the story behind the story: the shadow of old jock

I was excited to find out that my story The Shadow of Old Jock was in this months Take A Break Fiction Feast. I knew they had purchased the story but I had no idea when it would appear. I buy the magazine every month, and only realized when I saw a nod to my story on the front page. Exciting!!!!
This is the first story I’ve sold to TAB so its all a bit surreal. So not only am I super excited, I’m also very proud. I love reading the creative process behind other writers’ stories so thought I’d do a series with my own stories, which, as well as offering blatant self-promotion (and its my blog so that’s OK) will hopefully inspire other writers too.
This story was written for a ghost-story themed competition. My Dad had told me about a couple he once met who were convinced there was a ghost in their house. Every evening at the same time, they claimed a shadow passed along the wall and made the TV go fuzzy. They were sure there was a path there before the houses were built, so thought that the ghost was walking along the path!
This gave me loads to think about. Who was the ghost and why did it follow the same path at the same time every evening? I wanted to write about this but also tie it in with the current inhabitant of the house. How could I link the two together?
The resulting story didn’t win the competition – I don’t think it even made the shortlist. But on a whim I decided to send it to TAB. I must admit, I was dubious. Not because its a bad story – I would never insult an editor or myself by sending them a story I didn’t deem good enough for their publication – but because I wasn’t sure if was their thing. It’s a ghost story for a start, plus it has a male protagonist. to be fair, ghost stories and male protagonists appear in TAB a lot, but still I wasn’t sure if it would quite be suitable for them.
But it was! And they’ve published it! They’ve changed the title, arguably to a much better title than I had. This is quite common and some writers are precious about it, but naming stories is my least favourite part of the process so its fine by me. What matters, is that my story is in print, and I hope the readers enjoy it!
Octobers Take A Break Fiction Feast is available now for £1.80, and features loads of other awesome stories!
*NOT a sponsored or affiliate post*

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