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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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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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