Saturday, 22 March 2014

New Book Of Travel Stories

The Truth In The Lie
After what seemed like an age spent in the editing stage, The Truth In The Lie was finally launched. It was a frustrating six months but looking at it now, it seems well worth the effort. I am so pleased with the cover. The road trip story behind the cover photo is a fascinating one and will be the subject of a future blog post on its own. The editing of the stories was the work of my very literary eldest daughter, as described in the previous blog. She did a brilliant job; better than I could ever have imagined. In fact I would say she's a natural.

Tales Of A Travelling Storyteller
The stories in this new book are all related in some way to travel. Some are pure 'travellers tales' while one or two are simply set in locations where I have spent time travelling. Many of them though, are stories I have told to people while I have been on the road, or when I returned home. They have developed over the years as a result of the telling.

Talking to girls in a shanty village - Cochin, Kerala, Southern India

The book has been out barely a day and already I am receiving feedback. Some people are fast readers. Thankfully that feedback has been good. As with my last book of short stories, people have commented upon the authenticity of the characters - or should I say queried them:

"Is that guy in Red Card based on the footballer you used to know in Ireland?"
"Be honest Mark, the Dottie in Dottie's Diary is based upon my friend Jo, isn't it?"
"I hope the cafe in All In Good Time is not my cafe, Mark. I could lose a lot of customers!"
"Mark, I read your book. Tell me, the story Traffic... how the hell did you know that about me?"

and most worrying of all –

"There seem to be several characters based upon you, who are all preoccupied with their mortality."

Traffic: Story of a naive English art dealer in Africa

The Commuter: 
A story of what an exhausted man sees from a train window at night

The Title
The title, The Truth In The Lie, was chosen because of the number of times I have been asked whether my stories are based upon truth. It seems obvious to me that every fictional story is based upon truth. Personal truths from past experiences or those one has heard of, and 'great truths'. Great truths may never have actually happened, yet they are universal truths of life understood by all.

Story Outlines
My Only Friend – An elderly widow in Lisbon is estranged from her son who prefers to live in squalor and idleness since the death of the father he idolised.

A Minor Distraction – A rich American man on a train in Africa tries to tempt a poor young girl into his carriage while stopped at a wilderness station. The tragedy that ensues hardly seems to touch him.

Greta – A pair of travellers arrive in a rural Hungarian hotel where all is not what it should be. They are shown to their room by a young woman who seems something of an automaton. 

All In Good Time – A woman who runs a cafe is told she is being watched by the security forces. It seems unlikely until one of her staff disappears under strange circumstances.

Masaji – A father and son attempt to escape from China on foot after their visa runs out. 

In The Line Of Fire – A man in a war zone is attacked and hounded by those he once regarded as friends. They seem unwilling to allow him to leave the area, however.

The Crossing – Exhausted after several days at work, a man begins to experience strange occurrences while driving home through a long road tunnel.

Traffic – An art dealer makes his first trip to Africa and almost immediately becomes the victim of not one but two carefully engineered scams – or so it seems. 

River Witch – A young man camps by a river and is shocked to see a naked young woman float past as he lies in bed enjoying the early morning sun. How could he not go after her?

Red Card – Once a promising professional footballer, Pat Carmichael becomes an alcoholic loser after he suffers a crippling injury. Finally after two years of depression he picks himself up.

The Commuter – Travelling home on his daily commuter train, David is drawn to something strange he sees in the dark while the train is stopped. What he sees transfixes him.

Dottie’s Diary – Two women hill-climbing in Wales take shelter in a stone barn. Soon they are joined by a wealthy local woman who invites them home where they meet her husband. He is familiar to one of them. 

Burned On Him – A rather reserved family meet for a weekend at the parents' house where a revelation by one sister causes an argument and shocking consequences.

The ‘F’ Word – A conversation overheard on a train with three children, their mother and her friend. 

The Bottle Lady of Luang Prabang – Surreal happenings when a group of friends meet at their regular breakfast cafe by a busy main road. 

To find the book and to discover the characters for yourself you should click the link to Amazon or Smashwords below or in the right-hand margin of this blog. The book is currently priced from $1.99 or £1.27

Cover photo by Fumiko Jin - Taken in Hokkaido, Northern Japan. 
N.B. The story behind the photograph is revealed in a later blog - Hokkaido Snowstorm

The Truth In The Lie - Smashwords (all e-book formats)
The Truth In The Lie - Amazon UK 
The Truth In The Lie - 
(N.B. Now available as a paperback via Amazon)

1 comment:

  1. Exhausted after several days at work, a man begins to experience strange occurrences while driving home through a long road tunnel. travel stories