In the movie that famously bears his name, Forrest Gump states that life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. I've often thought of short story collections in the same way.
For an author it's an opportunity to explore a wider range of themes and ideas than a novel might allow. A short fiction collection can delve into a number of sub-genres and for the reader it's a journey across a diverse landscape of places and characters.
My collection, SWITCHBACK STORIES, draws together some new tales along with a number of stories published through the years in publications such as The Australian Women's Weekly and the Scandinavian University Press. All with a twist in the tail.
When I was growing up in the 70's I remember a great deal of outrage and concern over the growing drug problem in communities world-wide. Many actions were put in place but the problem back then pales by comparison with the scope of the problem today. Corruption alone has often been the undoing of any good achieved as trillions were spent. The war against drugs is the background to one of the stories, 'The Silver Chameleon,' about an anti-drug lobbyist in Washington DC who is targeted by a crime cartel - with unexpected results.
At the other end of the spectrum there is a tale with an Australian countryside setting, where we meet an aimless drifter whose life takes a different turn when he encounters a struggling farming family.
SWITCHBACK STORIES touches on acts of good and acts of evil and the ripple effect our choices have. It has so far appeared on the Amazon US and UK Top 100 Mystery Collections & Anthologies lists and also reached #8 in Canada.
I'm planning another collection but right now I'm heading back into novel territory, so more on the release of my new suspense novel a little later in the year, and my thanks to all those readers who've shown so much support for the books.