Please join me in welcoming author Annika Perry to the blog today. I have known her for years now and always enjoy her uplifting blog posts. Now she has published a collection of poems, short stories, and flash fiction pieces into “The Storyteller Speaks: Powerful Stories to Win Your Heart”!
Upon hearing this news, I immediately asked Annika to come over to chat about the inspiration behind writing this book. She kindly accepted. And, you know what? Her taking the step to publish her writing has helped inspire me to keep going with my own short story collection. What a wonderful boomerang effect! Now, without further ado, here is Annika Perry on being inspired to write.
First of all, it is an honour and pleasure to be here – thank you so much, Christy. I welcome the opportunity to chat about my debut book; a collection of short stories, flash fiction and poetry entitled ‘The Storyteller Speaks’.
Christy, you asked what was my inspiration for writing a book of extraordinary tales!
There was not one single moment of enlightenment when I decided to create a collection of short stories. Rather it was a slow-drip of realisation over a couple of years. For the most part, my novel, which is now in its final edits, was my main focus of attention. However, I occasionally posted my short stories and flash fiction on my blog.
Following these postings, the first niggling thoughts were ignited of possibly putting the stories together in a book. My stories were greeted with such massive and overwhelming support and acclaim that I was staggered and deeply moved. As an increasing number of bloggers wrote that they looked forward to reading more and when a few even hinted at a book I started to consider the prospect.
The seed was planted.
Over time short story collections seemed to permeate the literary landscape; on WordPress several writers released their collections and then established and well-known authors followed the trend. One of my favourites was Rachel Joyce’s ‘A Snow Garden & other stories’. The book entered my heart and stayed. Her seven stories, which subconsciously on writing carried a thread through them, became my mainstay through developing my own collection – living on my desk for the duration of writing my book.
Whilst my stories do not have physical links between them; rereading them whilst parring the selection down to these 21, it didn’t take long for the magic within them to make itself known. That the extraordinary is in all our lives; that there is no ordinary for any of us.
With the concept defined, my stories selected I was finished. Or so I naively thought! There followed my rather circuitous road to publication.
Although writing has been my passion for my whole life it is only in the past few years that I have seriously started to write fiction. I formerly worked within journalism and the timber trade before severe illness followed by motherhood gave me an opportunity to pursue my dream.
In Spring 2014 I won First Prize in a ‘Writing Magazine’ short story competition which gave me the much-needed impetus and confidence boost to take my writing further. Later I was short-listed for an Inktears Short Story Competition which was a delight.
‘The Storyteller Speaks’ is my first published book and my first fiction novel, ‘Island Girl’, is in its final editing stages. I hope to publish this novel in 2018. Furthermore I have completed two books for younger children which requires revisions and illustrations before publication. I’m also proud to have some of my work featured in an anthology published by the writing group of which I’m a member.
It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever?
In this eclectic mix of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry the pendulum swings between first love and murder, from soul-destroying grief to reconciliation. The tales veer from the sweet satisfaction of revenge to new beginnings, from heart-breaking miscarriages of justice to heart-warming Christmas misadventure.
One common thread binds them all; the belief that there is no such thing as an ordinary life; they’re all extraordinary.
Open your hearts and minds as The Storyteller Speaks.
“That the extraordinary is in all our lives; that there is no ordinary for any of us.” I agree wholeheartedly with Annika. May we live boldly with this thought embedded in our hearts.
Rebecca, may we indeed live so with this thought ‘embedded in our hearts!’ Wonderfully put…Too often we rush along in life, never thinking we are doing anything special…not realising it always is!
Well said!! :)
Christy, warmest thanks for this wonderful opportunity to be on your blog and write a guest post. As a longtime fan of your blog and writing this is really an honour. ❤️ I am overjoyed that you have been inspired to complete your own short story collection and I look forward to reading more about it soon…no pressure! 😀😀
It’s been a wonderful experience having your here, Annika! You’re kicking off the New Year with a bang here :) I love seeing the positive comments flowing in for you. Haha regarding my manuscript – no pressure ;)
How marvelous to sit in on a chat with Annika. Thanks for hosting, Christy. Hugs all around.
It is so nice a trend to introduce good writers by good writers, I appreciate this act and congratulate Christy.
This has to go on.
Wishing all the Best to Annika for her debut publication.
Shiva, first thank you so much for your best wishes; I appreciate that very much. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was when Christy asked me to appear and write a guest post (my first!) – it is a great gift to offer new published writers like myself! Yes, it has to go on and I think it will. Warmest wishes to you. 😀
Thanks Annika, here in WP I have observed such good gestures are practiced.
It boosts the writer’s endeavour. The very comments you get immediately after posting are like Vitamin tabs. The gesture makes your stature high and spirits whirl.
Wishing good for your novel too. 💞🎶🌷
Wonderful that you have shared Annika with us today Christy, :-)
I am delighted Annika that your Dream of becoming published is now a reality Annika.. And you bring myself great inspiration in putting my own collection of words together.. <3
Sue, I was so happy when Christy asked me here and jumped on the chance!
Yeah!! 😀😀 I’m over the moon if this inspires you to put your own work together in a collection…it is a wonderful feeling and you’ll surprise yourself by how much and the quality of work!
At times I think I glimpse the younger me out of the corner and feel like reaching out and saying, you did it…that dream wasn’t in vain. Just took some time to get there!! Hugs xx
:-) when we focus our intent, our dreams manifest. :-) so happy, I so feel your excitement xx
Must be just too wonderful to see dreams published
It is an incredible feeling…the reality of it is only sinking in now!! Appearing on blogs and discussing my book as its author is amazing! 😀 Thank you for your comment.
Can just imagine
Always fun to learn how books came to be. And what a pretty cover! I love it.
Thank you , Carrie. The pretty cover is continued on the back with the rest of her head in white and the blurb is written within that …looks lovely. Oh yes, I just love learning about the background to books, stories so it was a delight to chat about my own experience here. Wishing you a great weekend! ❤️😀
Lovely to see you with the amazing Christy and Christy you better publish your short stories xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Ditto that, Shey!! 😀 I think we can all nudge her towards publication … exciting times all round! It’s been a busy week for me, jetting from you and Dudes to over here…slightly calmer! 😀😀
I feel the poke in my side, Shey ;) I need it! Thanks for being here to cheer Annika on too xo
My two favorite bloggers in one spot! Thanks so much for hosting Annika, Christy. I plan to start your book this weekend Annika, once I finish up my copy edits. I’m so happy for you! xo
Lovely post, Christy. I like that Annika’s book had a boomerang effect on your own short story collection. The power of blogging! <3
How nice to see Annika over here, Christy. I have recently read her book of short stories and I enjoyed it immensely.
Annika writes beautifully! Her humility shines through this post too…I am glad she has inspired you to go ahead with your book of short stories. Thanks for hosting her Christy. :)
Reblogged this on Annika Perry's Writing Blog and commented:
I consider myself lucky to have known Christy Birmingham since my early days on WordPress and have followed her blog ‘When Women Inspire’ with keen interest. As the title suggests, Christy’s aim of her blog is ‘to showcasing the efforts of women around the world to change the world in positive ways’. Wow!! She succeeds brilliantly and her posts are always inspiring, informative and thought-provoking.
Imagine then my delight to be invited to write a guest post about the inspiration behind my book ‘The Storyteller Speaks’! I’d hardly emailed her my enthusiastic yes and thank you before I started to write the post…read on to find out more.
For this time I’ve turned off comments here and look forward to continuing the chat over on Christy’s blog.
Even us guys can be inspired by these stories! I certainly liked them a lot.
Annika finds the magic in the ordinary and inspires me to look for it too.
A lovely post Christy. I am a big fan of Annika’s blog and will be reading her book soon.
Thank you, Jennie! 😀
You are welcome, Annika! 🙂
This was such a joy to read, Annika and Christy. I’m sitting here sipping my coffee and smiling! Cheers to you and following your heart’s calling! XO
I love hearing how this book of stories came to be. Thanks to Annika and to Christy for introducing her book
Annika, it’s wonderful that you were able to achieve your dream of having your work published. The Storyteller Speaks is an excellent collection of stories, that I’m sure will touch many readers!
Mae, thank you so much!! 😀 It is every writer’s dream that their work will touch many and to be honest I am overwhelmed with the wonderful positive reaction to my book. I had not expected anything like this and the last month has been one of constant happiness! It feels like a milestone in my life, to have achieved this dream and also given me confidence and strong desire to continue writing and publishing! Wishing you a lovely weekend, Mae! xx ❤️
It’s awesome to see you over here on Christie’s blog, Annika. And you already know that I loved the book. I’ve always enjoyed your stories on your blog, and I’m glad you were inspired to publish them together in a book. You are a true storyteller. :-) Thanks Christie for the lovely feature. <3
Diana, I was overjoyed when Christy asked me to write a guest post … and slightly nervous too – she has such a great blog here with wonderful articles etc and I didn’t want to let her down! Luckily she liked what I’d written!! 😀 Yes, thank you so much for your amazing review…I’m still stunned. You are one of those to thank that I went ahead with this book…your comments to my stories on my blog were always so positive and encouraging! From such a writer as yourself, I took heed! Have a brilliant weekend! xx
Enjoyed this inspiring post! Thank you, Annika and Christy. :) xoxo
I have a copy of Annika’s book and look forward to reading it, it’s good to see her being shared Christy :-)
How lovely! As someone who loves inspirational stories, I must go check this out. I love flash fiction and poetry, and tales that inspire and motivate. Congrats to Annika on publishing, best wishes for the novel, and much gratitude to Christy who introduced us to Annika! Happiest of Fridays to you both! <3
I’ve started making my way through Annika’s stories. Love the twists. Thanks for featuring her.
Terrific feature, Christy and Annika! I love this: “. . . the extraordinary is in all our lives . . . there is no ordinary.” If we could learn to get out of our own way and see with our inner eyes, magic would reveal itself ❤❤
Tina, your comments are always inspiring and help us to see the magic in our lives … we are often our own worst enemy and hide the beauty of us from ourselves! ❤️😀 It’s been such a joy to be here and greeted with such warmth and interest.
I loved finding out what inspired Annika’s writing! Thank-you very much for sharing, Christie and well done again, Annika!
Clare, thank you so much…it was interesting to write this post and examine my motivation and inspiration behind the book! So glad you enjoyed it. Xxx
Thanks, Christy, for the pleasingly frank tete-a-tete with Annika; and Annika, here is wishing godspeed to your write world for weaving extraordinary tales even from ordinariness.
Christy, having you and Annika here together in one post is like a double whammy gift! You both inspire me. Thank you for hosting Annika. I am midway through her book of short stories and savoring each one like a morsel of soft sweet chocolate, some topped with sea salt (a metaphor for our tears). After reading everyone’s responses, I too may be inspired to publish a small anthology of my stories. I love love love how we support each other in our writing endeavors.
Pam, wow! What a wonderful comment…of course,I got tear-eyed reading your metaphor of sea salt ….so touching! I love that you are savouring the stories and they are definitely not meant to be rushed. Yeah!! How fantastic that you might be publishing your own anthology – please do and you have one reader eager already!! 😃 The support, care and love between us all here is phenomenal and made a huge impact on me and my decision to publish my book. Love & hugs xxx
Love and hugs back. xoxo
I often read books I enjoy, even love, but so many aren’t that traditional ‘storyteller’, the writer who pulls you in with each word, drops crumbs that make you want to keep going, speaks on a level that’s both understandable and warm. A storyteller is so much more than ‘a writer of stories’. They’re a raconteur and more. Annika is this. I love her book.
What a great interview! And yes, Annika’s posts are inspiring! I can’t wait to dig into this anthology. And inspired writing–so fitting. I think all writers are inspired by something, and when we get going, look out. Good luck with the book, Annika! And I can’t wait until Island Girl comes out. It’ll be fantastic!
Julie, thank you so much for your enthusiastic bubbly comment. 😀 After the positive reception to this book, I am much more confident about releasing Island Girl. Inspiration is the key to writing, I feel…if it is forced this can easily come across to the reader. Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog and how it is always inspiring – that is wonderful to know and is a real boost!
Enjoyed reading this. Just what I needed today!
That’s wonderful – thank you so much! 😀
I had such a delightful visit and love the purpose of your blog. Annika and I have had many conversations on our blogs and what a wonderful choice she is. Happy 2018.
Mary Ann, thank you so much for your lovely comment and I always enjoy our chats on our blogs – and now here on Christy’s!! 😀
You are in my special book of contacts with a similar background and interests. As I gaze out the window, I think of ALL the music I have to learn between now and April and now and June (Haydn). It is still snowing and driving last night was difficult when I went to rehearsal. I think there are smorgasbords in Sweden, right? I recall the ones in Norway which I absolutely loved with fresh veggies and fish. I am in the mood for one. Shall I hop on a plane?
I find it extraordinary that you can spin stories so freely, Annika. It sounds like it’s going to be such an exciting year for you, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer person. :) :)
Ahhh…thank you so much for saying so, Jo! 😀😀 The year finished and the new year started with such intense excitement and with my dream coming true (paperback on sale today!). Amazing!! At the back of the book I write a little background to some of the stories and there I mention the inspiration for some of them; sometimes it is the smallest incident, overheard conversation, other times larger events…but my mind never seems to stop spinning…and making stories! ❤️
Wonderful article. Thanks, Annika and Christy!
How lovely! You’re both inspiring. ❤️
Colleen, thank you so much for your kind words – I feel likewise and am always inspired when visiting your blog. Xx
Thank you, Annika. I love if people visit and feel comfortable – just like my home. <3
Wow! Thank you😊
My pleasure! 😀
I recently connected with Annika and had her on my blog with her new book. It was lovely to share her work with my readers. I look forward to reading her book soon. Annika is a talented writer – I noticed that from her blog! I am honored to call her a new online friend and will continue to do all I can to support her.
Wishing you both much success in your endeavors. Blessings & hugs xx
Janice, warmest thanks for your wonderful comment…a beautiful start to the new week. I’ve felt we’ve known each other for ages here on WP but realise you’re right and we only recently connected- but we just seemed to ‘click’. Thank you for your lovely comment about my writing and for all your support. It was lovely appearing on your blog! 😀 The past months have been so hectic but now calming down and I Look forward to reading your book soon…it’s on my desk!! It the midst of all this I have read so little…I’ve never read so few books as over the past few months and I hope to rectify this!! I do miss it so. Wishing you the best with all your books and writing, particularly the sequel. Hugs xxx❤️
Thank you, Annika. I feel fortunate to have met so many lovely people especially you. I wish we lived closer so we could actually meet. Enjoy the excitement of your first book and then all the others that will follow. Happy reading! Xo ♥️
hey Annika , this is realy wonderfull , i think this is very helpful for me , i am a new member on blog world, but i also have opinion for self motivation .
wow! this is so great, i am new here and i wish to learn more. Thank you
Such an inspiring post. Thank you for sharing this post with us. Have a great weekend!
It’s always fascinating to hear about what inspired a writer and their own personal journey.:)
Helo I am new to wordpress and still figuring it out..I write poems. I would be great if you could check out my latest post. Thankyou
Incredible post..thank you
I am inspired Thank you.
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