I mentioned in a previous post that a new story of mine was due to appear in an anthology of stories inspired by the Brontes, Red Room (Unthank Books), edited by A J (Andrea) Ashworth, a great writer of stories herself. Now the exciting moment has arrived when the book is becoming a concrete reality, and it's already available for pre-order, which you can do here. The cover, designed by Rachael Carver, of Green Door Designs, is amazing: beautifully thought out and looking lovely. The font is based on Charlotte Bronte's handwriting, and the text mimics the way the Victorians used paper, a precious resource to them, turning it ninety degrees after the page was filled and writing across the previous lines to create a quilted effect.
I'm thrilled to be in with wonderful company which includes David Constantine, who has just won the Frank O'Connor award for his latest collection, Tea at the Midland; Alison Moore who was shortlisted for the Booker last year; my good writing friends Carys Davies, Vanessa Gebbie and Tania Hershman; as well as David Rose, Sarah Dobbs, Bill Broady, Rowena MacDonald, Zoe King and Felicity Skelton. There's also a poem by Simon Armitage. The variety in the stories is great - some are playful, some are elemental, some are set in the Bronte past, others spring from the long reach of Bronte influence down the years. My own story, 'That Turbulent Stillness', is inspired by my re-reading not so long ago of Wuthering Heights, which I must confess I was very influenced by in my behaviour as a teenager, and my shocked discovery that it's a very different book from how I saw it then, and indeed from the way it has been presented in its various film versions.
The book is due out on November 1st, but if you pre-order you will get a copy as soon as it's printed. It's £9.99, but a good proportion of that price goes to a very good cause, The Bronte BirthPlace Trust, and its work at Thornton, BRadford, where the Bronte sisters were born.