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The Unthology Interviews: Carys Bray

We talk to Carys Bray about her Unthology 4 story,  Treasures of Heaven   U: How does it feel to be an Unthologist? C: It sounds exciting and a bit medical, doesn’t it? I’m really pleased to have a story in Unthology 4. I bought Unthology 3 at the Killing Daniel launch and I enjoyed the stories. U: Why submit to Unthology? What does the series mean for you? C: Although I’ve been working on a novel recently, I love…

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The End Interviews: Jonathan Taylor talks to Zoe Lambert

  J: Like all the other stories in “The End,” your story, “Chaconne in G Minor,” opens with one of Nicolas Ruston’s paintings. In fact, the painting pre-dates your story: all of the writers in the anthology were allotted one painting each before writing their stories. How do you see the relationship between the painting and your own story? How did the story “grow out of it,” as it were? What were your aims in writing it?…

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The Unthology Interviews: Rowena Macdonald

We talk to Rowena MacDonald about Burning Man, her story in Unthology 4.   U: How does it feel to be an Unthologist? R: It feels good. I knew that it would. U: Why submit to Unthology? What does the series mean for you? R: The title attracted me initially – as did the title of Unthank Books itself. When I bought a copy of Unthology 3, I was impressed. The stories were mostly very…

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The Unthology Interviews: Gordon Collins talks to Tim Sykes

G: You have been a student of Russian literature for a long while before you took up writing.  Were you deterred by having so much to live up to?   T: I spent nearly twenty years intending to write. I’m sure an awareness of the gulf between my paltry mind and the writers who make me love literature played a part in that prevarication. Overcoming the long hesitation has brought some satisfaction but I’ll never shake the…

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The Unthology Interviews: Elaine Chiew talks to Amanda Oosthuizen

EC: I love your title. The Harp and The Thorn Tree. Which came first — harp or thorn tree? AO: Thanks, I’m glad you like it. They arrived together. When I’d finished writing the story I picked two of the strongest picture images. Those two jumped out at me and I kept them because together they make something else. EC: Both of these things have great symbolism in the story. As you are creating character…

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Fragmenting Angles

David Rose and Tim Sykes Talk about their stories in The End: Fifteen Endings to Fifteen Paintings.   Tim: I loved your story Ariel, first of all for the wistful sincerity and vividness of the narrator’s recollections. Can you tell me something of the story’s background? David: Ariel has had a long history, having been written in earlier form at the start of my writing life. It is a story I have always been fond…

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Mortality, Love and Loss: On Writing ‘Coup de Grace’

Ailsa Cox talks about how she wrote her story for The End: Fifteen Endings to Fifteen Paintings.   When, in summer 2015,  the writers were asked to select a paintings, I knew the one I wanted straight away.  It was the picture that looked like an eye in fur.  I’m a very slow writer, and there wasn’t much time to complete the commission.  But my journal was full of entries about my dog George, who’d…

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Eclecticism: How Unthology Works

Ashley Stokes talks to Thresholds, the International Short Story Forum about Unthology, its ethos and how we make our selections.   Unthank Books have just launched Unthology 5, the first of our short fiction series to be published twice yearly and in a smaller, pocket-sized format. This time last year, when I met with my co-editor Robin Jones in Cambridge to assess the submissions for Unthology 4, we realised that we had received so many…

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Being Dickens by David Madden

David Madden, co-author of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, talks about what it’s like to play Dickens. Being Dickens: Well, of course I am not. Dickens was a justly famous author, and probably the first whose fiction brought international celebrity status. In June 1870, news of his death spread like wildfire: Longfellow wrote ”this whole country was stricken with grief” – he was referring to America. Dickens gave the world marvellous novels and innumerable famous…

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A Tattoo on the Other Arm by Lander Hawes

  “I’m sorry but your companion must go,” the hotel manager said. Angela was in black and white on the CCTV screen. She was still in the bar, shifting and swivelling on her stool, perhaps wondering why I taking so long. “She is a local prostitute, a street girl. Has she tried to rob you?” “No.” “Then, she is waiting for an opportunity. Please, wait here when I call the security.” In a moment he…

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