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An Introduction to The End

The End is a new series of paintings by Nicolas Ruston, that have inspired The End: Fifteen Endings to Fifteen Paintings, a collection of short stories edited by Ashley Stokes and published by Unthank Books.   One thing about The End paintings is that when viewing the works you begin to wonder what happened before and how we got here – which is precisely the opposite effect of most paintings, where we either seem to have reached…

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Eddie and Me

David Frankel writes about his story ‘Beneath the Melting Snow’ in Unthology 8 and his fascination with Edvard Munch   For me, art and fiction have always been bound closely together. For a large part of my life I was an artist (in between writing stories, I still am) and the painter, Edvard Munch, has been with me from the start of things. He moved in shortly after my teenage obsession with fantasy illustration and…

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The Life of Country Life

Ken Edwards talks about his novel, Country Life, published by Unthank in November 2015   I started writing the novel that became Country Life nearly 20 years ago. I’d just completed my first successful (in my eyes) novel, Futures, which had suffered a series of publishing setbacks before I brought it out under the Reality Street imprint in 1998. Country Life was to have been the next one. Instead, I got side-tracked – once again.…

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Gary Budden on Writing the Hollow Shore

Gary Budden talks about how he wrote his Unthology 7 story, The Hollow Shore   The inspiration for my story in Unthology 7, ‘The Hollow Shore’ is in fact a real geographical location, called (you’ve guessed it) the Hollow Shore; the name itself a perfect piece of poetry immediately lending itself to fiction. It’s just one part of a string of bleak and flat marshland that stretches across the ten miles from Faversham Creek before…

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Meridian: A Short History

David Rose on how his novel, Meridian, came to be   This is a short account of the convolutions in the history of what is now called ‘Meridian’. It’s a history that spans over a decade, but most of those years were spent in the abyssal dark of the bottom drawer – literally, as a manuscript. So the active history is quite short.   It started in 2004; having completed my first novel, ‘Vault’, which…

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Chrissie Gittins on Between Here and Knitwear

Chrissie Gittins talks to us about her innovation series of semi-autobiographical stories, published in November 2014   These stories began in my mother’s mouth. She could weave a narrative from the slightest detail – apple wallpaper hung upside down, a hole knocked out of a brick wall to listen to next door’s wireless. She left school at 14 and didn’t know what a metaphor was, but she used them all the time. She also had…

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Angela Readman on ‘A Little Prayer’

Angela Readman writes about her Unthology 5 story, A Little Prayer   When I sat down to write the story I had no idea what it would be. I was writing a lot of flash fiction at the time and when I sat at my desk I thought I would write a thousand words. I had read a quote from a kidnapping victim in 1982 that fascinated me, ‘He treated me well, I’m not sure…

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Victoria Briggs on A Beautiful Noise

Victoria Briggs talks about her Unthology 8 story, A Beautiful Noise   In the late noughties I was working in the music industry. It was the least glamorous side of the business, where all the industry’s bean counting takes place, and where long discussions about songwriter royalties and copyright law fills up everyone’s day. Unlike most organisations stuffed with lawyers and accountants, the place was not awash with cash. It did splurge though when it…

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The Unthology Interviews: Armel Dagorn talks to Kit Caless

Armel Dagorn: Your Unthology 8 story “Not Drowning But Saving” starts from the simple idea that people working for charities might get addicted to their roles as helpers/saviours. Then it takes this premise up a notch (or two), and leaves the reader wondering if this really is an outlandish fabrication, or if they simply haven’t yet stumbled upon that particular dark corner of the real world. I love stories that manage to pull off that…

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The Unthology Interviews: Tim Sykes talks to Gordon Collins

Tim Sykes talks to Gordon Collins about his Unthology 6 story, Psycho-Nasal Aggravation Syndrome   Tim: Your inspired conceit in ‘Psycho-Nasal Aggravation Syndrome’ – that the removal of nostril hair causes chronic irascibility – seemed to be a means to approach anxieties about one’s (ageing) bodily self. Another of your stories revolves around a different sort of conflict between the protagonist and one of his organs. Is the estrangement between the physical and the self…

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