C H R I S P A L I N G
Between novels I occasionally found an idea that was suited to the short story form. Travel often provoked ideas: both “Conor and The Polish Girl” and “Newton’s Swing”, were inspired by holidays. “Newton’s Swing” was never published as a short story. Instead, after languishing in a drawer for a couple of years, it became the first chapter of my fifth novel. Others were written for specific events. “The Possiblities of Love” was a piece I wrote for the fringe festival in Brighton. It concerns a pub pianist. A friend wrote a piano score and accompanied the reading.
Stories tend to belong to a defined period or moment in time. Many of the pieces in here are like diary entries in that I can remember the context in which they were written. For many years the BBC was the only market for them. Nowadays a number of the national newspapers are running them, there are a couple of big money prizes and even short story festivals. The genre is alive and well. In the following pages you’ll find most of my stories: