Today I have the pleasure of hosting Nick Wilford (Scattergun Scribblings) on his blog tour announcing the sale of his short story anthology A CHANGE OF MIND and other stories. Please give Nick a warm welcome as he answers some interesting questions about himself, the anthology, and his upcoming projects.
Visit him at his blog or connect with him on Twitter or Goodreads.
What influenced you to write speculative fiction stories? How did you come up with the title of the anthology.
I started out writing stories which were quite straightforward and rooted in reality – my first novel was a thriller. Then I wrote a book about a man who had lost his memory and nothing is certain in his life, including his partner. That took on a more speculative edge. I guess I started wondering about things that go beyond what we can physically see around us, and that’s the direction I’ve been going down since then. It could be sci-fi, fantasy or dystopian, but “speculative” encapsulates all these genres.
The title comes from the novella in the collection, and honestly, I have a really hard time coming up with them! Once I came up with this title, I hung onto it. It didn’t have a working title before that. It sounds fairly innocuous but takes on an extra meaning once you know the premise of the story.
Do you write novels as well as short stories?
Yes, I have written four novels and two novellas at this point. I think some people find short stories more of a challenge, but to me they are much more manageable. I’m still working on getting that longer form nailed down, but we will always keep learning for the entirety of our writing journeys.
Are any of the stories published elsewhere? Have you considered traditionally publishing your works; or trying to publish in Scotland?
Yes, four of the accompanying stories have been published in Writer’s Muse, a British magazine that is now sadly defunct. The editor, Jim Butcher, was highly encouraging and supportive when I was only a fledgling writer. I have submitted queries to agents before, but I decided I could have much more control if I published myself. I haven’t ruled out traditional publishing, though. Those novels I was submitting are far from my strongest work. As to publishing in Scotland, it might work if my writing was more naturally Scottish. I still feel like a newcomer here, although I have been here since 2003, and only my first novel has actually been set in Scotland. My wife told me I had a lot of work to do to get the accents and phrasing right!
Do you have a favorite story from the collection?
I would say A Change of Mind, because it forms the centrepiece of the collection, it’s the story I worked the hardest on, and it’s an idea that I’m proud of bringing to fruition.
Is there a particular theme that runs through the collection? An overall larger plot or concept that the placement of each story progresses?
I don’t think there’s an overarching plot, but the characters in each story are driven by something – some ambition or desire that leads them into some pretty extreme behaviour, and the stories examine the consequences of that. Is it all worth it?
What is next in your writing career?
Drafting the final part of my YA dystopian trilogy, completing editing on the first two books and prequel novella, and preparing Book 1 for release in the early part of 2016.
Thanks for having me, Donna! I had a lot of fun answering your questions.
Title: A Change of Mind and Other Stories
Author: Nick Wilford
Genre: Speculative fiction
Format: Ebook only
Page/word count: 107 pages, approx. 32,000 words
Release date: 25th May 2015
Publisher: Superstar Peanut Publishing
A Change of Mind and Other Stories consists of a novella, four short stories and one flash fiction piece. This collection puts the extremes of human behaviour under the microscope with the help of lashings of dark humour, and includes four pieces previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine. In A Change of Mind, Reuben is an office worker so meek and mild he puts up with daily bullying from his boorish male colleagues as if it’s just a normal part of his day. But when a stranger points him in the direction of a surgeon offering a revolutionary new procedure, he can’t pass up the chance to turn his life around. But this isn’t your average surgeon. For a start, he operates alone in a small room above a mechanic’s. And he promises to alter his patients’ personality so they can be anything they want to be… In Marissa, a man who is determined to find evidence of his girlfriend’s infidelity ends up wondering if he should have left well alone. The Dog God finds a chink in the armour of a man with a megalomaniacal desire to take over the world. In The Insomniac, a man who leads an obsessively regimented lifestyle on one hour’s sleep a night finds a disruption to his routine doesn’t work for him. Hole In One sees a dedicated golfer achieving a lifelong ambition. The Loner ends the collection on a note of hope as two family members try to rebuild their lives after they are torn apart by jealousy.
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