Saturday, 15 October 2011

My first short story and I

Just released my first short story entitled 'For Want of Better Things to come' on Smashwords this morning. It was a breeze! Thank God. I had the jitters because this is the first time I did my own formatting and despite going through the Smashwords Style Guide countless times and following its instructions religiously as recommended by all the other authors who used it, I confess I still had butterflies in my tummy when I pressed the 'Publish' button. Oh, and I was quite sure those butterflies were going round and round inside my tummy as I held my breath and watched the circular thingy rotating on my computer screen as my manuscript was converted into the different formats. that it's done with, I can grin impishly and say, 'Well, as they say, it was quite easy.' Believe me, it is easy. I just thought it was hard and as we all know, when we think something is difficult, it will automatically be DIFFICULT.

For a few hours one Sunday evening, my hubby and I converted our living room into a makeshift studio (pix above) in order to take photos for the book cover. Jewellery both fake and real, was taken out for use. Earlier on, I had approached my Mum to borrow one of her heirloom pieces to make the cover more realistic. She dug the one I wanted out of hiding (Even I do not know where she hid it) and handed it over to me with some misgivings. I swore on my Girl Guide's honour that I would guard it with my life and return it pronto.

Many thanks to my hubby for taking time out to design the book cover for this story. He relished the task so much that there were many versions of it. I really had to put my foot down when he came up with one with my name encrusted with diamonds.(pix below) It made my book too much of a chick flick, I complained.

The hands on the cover are my daughter's. Thanks, Melissa, for your patience in putting up with your exacting parents. Hubby took heaps of pictures before I finally decided on the one I like.

This short story is greatly influenced by  renowned author Roald Dahl. A few years ago I read a collection of his short stories and was impressed enough to try my hand at emulating his style. In this story, the reader will have to decide what happens exactly at the end. Hence I decided to conduct a contest at the end of the story. The participants will have to figure out who the woman in the epilogue was and why she behaved as she did. I'm putting up USD5.00 as prize money. The result is to be announced on Chinese New Year day next year on this blog and my facebook account.

This short story was initially scheduled for release around 9 October but as I mulled over the idea of holding a contest based on it, I thought it wiser to ask Smashwords whether it is permissible to do so. An email from Smashwords came on 14 October stating the idea was fine as long as I kept the contest out of the descriptive metadata. So I went ahead with it on 15 October. 

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