Top 25, December 2012 Fiction Open: Top 25 http://t.co/IyYiEgFf — Glimmer Train (@glimmertrain)
My parents and grandparents were readers. And storytellers.
Boyhood, I liked folklore stories. The dark ones. Black deeds of connivers, pot stirrers, forest peddlers and child haters.
On my tenth birthday, grandpa’s gift was a Jack London anthology.
Jack London changed my life.
Bedtime, tucked lampside, I lived Alaska. I heard lonely midnight wolves call at the moon. I saw gold prospectors, the good and sourhearted, fever gibberish and beaten in the white wild.
Reading Jack London, I heard the call to write. Within a month of reading him I had written six stories.
I have written many stories. Enough to fill a dozen books. And perhaps a dozen stories that would make one good book.
Late teens, I joined a writers group. I learned about the craft. Read more books. Past and contemporary authors. After six years I left the group.
I read and read and reread.
In 2011, I was shortlisted for the Bridport Short Story Prize. And The Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award.
December 2012, my short story – Bone Dirt – was a Top 25 Finalist in Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open Prize.
I was happy.
Glimmer Train and The Paris Review and The New Yorker are the world’s top three literary journals. I think so.
The Fiction Open is Glimmer Train’s top prize. Unpublished writers take on established published authors. My wish is a top three place there.
My novel – Eden Dust – is written. Three years work. Ninety thousand words.
My story combines naturalism – the way people talk and behave – and big unnatural, dehumanising situations.
How I describe my novel – Think esoteric Twin Peaks.
I’m near done with editing. I plan on submitting my novel to select agents in January 2014.
My novel extract – First three chapters of Eden Dust – has been accepted for publication in Unthology 4 by Unthank Books. A prestigious short story anthology.
It was a proud day for me when my novel extract was selected by the editors in Cambridge. I am among fine authors in Unthology 4. The book launch is in Norwich, November 2013. I’ll read there.
Cherished writers – Jack London; Flannery O’Connor; Shirley Jackson; Katherine Mansfield; Joseph Conrad; Ernest Hemingway; James Joyce; Lewis Grassic Gibbon; D. H. Lawrence; Carson McCullers; Saul Bellow; Angela Carter; Christina Stead; Annie Proulx; Joan Didion; William Gay; David Vann; Cormac McCarthy; Charles Frazier; Colm Tóibin; Denis Johnson
Poets; Emily Dickinson; Elizabeth Bishop; Robert Frost; Robert Tannahill; Robert Burns; Sorley MacLean.
My favourite writer is Cormac McCarthy. I think his novel, Blood Meridian, is a masterpiece.
I love Christina Stead’s The Man Who Loved Children.
Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams is a precious read.
Favourite contemporary Scottish authors: Jenni Fagan; Kirsty Logan; Chris Hannan.
Sadie Jones’s prose is clean as a stream.
Margaret Atwood deserves every accolade.
Ashley Stokes is a wordsmith.
A book I often read: Kilvert’s Diary.
I like John Fante. I recommend his book, Ask the Dust.