Check out my first book, The Edge of Reason!
There wasn’t one specific moment when I decided to start writing this book. Actually, This was more like the culmination of the beginning of my writing career than a deliberate plan. And much like my writing career itself, the instigation came organically from outside.
I already describe the journey that led me to writing in this blog post. The stories in this book come from various parts of that journey. “Personalities” and “Charms” were written as part of the back-and-forth writing games I played with a couple of friends, and are the oldest of the stories, written in 2015.
Later, following a breakup, I needed to get my mind off things, and chose to get more into writing. I joined a few writers’ groups on Facebook, some of them more particularly dedicated to providing prompts and a space to create. This was when my writing really took off. Pretty soon I had close to 50 stories in reserve.
The other stories in the book were all written after that, between 2017 and 2018. “The Fall”, “Forest Girl” and “The Visions” were written from picture prompts. “Mind Thief” and “The Face” were responses to dialogue prompts. “Family Secrets”, “Jessie, Joel and I” and “The Job” were created in response to regular situation prompts. The idea for “The Return of Malaysia Flight 370” came from a Shower Thoughts post and “Forgive or Forget” was written from a single-line prompt another Facebook writer and myself had given ourselves to each write a story.
One person I met in those groups was Dlvan Zirak, a young poet from Iraqi Kurdistan. At first we were considering working together on one of my larger writing projects. But that project was too ambitious for the moment and took a back seat.
But she had something else that would encourage me to move ahead with this book: a plan. She was working on compiling and publishing an anthology of her poems and sometimes asked me for help editing her work.
And sure enough, in February of 2018 her first book, “5 a.m. Thoughts”, was released through Amazon’s KDP self-publishing platform. Her experience of this platform largely motivated me to use the same one and gave me plenty of insight into how to handle it.
That’s when I decided to publish my own book in turn. I picked out a dozen of my stories, beefed them up from their original versions, fine-tuned them, had them beta-read, edited and criticized, and the end result is my book “The Edge of Reason”, released in November 2018, also through KDP.
A dangerous room.
A Transylvanian tower.
A clay face coming to life.
A descent into depression.
A mentally taxing livelihood.
A vanished plane reappearing.
A family secret coming to light.
A life unnecessarily cut short.
An innocent charm bracelet.
A budding magical power.
A chance for forgiveness.
An animal whisperer.
Twelve stories of minds coming to grips with various realities.
Twelve tales of love, power, thrill, fear, morality, treachery, vengeance, nature, magic and mystery.
A 12-year-old boy rummaging through his mother’s closet finds suspicious things that point to his mother having a secret past she’s never told him about. When this past comes back to haunt them, the two must flee to survive.
This story was inspired by a prompt describing the very first scene. At first, pressed for time, I only wrote what turned out to be a sixth of the final story. It left huge loose ends untied and I knew I wanted to finish it. Eventually, over the following few months, I added five more pieces to the first, until I reached a satisfactory conclusion.
This goes beyond the usual length of a short story and into novella territory, especially since I beefed it up for the book. At over 12,000 words, it’s by far the longest story in “The Edge of Reason”.
A man wakes up in a strange room under strange circumstances and has to find out what happened to him… and if it really IS him.
This story was the result of a writing game with a friend: as mentioned above, we would each in turn send the other three words to build a story from. The words here were “tower”, “mystery” and “entangled”. As it was Halloween, I decided to give this story an appropriate tone for the time of year.
A beach rescue leads to a summer idyll with a mysterious girl.
Like Personalities, this story was also born of one of the writing games with a friend. The three words given to write the story with were “energy”, “limp” and “fragrance”. I wrote all of these stories while I was living in Portugal, and the beach featured in this one is a real beach outside of Lisbon.
A man reminisces on his life and everything that led him to his current situation.
I wrote this story from a picture I saw on Facebook, taken and posted on a writing prompts group by my friend and fellow author Dlvan Zirak. Interestingly, she had expected to see her picture interpreted in very different ways from what came up in response, and my interpretation as well as others’ was a bit of a shock to her.
A mysterious girl with supernatural abilities is hired by George Washington’s army and leads them to a number of victories.
This story was inspired by a photo on that same Facebook writing prompts group, featuring only a woman sitting cross-legged and with an owl on her lap. Writing this story helped develop some of my reflections on human behavior and reactions, and may have been part of the inspiration for my next book, which I hope to release by the end of 2020 or, at the latest, summer of 2021.
Jessie, Joel and I
A girl’s steady descent into depression because of events beyond her control.
This story was inspired by a very interesting prompt about imaginary friends. It conjured up the image of someone being there with you and feeling so real and present you could just as well talk to it or banish it, and I ran with that.
They say an artist’s creation is truly part of the artist.
There’s not much of a story behind this one, I just wrote it from a single-sentence prompt found on Facebook.
A man with a quite literally mentally taxing livelihood is faced with a moral dilemma and decides to take action
This story, inspired by a snippet of dialogue involving someone losing his mind and wondering whether it’s in a certain bag, brought me into the territory of morality when faced with threats to individuals or the population as a whole from the powers that be.
A young sorceress pushes the limits of her kind’s magic.
The prompt behind this story was unusually detailed. It came with a picture, a name and a location. I merely treated it as a regular picture prompt but included the specified elements to the story. This was my first foray into the actual fantasy genre. In many ways it feels like a piece of a novel, and I may one day detail it into just that.
The Return of Malaysia Flight 370
In a regional airfield in Western Australia, a vanished plane reappears out of nowhere. But all is not as it seems…
This story came about as the result of a prompt mentioning a vanished plane reappearing. I came up with this story, told from an air traffic controller’s perspective, as a tribute to the victims of the real-life disappearance this very flight. On March 8th, 2014, Malaysia Airlines 777 took off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing, but just as it was going to pass under the control of Vietnamese ATC, it went into complete radio silence, then made several suspicious maneuvers and ended up on a southward course across the Indian Ocean, tracked only by satellite pings for hours, before vanishing completely. As of the writing of this post, I believe a few pieces of what may be the 777 have washed up on beaches as far away as Mauritius and Reunion Islands, but nothing is yet certain and investigations are still ongoing.
A man is hired for a job that could pull him out of poverty. But could it also end him?
A very good friend of mine pointed me to writing prompts on Reddit, and I found this one to be very interesting. It was about someone being hired for a job that paid $100k, which obviously begs the question: “What’s the catch?”. I chose to go into this psychological exploration.
Forgive or Forget
Months after a nasty breakup and faced with his ex’s insistent attempts to get back with him, a guy confronts his memories of the relationship.
This story is the fruit of an agreement with another author on one of the Facebook groups. We had one shared prompt and word count limits, and we were to each write a story and share it with the other in order to compare styles. I wrote this one too while living in Portugal, and set it too in Lisbon. I also included events inspired by my own personal experiences while there.
Where to get it
My book is available on Amazon as a paperback hard copy or Kindle eBook. For those of you with the right subscription, it’s also available FOR FREE on Kindle Unlimited!
Find it on your local Amazon site