An extraordinary adventure with Stevie Carroll!
I’m thrilled to welcome Stevie Carroll, one of the coolest, most exciting people I’ve ever met and a kick-ass writer to boot! This month sees the launch of her collection of short stories, A Series of Ordinary Adventures, which you can currently pre-order in a whole variety of different packages from Kickstarter.
Q: Stevie – thanks so much for dropping by. Please could you tell us a little about your new book, A Series of Ordinary Adventures.
Thank you for hosting me! A Series of Ordinary Adventures is a collection of seven short stories, including two novellas, covering pretty much the full cross-section of British characters: young, old, and in between; gay, straight, bi, and undecided; cis, trans* and genderfluid; plus a range of cultures, religions and ethnicities. All of the stories but one are set in the UK, with the other story being about Brits abroad. The overall concept is that remarkable events can happen to anyone, and that everyone has it within them to be a hero.
Q. I am a big fan of your Tiptree Award long-listed sci-fi story, the The Monitors, and your new book crosses several genres. Which genre do you enjoy writing the most?
I’m not sure I have a favourite genre as such. I like writing about people and places, whether that’s the woman who lives just round the corner, a collection of villagers in the recent past, or ordinary workers travelling across the galaxy somewhere in our future. The most important thing is that I’m giving voices to everyone and not just to the people you might expect to be the stars of the show.
Q. Describe your writing style…in ten words!
Quirky, sometimes irreverent, colourful, hopefully informative and very determinedly British.
Q. One of your stories is set in the fine Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge (a place I visited in the torrential rain!) How important is place and setting in inspiring your work?
Setting is everything. Even when I don’t specifically name the place in my work, I know approximately where it is, and I build up a picture of it in my mind before I start, which I add to as I’m writing. I spend a lot of time searching out images and maps and looking at houses on property websites to give myself more inspiration, and if I can I’ll also visit a place to take pictures to refer back to later.
Q. What’s next from Stevie Carroll?
Hopefully a short story for this year’s UK Meet anthology. I’d like it to be a sequel to last year’s ‘What Katy Did on Holiday’ about Katy’s European adventures, but I’m very aware that the deadline is approaching and I have a book launch to keep on top of. After that I’ve got a couple of novels to edit for submission, and I’d love to get a category romance ready to submit to the editor one-to-ones at this year’s Festival of Romance.
Can’t wait to read Thanks so much Stevie!
A Series of Ordinary Adventures: “Peer down forgotten passageways and soar above the streets of a London-that-isn’t with a collection of unforgettable stories in this startlingly, romantic, and quietly disturbing solo debut. From vacationers in the Mediterranean who encounter something rather more lively than they expected in a ruined palace to a group of friends who have to make amends for a terrifying incident in high school, you’ll find adventure, magic, and more contained within these pages.”
Excerpt: ‘Charmed by Prince Charming’
“Come on, then.” Ash led the way through the stage door, and into the cold empty evening behind the theatre. No admirers awaited them, there at the back amongst the discarded fliers, ribbons from bunches of flowers, and old pizza boxes. Nor were there any around the front of the theatre, where the ushers were sweeping the steps, and clearing up the last of the sweet wrappers dropped by departing audience members.
Colin walked alongside Ash, and their knuckles brushed briefly. He stuffed his hands in his pockets, wishing he’d thought to bring gloves. A scarf would have been handy, too. How Ash could stride confidently down the street in just an open jacket and a Tshirt in this cold weather, Colin didn’t know. But then Ash was from Up North somewhere. Maybe Newcastle. Up there, they wandered around in next to nothing when it was colder than this outside.
If Colin had taken hold of Ash’s hand after that vague touch, would some of Ash’s inbred insulation from the cold have transferred over to Colin? Would Ash have welcomed the contact, or would he have pulled his hand away? The street was all but empty, a few early revellers rolling from restaurant to pub, as their companies took advantage of the cheaper party rates for November compared to December. Those with further to go huddled together like penguins, frosted breath steaming ahead of them, then dispersing as the flock waddled hurriedly on through the night. All intent on getting to the next source of warmth, drink, and snacks, muttering amongst themselves or occasionally squawking out as they spotted a familiar face in a rival group heading in a different direction.
Pop over to Kickstarter now to see you can secure your signed print copy of this awesome collection, along with a chance to bag extra stories, custom bookplates, posters, and a photo album notated by the author!