Friday, November 15, 2013

Honno ghost story anthology

Although some of my work has included spooky elements, I don't think I've ever written an out-and-out ghost story before. However, I did write one recently and I'm delighted that it's to be published in an anthology of ghost stories from the Welsh Women's Press, Honno, next autumn.

The story came out of a trip I made in May 2012. John and I travelled to Bristol to the launch of the second short fiction collection by my good writing friend, Tania Hershman, My Mother Was an Upright Piano - a lovely event at the Arnolfini Centre on the docks. Here's a photo of us having dinner afterwards (Tania is third from left and I'm next to her; far right is Bristol Prize founder Joe Melia).

In spite of having relatives in Bristol I'd never before made anything but flying visits there, so this time I stayed on afterwards and explored. One place that made a huge impression on me was the Georgian House, built for the sugar merchant John Pinney, preserved more or less in its original state and furnished in the way it would have been in Pinney's lifetime.

It's a beautiful house, with clean lines and airy spaces, so unlike the dark Victorian gothic that lends itself so well to the brooding and unearthly. Not at all suggestive of ghosts... And yet...

The house stayed in mind, an idea was forming, and there I was a year later setting a ghost story in just such a house...

Honno previously published two other short stories of mine, in their anthology Power: 'Power', which is collected in Balancing on the Edge of the World, and another, 'Skin Eaters.'.

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