Olli the writer

First of all, sorry. I neglected my blogging duties far too…wait, does anyone even read these? Hello? Anybody out there?

Eh, whatever.

I stopped blogging regularly in September 2015. Which is weird, because there’s one blog post I actually wanted to do. I suppose I got caught up in stuff.1.

Many things happened. I did stuff, got to know awesome people, travelled some more2.

And, in September, I got published.

Here’s how it happened: Ages ago, I got inspired to write a story. I put it on my blog, asked people to read it, got some pretty nice feedback. Then I went on my infamous West Coast US vacation. On my first day I met up with Jennifer Brozek who I first met as a web comic character, then as a poster in a forum, then … well, things escalated and I think we’re friends now! :-D

We had dinner at the Space Needle, and as these things go, we chatted about writing. I mentioned the story and, guess what, Jennifer said: “Ooh, I think I remember that story. Is it the one where…?”
Me: “Yeeees?”
Jennifer: “Submit it. Maybe I’ll buy it.”
I submitted it when I returned and boom, a few month later I was a published author.

You can read “The Rescue” here.

Since then I’ve written two more stories inspired by various conversations, things and showers, and I’ve submitted both to various markets, with mixed success. I did get a few very encouraging personal rejections, and my writing got called “super super cute” among other things.

Since I’m not really a regular, an established writer or anything else but a hobbyist with a lack of discipline and a full time job, the rejections didn’t bother me that much, but I was kinda eager to get at least one of my stories, “Pads for his throne” out there.

Chance had it that I talked to Ivy Tara Blair, who loved the story and expressed interest in it.
She’s aweome. Get her audio books and listen to them. Special recommendation for A.K. Makansi’s “The Sowing”.

Anyway, that and the endless support and encouragement of other friends made me consider self-pubbing somewhere else than the blog.
I was hesitant, still am a little because it’s less than 4000 words. But one idea followed another, so here’s the current plan/status.

  • find editor, have story edited – CHECK
  • find illustrator and cover artist – in progress
  • create amazon author page – tbd
  • publish illustrated ebook – tbd
  • publish print-on-demand illustrated short story/coloring book – tbd
  • have audio book created – tbd
  • publish audio book – tbd
  • strike things of bucket list I never thought I’d do – tbd

 

Watch this space for news as events progress!

Footnotes
  1. lazy. I got lazy []
  2. yes, again! []

The Interview – a short story and a first for me

A few days ago I came home after a rough and long day at work, and got randomly inspired by a short twitter conversation.

A few minutes later I was throwing words at my computer, forming sentences, until I had a very rough and bad short story. A bit later I’d found two wordy friends for feedback, and boy was some of it crushing. I first took care of grammarly stuff, then ironed out some of the “actual” writing, which in parts was pretty bad.

I ended up with this:

 

The Interview

The neon lights hummed and flickered.
In the past hour no-one had passed the corridor outside the conference room deep within the building.
It would have felt creepy to Samia if she had room in her head for much else besides how desperately she needed that job.
She had been horrified at the prospect of screwing something up. At the start of the interview Jim, the balding, slightly beer-bellied man conducting it had offered her a cookie. Gripping the armrests so tight her knuckles turned white, she declined.

Samia had a reputation for spilling food into her cleavage. Her bra collected more finger food than a starving wedding crasher.
Even without chocolate chip cookies tumbling down between her boobs a job interview was more than challenging for a pudgy girl makingher way towards financial independence.

About twenty minutes in, Jim had asked about her strengths and weaknesses. Opening her mouth to answer, she heard a very faint muffled scream like from the opening scene of a teeny slasher movie.

‘Is there anything wrong?’ Jim asked. Samia stared at him, open-mouthed. She blushed and asked: ‘Sorry, but can you hear that?’

Jim cocked his head, puzzled, and listened. As the screaming grew louder it became clear the origin was in Samia’s purse. “Your cell phone?’ he said, a frown of disapproval showing up on his face.

‘I thought … I turned it off. That’s not even my … ringtone.’ Samia started rummaging in her her purse.

She pulled her screaming cell phone out from between tissues and make-up, the words UNKNOWN CALLER showing up on its display.

A nearly unnoticeable smile flashed across Jim’s face as he motioned the wide-eyed Samia to answer the call.

Thumbing the green button she moved the device up to her ear. The screaming ringtone stopped. ‘Hello?’ Samia said, her voice shaking.

Jim frowned as he watched all color drain out of Samia’s face within an instant. The phone slid out of her hand. As it hit the conference room’s carpet, the loudspeaker activated.  Whoever was on the other end of the call was screaming.

Before either of them could say a word, the screaming stopped. The lights around them died, leaving the phone as the room’s only source of light. After a few seconds the phone’s display briefly flickered, turned off and plunged them into utter darkness.

 

So that’s it. The first time I wrote a story from scratch unless you count that thing we had to write in 4th grade. ;-)