I’m an Open University Student, blogger, and self published author. I publish under the name of K.B Goddard but my name is actually Katharine (K.B fits easier on a book cover and people always spell Katharine wrong, also I watch a lot of murder she wrote ;)). Between you and me, I think self publishing my first book was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I’m glad I did it though. I know that, like me, it isn’t perfect but it is mine. As anyone who has already read my blog will know, publishing it was a challenge I set myself and one I’m pleased to say I met.
My first book, and indeed the one that is yet to come, were probably about 17 years in the making. That’s not to say that it took me that long to write, I was slow but not that slow! But that’s where the first seed was sown. You see that’s when my fascination with Victorian/Edwardian stories began. When I started secondary school; the school library was a tiny room, smaller than most people’s living rooms. It was really more of a cupboard with tables. Then wonder of wonders they opened the new library, a large airy open space with computers and books everywhere. I’d probably have preferred oak paneling and inkwells but, hey, you can’t have everything.
It was in that library that I remember encountering Edgar Allan Poe for possibly the first time. Not in person you understand, (I’m not that old), but one of his books. The school was cold and it leaked and I’m pretty sure it was held up with used chewing gum, but the library was warm and I found myself a cozy spot on the radiator and read ‘The Mask of The Read Death’. It was around this time I think that the library had a sale of old books and my sister bought a book compiled by the Irish comedian Dave Allen of his favourite ghost stories ‘A Little Night Reading’. It was in the pages of that book that I discovered M.R James for the first time and many other masters and mistresses of the genre. ‘Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to you my Lad’ creeped me out I can tell you. In these same formative years I also read ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes‘ for the first time.
Fast forward several years and I was studying creative writing with the Open University; for some reason, looking back, most of the short stories I wrote were ghost stories. Ghost stories just seem to work so well as short stories; The advanced creative writing module had a big assignment that took up half the course with submitting a summary of what we intended to do, the first however many words, reflections on the process and then submitting the final project. I knew that if I was going to spend half the course doing it I was going to need to pick a project I was going to enjoy and not run out of steam on. Luckily I had a story idea lurking in the back of my mind. It was then that I decided I was going to try something different. I decided to write my ghost story and set it in the Victorian era. This fitted in nicely with my fascination with history and mythology. That wasn’t going far enough though; I decided it would be fun to try my hand at writing it in the first person and attempting to replicate the Victorian voice. I had already developed a deep love of the Victorians’ language and their ghost stories and in consequence had to suppress a slightly Victorian manner in my writing, (I should probably have just gone with it), so this seemed like a natural choice. It could have gone badly wrong. Luckily for me it was a hit with my tutor and whoever graded the final product.
That story ‘Reflections on a Malady’ became the first story in my book ‘A Spirited Evening & Other Stories’, albeit in a revised version. I enjoyed getting to use the beautiful and formal style of language that has fallen out of favour nowadays so much that a few years later I decided to do 5 more stories in the same style and publish them as a book.
I knew from the start that I wanted to go down the self publishing route. I knew that I wanted to offer a paperback option but I wasn’t sure about Createspace due to living in the UK and having to have proof copies shipped from the US etc. So I did an internet search for UK alternatives and came up with FeedARead. A UK company with arts council backing. No currency conversion, no complicated tax whatchamacallits, just a PayPal address and you’re off. Then I went the Kindle route and just last month.
A Spirited Evening & Other stories:
A homage to the classic ghost story; this collection of six Victorian inspired tales, is filled to the brim with vengeful spirits, mysterious maladies and wondrous happenings. What is the source of the strange music that haunts an old manor house each night? What dark secrets lie between the pages of a mysterious book? And who, or what, is responsible for the late night knocking at the door of a country inn?
Three more Victorian inspired tales of the mysterious and bizarre from K.B Goddard, author of A Spirited Evening and Other Stories. Would you spend the night in haunted room if your friends dared you to? That’s just what one man does in ‘The Haunted Chamber’ but the haunting isn’t quite what he was expecting. ’The Inn by the Crossroads’ has a bad name amongst the locals. When lights are seen inside the abandoned inn one Halloween night it leads the villagers to wonder just who or what is inside. Sir Henry Morston plans to build a new folly on his estate but it seems someone or something has other ideas. Is Sir Henry the victim of joke or is something else responsible for his woes? Is his building project doomed to failure? Find out in ‘Sir Henry’s Folly’.
The Secret Santa:
Everyone is in the mood for Christmas, everyone that is except for Stephanie. Missing the simple magic of her childhood Christmases she’s suffering from a case of the holiday blues; that is until a secret Santa gift provides her with more than she bargained for this holiday. Short Story