So I didn’t win a Shirley Jackson award (boo) but being shortlisted was possibly as much fun as I can handle without exploding anyway, so it worked out for the best. Congrats to all the winners and my fellow shortlisted writers, and when I receive my special rock through the post I will put a picture of it up here for general admiration.
A few years ago I got asked to contribute to an anthology of short stories about real-life travel experiences, and the result was in Lonely Planet’s Better Than Fiction. It really must have been better than fiction, because recently Lonely Planet decided to publish another selection of true travel tales, and asked me back for another go. I don’t think the follow-up is published until November, but the cover is up and so I thought I’d post it here. Looking good.
Are factual events better than fiction? For the purposes of living, it’s difficult to disagree, although one of my favourite real-life experiences is the feeling of reading (or writing) a really good story, so we can’t pretend there’s not crossover, and that fiction can’t be experienced as ‘real’ sometimes. For the purposes of making a great plot, it’s rare that real life ties everything up so nicely, so it’s an interesting challenge to write something that stays true to the event without looking like you’ve applied a slick of glamour and a neat little bow. Ta daaaaa.