NATALIE KLEINMAN SHARES HER LOVE OF CHOCOLATE
I began my writing career with a short story, lots of them in fact, though it was a long time before I had the temerity to send them into the big wide world of competitions and magazines. Creating a complete tale in a couple of thousand words is something I have never lost the passion for – and I hope I never shall. For a long time, however, rumours have been flying around about the demise of the short story and some of the magazines dedicated to them. I am happy to be able to say that from my perspective at least this is not the case. I have had no little success in the last eighteen months and while the market is difficult and the competition intense I think the outlook is healthy.
What about those rumours though? If they were true then where could I take my writing? I certainly wasn’t prepared to abandon it. Was it possible I had a book in me? I had never been one of those who maintained they would write a book ‘when I have the time’ as if sitting at a computer or using pen and pad was all it would take. You don’t know until you’ve tried, do you, and it was time for me to embark on the longer project. I have, as so many of us do, that first book ‘in the bottom drawer’, hidden away, never to see the light of day unless given a radical re-write. I learned a lot from it though; enough that after submission to the Romantic Novelists Association’s New Writers Scheme and some invaluable help from my reader I was offered a contract by Safkhet Publishing for my second.
I am at present waiting to receive the manuscript back for edits and rewrites and hope that Voyage of Desire will be available on line by the end of the year. In the meantime I am more than twenty thousand words into my next novel while at the same time revisiting what was my first love, the short story. I look upon both with equal affection and each as a special confection. There is a lot of talk about chocolate in writing circles – and in others as well I imagine.
In my mind I liken the short story to a delicious truffle, I particularly like white chocolate but this preference would not cause me to refuse the other kind. It must not be rushed. The one or two mouthfuls are to be savoured, run over the tongue slowly, to be appreciated for every stimulus to the taste buds. In contrast the novel is like a Black Forest gateau; far too large to be partaken of in one go, although I have to admit there are many books I have read from beginning to end without putting them down. Sometimes a small piece will suffice; sometimes a huge chunk is the order of the day.
So where does all this leave me and my writing? I refer back to the title of this piece. Not just the truffle, not just the gateau. I can have both!