I have always liked the novella form, ever since reading Voltaire's Candide at school. I like the concentrated nature: the novella is supposed to be between 17 and 40 thousand words, so tends to stick to one plotline, though I'm sure it doesn't have to - one of the rules of writing is that good writers break the rules all the time.
I like to have humour in the stories I tell, though I hope they deal with serious topics. Life is too important to trivialize, but if we get too po-faced we miss out some of its deepest truths.
What's the Bloody Point of It All?
Stella Tranter wants to be an existential heroine, proudly blazing a Nietzschean trail through mid 70s Britain – campus radicalism, punk… The trouble is that she’s also rather shy, given to ironic self-observation and keener on Mozart than Siouxsie and the Banshees.
But is it really enough for her to marry well-meaning Rotarian Bobby and settle down to domestic bliss in Dulwich?
“Clever, intriguing – Stella is a very good voice.”
Dame Beryl Bainbridge
(Yes, THE Dame Beryl...)
“Delicately written, but with big themes boiling away beneath the surface.”
Author of The Prose Factory and Kept
I'd also like to showcase two novellas by my good friend and alter ego, Lytchett Maltravers. Lytchett is a quiet, bookish sort of chap, but has a fearsomely weird imagination behind his easy-going facade.
Footpath to Heaven
Youthful romance is never easy, especially if Aleister Crowley gets involved – let alone crashing banks, tabloid-reading lynch-mobs, oligarchs, vampires, dodgy self-help gurus and fun-loving beings from another planet. But Ashley Gabriel’s love for Bathsheba Neverdene is as strong as his love for the Dorset countryside, so it must prevail, surely? Or will the Great Beast’s curse destroy their happiness after all, in a tragic ending worthy of Thomas Hardy himself? Only one way to find out – read this 30,000 word novella!
“Very happy for this book to take its well deserved place in between Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett on the bookshelf where my favourite reads reside.”
Sarah, Amazon Reviewer
Unexpected Alien in Bagging Area
Two newly wed supermarket checkout operatives are blissfully happy, deep in Dorset's beautiful, rolling, mystical Vale of Ugh (the locals pronounce it Yoog). But far across the universe, two groups of aliens are at war.
And? Well, it wouldn't be much of a story if the aliens beat the s**t out of each other and the newlyweds did what newlyweds to do each other and there was no link, would it?
So there is a link. They are lured into a UFO and given the most delicious ice cream this planet has ever known, little knowing they are being inveigled into a sinister plot to rob earth of all that makes life on it worth living...