Author Kate Hewitt with Multiple Giveaways!

We have author Kate Hewitt sharing with us how she's giving new life to her short stories. She also is giving away books.

Kate Hewitt around the web:
Website     Blog    Facebook   Twitter
Over to Kate now.....
How I Got Started and Second Chances
I first submitted to Harlequin when I was twenty-two. Twenty-two!! That was awhile ago, I'm afraid to admit. I wrote three manuscripts in my early twenties, and one was a finalist in The Golden Heart contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America, but that was as far as I got. By that point, with a young child and very little time, I was feeling discouraged and I decided to stop trying. I turned to short stories instead, and the first short story I wrote in 1999 was accepted by the British magazine The People's Friend. That was the first time I'd actually been paid for my writing, and what a thrill it was. My husband suggested we frame the check but I said heck no, we're spending it!

Sister Sister

Over the next seven years I wrote over two hundred short stories for The People's Friend and many other women's magazines around the world--Ireland's Own, Woman's World in the US, You in South Africa, That's Life! In Australia, and even magazines I've never seen in Denmark and Sweden.

Looking back, I attribute a lot of my development as a writer to that period of writing short stories (none more than 4,000 words). I learned about plot and pacing and tight yet nuanced conflicts. It was great! But after seven or so years I felt a pull back to novel-length romance, and I decided to try writing for Harlequin again. This time, the very first story I sent them sold (admittedly after multiple rounds of revisions!)

A scroll through my hard drive made me realize just how many short stories I had, and how I might be able to do something with them. So with the help of Lee Hyat from Author Sound Relations, I organized some of my favorite stories into themed anthologies, and she designed the covers and formatted them for Kindle. I have three anthologies up on Kindle so far, with at least three more planned. I'm excited to give these short stories a second chance, because I really did enjoy writing them. Here is an excerpt from Something Fishy, one of the stories in my romance anthology, Love, Laughter & Lucky Marbles:

The shop Mum mentioned is next to the florist's, a small, unassuming place with a red and white striped awning and a sign that reads "Murray's Fresh Fish." Basic.

Bump: An Anthology
I open the door, and the smell assails me before I've even got one foot in the shop. Even fresh fish smell, apparently.

The man behind the counter is a little older than me, with dark hair and eyes, and an apologetic smile.

"Sorry. The smell gets some people."

"It's not that bad," I say, although I'm aware I'm talking through my nose.

"May I help you?"

I glance at the fish, lying skinned and docile on beds of crushed ice. "I've been sent for two fillets of salmon."

"Sent?" He raises his eyebrows.

"Well... my Mum has this thing about salmon," I find myself saying with a little smile, although inside I'm wondering why I'm telling him this. "She gets it every year for my birthday."

He paused, leaning his elbows on top of the glass case of fish. "It sounds like there's a little more to this story than you're telling me."

"There is." I laugh and then admit baldly, "the truth is, I don't like salmon."

"No?"

"I even hate it."

"Really." Are we flirting, I wonder, over fish? Beneath his elbows I can see a halibut's staring eyes.

"So. This begs a question."

"Yes." I wait, enjoying myself. My life must have dipped pretty low to be having a good time with the fish seller of Little Sheffington, but there you go. I don't care.

"Why," he says slowly, his eyes twinkling, "does your mother buy salmon for your birthday, if she knows you don't like it?"

"That is the question I've been asking myself for twenty years."

"Parents don't always want to listen," he says with a knowledgeable nod. "My mum insists on making me sweaters for my birthday. She's not a good knitter." He raises his eyebrows as if to say 'need I say more?'

"Have you ever told her your--ah--feelings on the matter?"

"Delicately. But I think it takes more of a sledgehammer approach, which would naturally upset family relations."

"Naturally."


Love, Laughter & Lucky Marbles
Suddenly, our conversation fizzles out, and we're left staring awkwardly at each other. I'm very conscious of the halibut.

There are ten stories in this anthology, all slightly humorous takes on falling in love. I find a short story the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee.  Do you like reading short stories? Do you read them in magazines? To celebrate the release of these anthologies, I'll give away a book from my Harlequin backlist--either The Lone Wolfe or The Matchmaker Bride, your choice--as well as a copy of any one of my anthologies on Kindle! Let me know what you think.


30 comments:

  1. I'm intrigued by the fish flirting scene. lol.
    I agree, a short story is a greatway to pass the time or to unwind after a busy day at work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sasha,

      Reading short stories can guarantee HEA in one sitting!
      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  2. A short story is like a lovely, quick holiday and
    I love them. The scene you shared has piqued my interest~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Shelley,

      Same here. This fishy scene is intriguing. Thanks for coming by and all the best for the giveaway!

      Delete
  3. Short stories are so much fun to read and write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lynda,

      The author who is able to tell a story in less than a 1000 words must be applauded. As I know you write short stories as well. To keep your conflict, motivation and resolution in such a short piece must need some tight plotting and writing. You gals are awesome!

      Delete
  4. Very fun excerpt! I have never tried writing a short story, but the thought is intriguing. I do enjoy reading them, though. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Janet,

      Thanks for coming along to read this post.

      Good luck in the giveaway!

      Delete
  5. Thanks everyone for your comments. I love short stories. I especially like being able to tackle all kinds of situations and characters in a short format. This story was inspired by my own's mother insistence that I like salmon when I really, really don't. She finally believes me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kate,

      Welcome to Romance Reader! It is a fun excerpt, thanks for sharing with us and for these giveaways!

      Delete
  6. I too am a short story writer - three stories old. One in Ireland's Own, one in Woman's Era (India) and one in Foreign Flavours, an expat anthology. I've written over fifty stories, yet only three published. But that's the challenge, isn't it? I love writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats on getting your stories published Maria. I've read one of your short piece- it was brilliantly written and the writing just flowed magically!

      All the best!

      Delete
  7. That's great, Maria. Congratulations on your sales. I love the challenge of the shorter format.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like short stories, especially when I don't have much time to read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chey!

      Thanks for visiting and for your comment!

      Delete
  9. I do enjoy reading short stories. I used to like them less, but my attitude changed after digging into a few anthologies and reading people's fiction on the internet--many of which is short.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Golden,

      I'm with you here, after reading all the flash fictions, I'm a fan of short stories now!

      Delete
  10. Ooh, I like this, fish, birthdays, flirting in the shop, thing. I'm intrigued.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rebecca,

      Yes, the excerpt is intriguing!

      Delete
  11. Thanks everyone for your comments! I'm glad the excerpt intrigued you, Rebecca. One thing I love about writing short stories is how you can play with a fun idea--in this case, the fact that I hate fish--and have it resolved in a few thousand words. I'm so glad I've had all the experience that I have writing shorts; the market is shrinking now as magazines replace their fiction slots with real-life stories or celeb gossip features, so it's harder now than it ever was to be published in a short (and paying!) format, but it was definitely a great apprenticeship for me.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Who knew fish could be so utterly romantic and flirty!?!? LOL! Awwww I love this extract!! Now I want to read the rest of it!! And I'm a vegetarian! LOL! Yay!! Thank you so much for sharing such a fun extract!!

    Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa! Old Kitty!

      Romantic Fish? LOL!

      Delete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow over 200 short stories. That's amazing. I'm so glad you're getting them out there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Leslie,

      Thanks for visiting and your comments!

      Delete
  15. I like the flirtation in this piece.

    Wow, Kate's a prolific writer. I enjoyed reading about her today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Medeia!

      Thanks for your lovely comment!

      Delete
  16. Kate, what a wonderful excerpt. I liked the dynamics between the two people while the fish place became so vivid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Theresa, we can actually visualize this fish place. Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  17. Congratulations to Theresa Milstein and Sasha H for being chosen as winners by Kate Hewitt!

    Thank you to all friends for reading and commenting.

    Thank you Kate for this fantastic giveaway and for chatting with everyone here!

    ReplyDelete

Join the discussion!