violence (500 words) and Dreams (210 words) by JD Mader.

See the links above to read the stories… or hear my dulcet tones on the podcast by clicking on any of the following… iTunes, Google’s Feedburner, Podbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe).

The authors…

Christopher Farley.  He lived a sheltered life in the wilds of Kent from where he was saved by the written word.  So much so that he still corresponds with certain people with A PEN AND PAPER!!

Upon moving to London, a bit like Dick Whittington, searching for streets of gold, he happened upon a beautiful Italian lady who later decided to take him to the sunny realm of southern Switzerland, where he can still be found, smiling inanely, continuously in search of Weissbier.

When he is not working or drinking he sits in front of the computer, searching for fictional inspiration. You can find Chris via his blog http://talkingtosh.wordpress.com where he says he longs to make a living writing but…

AJ Kirby is the award-winning author of five novels (Paint this town Red, 2012; Perfect World, 2011; Bully, 2009; The Magpie Trap, 2008; When Elephants Walk through the Gorbals, 2007), two novellas (The Black Book, 2011; and Call of the Sea, 2010), one novelette (Bed Peace, 2011) and over forty published short stories.

He is also a sportswriter for the Professional Footballers’ Association and a reviewer for The Short Review and The New York Journal of Books.

You can reach him via his: Author website, Goodreads Author Page, Amazon Author Page, New York Journal of Books and Facebook Novel Home Page.

JD Mader is a teacher and writer / musician based in San Francisco. He has been fortunate enough to encounter many giving and inspiring people in his life. He hopes to repay the debt. And to make enough money with his writing to buy a house.

His website is http://www.jdmader.com where you can read more of JD’s writing and if you’d like more (and why wouldn’t you?) his first novel Joe Café, second, The Biker, and collaboration ‘Bad Book’ (with Hise and Brooks) are available from Amazon. He’s also just released a collection of short stories Please, no eyes which I have purchased (at the grand sum of £0.77!) and shall be reviewing for my Short Story Saturdays slot.

***

Thank you for downloading / listening to this short story episode – I hope you enjoyed it. The next episode will be a hints & tips episode then short stories return a fortnight thereafter.

All the details of these episodes are listed on the podcast page of this blog and my email address to submit a short story for critique (or review for the Short Story Saturdays) is morgen@morgenbailey.com.

The podcast is available via iTunes, Google’s Feedburner, Podbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe).

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

Flash Fiction Friday 043: Sleep Well by Christopher Farley

Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the forty-third piece of flash fiction in this series. This week’s welcomes back Christopher Farley with his 727-worder.

Sleep Well

He slammed the door, got into his car and drove like a madman from her house.  He was sick of arguing, tired of continually being in the wrong and now he had had enough.  Jo was good looking and had many admirers, sometimes to Mannie’s annoyance, but sex and a good looking girlfriend weren’t enough to keep him tied to a relationship that consisted of too much tension and too many fights.  This one had ended physically, and after her various insults he had hit her.  It was just a slap, he thought, as he left her holding the left side of her face.

The brake-lights in front flashed.  Possibly Mannie was distracted.  Guns n’ Roses were playing loud on the stereo.  Possibly he got caught up in “Rocket Queen” and lost concentration for a half-second.  He braked late.  The car headed into the curve and skidded on the wet surface but it kept straighter than an assassin’s bullet.  The first thing Mannie knew was the sound of snapping wood, and pieces of white picket fence flying past the windscreen.  The front end dipped then dropped away completely.  The movement made his stomach rise in his mouth.  The thought of screaming didn’t occur to him.  He checked his seatbelt and braced his arms against the steering wheel.

The car rolled at a steep angle, Mannie tried to keep track of distance but was lost in the dark.  The car then pitched further forward, nose down, as the bank dropped away.  The scream finally rising in his throat was checked by the impact of the car’s nose hitting earth.  His body thrown forward, the tension of the seatbelt was unbearable and when he was sure the car would move no further he let his head roll back against the seat.  Taking in his immediate surroundings he noticed the car was in a garden, however no lights were on in the house, even at this relatively early hour.

He saw blood on his jeans above the right knee, he was bleeding quite badly although he couldn’t feel a thing.  The engine was running but he couldn’t see the key.  The impact had forced his right knee up, snapping the key at its base in the barrel.  It was then he realised he couldn’t feel his legs, either of them.  He tried to move but couldn’t.  Then his arms, he couldn’t feel or move them.  “Dear God”, he said out loud.  “I’m paralysed”.  He felt the first tear roll down his face, almost wishing now he could hear the crackle of flame and the smell of a ruptured fuel tank – at least it would be over.

His head slumped forward.  When he came round he was unsure for how long he’d been out but was awoken by a tapping on the glass.  Unsure if it was just his imagination he saw Jo, looking through the window, her cheek a deep blue colour, her left eye puffed and bloodshot.  She tried to open his door but it was jammed.  She banged on the glass but Mannie could do nothing to respond.  “I followed you”, she said, “I had this feeling”.

“Get help, please,” he pleaded.  “I think I’m paralysed, I can speak but I can’t move at all”.

Steam from the broken radiator and the smoke of burning oil, probably from the cracked engine block started filling the car.  Jo noticed too and, taking a stone in her right hand, she broke the corner of the rear window behind his head.  Looking around the garden she noticed a length of hose and fed the hose through.  Her hand went up to her cheek as if to remind her of why she was there.  A tear fell, but her face hardened.  She stood up, let the stone fall from her hand and went round the back of the car.  “Is the fuel tank leaking?” Mannie asked, panic in his voice.

“Oh, don’t worry about that darling,” came the reply.

Then he heard a grating sound coming from beneath the floor pan of the car.  It was then he began to smell the fumes.

“Jo!” he shouted.  “Please Jo, what have you done?”

Bending down, making sure the hose was well inside the car she looked through the glass.  Holding her bruised cheek she smiled.  “Sleep well,” she said, smiling, and walked away.

Another dark piece… just how I like them. Thank you, Chris.

Christopher Farley.  He lived a sheltered life in the wilds of Kent from where he was saved by the written word.  So much so that he still corresponds with certain people with A PEN AND PAPER!!  Upon moving to London, a bit like Dick Whittington, searching for streets of gold, he happened upon a beautiful Italian lady who later decided to take him to the sunny realm of southern Switzerland, where he can still be found, smiling inanely, continuously in search of Weissbier.  When he is not working or drinking he sits in front of the computer, searching for fictional inspiration. You can find Chris via his blog http://talkingtosh.wordpress.com.

If you’d like to submit your 1,000-word max. stories for consideration for Flash Fiction Friday take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with editor and fiction author Dorothy Davies – the four hundred and thirtieth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

Flash Fiction Friday 035: ‘Revenge is a dish best served…alive’ by Christopher Farley

Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the thirty-fifth piece of flash fiction in this series. This week’s is a 701-worder by Christopher Farley.

Revenge is a dish best served… alive

Brian saw the legs first. Two of them. Then there followed another, then another.  He counted eight. He was unsure as to why it had come out from behind the wardrobe only to sit on the floor and gaze at him; at least he believed it was gazing at him.

He heard a crash downstairs, Margie was cooking and swearing all at once, he chuckled to himself as a list of expletives, possibly borrowed from the army parade ground, turned the air blue.  It still looked at him.  Frowning, he reached for the remote control and turned on the news.  News?  Death, starvation, natural disaster, murder.  No news there, he thought.

The spider had moved.  He didn’t know where but it had gone, disappeared, hopefully back to the hole it had crawled out from.  He gave a final sweep of the room and turned over the TV.  More rubbish.  He was convinced that evening’s viewing was programmed by people who do anything but stay at home in the evening. After rigorous use of the remote he found a motoring channel and let the host guide his way through the intricacies of some flash sports car.

“Margie”, he shouted, “bring us up a beer love would you?”  He heard the voice below in the kitchen, mutter something or other, muffled by the distance and the walls.  A few minutes passed and still no ale.  The spider was back.

“Margie!” Louder this time. “Get us that beer love”.  It wasn’t a request.

Again a minute or two passed.

“Margie!!!”

The spider disappeared.  30 seconds later the door opened, two hands holding a can and a glass arrived and handed both to him.

“You took your time love”.  Not even thanks.

Margie looked briefly into his face as she turned and walked from the room, closing the door behind her.

“Did you just look at me?” he called after her.  He heard her footsteps on the landing then the top of the stairs, the way the floorboard creaked between the banister and the bathroom door was a giveaway.  Then she was back in the kitchen.

He poured the beer from the can and let it settle, continuing to top up the glass slowly.  Raising it to his lips he let the first mouthful wash down his throat.  The spider was back.  “What an ugly brute” he thought.  He considered calling Margie to bring the fly-swatter hanging up in the kitchen.  “No,” he said to himself, “let’s see what it does next”.

After a further 5 minutes of motoring TV he realised he was hungry. “Margie,” he yelled, “bring me a sandwich love.” The spider regarded him.  For a second or two Brian considered throwing something at it but the only things to hand were his beer and the remote control, both necessities and not available for launch.  The spider turned and disappeared.  A short while later the sandwich appeared. “Cheese?  “You know I don’t like cheese in a sandwich.”

“It’s all I got in the fridge,” came the reply.

“Where does my housekeeping money go?”

“I haven’t been to the shop, I haven’t felt well, remember?”

“You won’t be feeling well if you talk to me like that again. I’m the man of the house.”

Margie went downstairs.  The spider appeared. Brian heard sobs from the kitchen. “Bloody woman,” he said.

As if in response, the spider raised itself up on the back two sets of legs, looking at him.  It charged, racing across the room.  Brian watched fascinated, even when the spider struck, biting his foot.  He didn’t feel anything, just a strange numbness; which then started up his left leg, reached his thigh then started down the right one.  Brian sat following the spider with his eyes as the strange sensation crept into his abdomen, then his arms. Finally he could no longer move his head.

The spider returned to the wardrobe, going backwards under the door, studying the man in the chair.  It disappeared.

Five minutes later Margie came through the door with an assortment of cutlery.  She closed the door behind her.  Looking at her husband she sat down and took the knife and fork in her hands… and waited.

Wow. I loved that, thank you, Chris.

Christopher Farley.  He lived a sheltered life in the wilds of Kent from where he was saved by the written word.  So much so that he still corresponds with certain people with A PEN AND PAPER!!

Upon moving to London, a bit like Dick Whittington, searching for streets of gold, he happened upon a beautiful Italian lady who later decided to take him to the sunny realm of southern Switzerland, where he can still be found, smiling inanely, continuously in search of Weissbier.

When he is not working or drinking he sits in front of the computer, searching for fictional inspiration. You can find Chris via his blog http://talkingtosh.wordpress.com where he says he longs to make a living writing but…

I know that feeling 🙂 As Chris pointed out when he emailed me his photo, doesn’t his picture (the background anyway) look like Edvard Munch’s The Scream (which I wrote about recently).

If you’d like to submit your 1,000-word max. stories for consideration for Flash Fiction Friday take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with historical / romance author Kristy K James – the three hundred and seventy-fourth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum and you can follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.