Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood – out now!

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My new short-short story collection, Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood, is now available to order from Bamboo Dart Press at this link.

Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood is a 40-page collection of 18 short-short stories exploring the adult-child dynamic. The stories draw from a combination of imagination, observation, and personal experience, putting the characters into situations that make use of fable and folk tale motifs, or exposing them to pressures in order to evoke the intense emotions of childhood. I wanted to try to capture what it’s really like to be a daughter or son in a world designed by imperfect adults.

A young Irish girl substitutes a cardboard cut-out for her presence within her own family; a daughter nervously visits her father who has now become a stranger; a naive, grieving schoolboy is tricked by a more streetwise young man; a child tries to impress her village by breaking the world record for stepping in and out of a doorway. This collection offers you a kaleidoscopic view of the pressures, conflicts and joys of childhood and family life: from surreal fables to memoir, to idiosyncratic realism, to supernatural tales about strange encounters.

Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood (Bamboo Dart Press, 2022)

Advance Praise for Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood:

“Such a perfect balance between free-wheeling imagination and absolute control of tone and character, shot through with sublime tragi-comic timing. A joy.” —Luke Kennard, author of Notes on the Sonnets

“Michael Loveday seamlessly straddles the line between reality and the absurd. The stories in his latest book are a juxtaposition of love and lunacy, a boundary where the logical meets the illogical, a balance of hope and dread as all the mothers and fathers and daughters and sons and all their doppelgangers stand banging, banging on the door, waiting to be let in.” —Nancy Stohlman, author of After the Rapture and Going Short: An Invitation to Flash Fiction

“Step through the magic mirror to discover a version of family, but not quite as you know it. From the parents’ regular pillaging of pieces of their daughter’s silver heart to a child’s doomed quest for striped paint, a series of potent metaphors sheds light on a network of relationships and expectations. Expect some darkly hilarious but surprisingly intimate and moving moments in this delicious cornucopia of freshly minted tales and fables.” —Jacqueline Saphra, author of All My Mad Mothers and One Hundred Lockdown Sonnets

Here are two example stories from the chapbook:
This Be the Curse – The Journal of Radical Wonder
Silver and Blood – Fictive Dream

And a short film created by Dennis Callaci for the story The Glass House:
“Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood” – short film – YouTube

Available to order now from Bamboo Dart Press.

Novella-in-Flash Craft Guide: now available to pre-order!

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For the last couple of years I’ve been writing a book I hadn’t originally planned to write. A publisher suggested the idea to me, I mulled it over and thought, OK yes, let’s give it a go

Forthcoming from Ad Hoc Fiction in May 2022 is my completed novella-in-flash craft guide, Unlocking the Novella-in-Flash: from Blank Page to Finished Manuscript. Now available to pre-order from the Ad Hoc Fiction website. All pre-orders before 17th May save £3.75 on the cover price.

Unlocking the Novella-in-Flash (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2022), by Michael Loveday

It’s a flexible, step-by-step guide to creating your own novella composed of flash fictions, or very short stories. It’s the first ever full roadmap published, in fact! Whether you’ve written a novella-in-flash before, or are a beginner newly experimenting, the idea is that this craft guide will support you to produce a high-quality manuscript of linked narratives.

I’m really proud of this book. It was a labour of love during the pandemic and I wrote it primarily out of solidarity for the writing community and all those people who, like me, have longed for some support while grappling with their novella-in-flash manuscript. I’m especially grateful to the many many fellow writers who helped me put the book together by reading individual chapters (or the entire first draft, in the case of two beta readers), and two people in particular – John Mackay and Johanna Robinson – who helped me with copy editing and proofreading what ended up as a 200-page book. I’m grateful to Jude Higgins at Ad Hoc for suggesting the idea in the first place. And lastly, I’m grateful to the writers and writing teachers who generously took time to read the finished book and offer an endorsement – you can read excerpts from these below.

Advance praise for Unlocking the Novella-in-Flash: from Blank Page to Finished Manuscript:

“This is it, writers. This is all you need if you’re even thinking of writing a novella-in-flash. Michael Loveday has written the destined-to-become-a-classic bible on the form. Part craft book, part workbook, part collected resources, Unlocking the Novella-in-Flash is packed with insights, inspiration, examples, and prompts to get you started and assist you every step of the way. A gifted teacher, Loveday anticipates the pitfalls and steers you around them. He provides tangible examples to back up his lessons. He makes the often daunting task of starting a book feel not just doable, but fun.” ~Kathy Fish, author of Wild Life: Collected Works

“An extraordinarily useful resource… Highly recommended for all writers, all teachers of creative writing, and anyone interested in new forms of expression.” ~David Gaffney, author of Out of the Dark and Sawn-Off Tales

“A beautifully written and practical guide for novella-in-flash writers. Michael Loveday effortlessly unlocks the secrets of this ever-evolving form of storytelling that is coming of age in our time.” ~Bambo Soyinka, Professor of Story, Bath Spa University

“Michael Loveday is our foremost champion of the cutting-edge literary form of the novella-in-flash, and in this practical, hands-on guide he takes both the new flash fiction writer, and the seasoned pro, through the process of turning discrete moments of inspiration into a cohesive, coherent whole, while never losing sight of the joy of creativity that should underpin all writing. If you’re a poet wanting to try to write something more substantial, or a prose fiction writer looking to branch out, this book will give you the inspiration and encouragement you need to start experimenting.” ~Rishi Dastidar, author of Saffron Jack and editor of The Craft: A Guide to Making Poetry Happen in the 21st Century

Unlocking the Novella-in-Flash is a handbook, guidebook, reference book, map and compass for anyone thinking of embarking upon writing a novella-in-flash – and indeed those who’ve already written and published one… I guarantee that this book will become a staple in the reading diet of every flash fiction writer.” ~Johanna Robinson, author of Homing

“Writers have been waiting for this book and we didn’t know it…  Unlocking the Novella-in-Flash is destined to join the canon of invaluable books on writing.” ~Pamela Painter, author of Fabrications: New and Selected Stories, and co-author of What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers

Available to pre-order now from the Ad Hoc Fiction website. All pre-orders before 17th May save £3.75 on the cover price.

“Slouch to 5k” – Week 10 Activity – The Wow!

The final activity in the “Slouch to 5k” series is a chance to identify some goals for the weeks ahead. In the blogpost I share a simple device for maintaining momentum now that Slouch to 5k is over – a structure of “minimum” vs. “wow!” More at the link below…

Week 10 Activity – The Wow!

NB “Slouch to 5k” aims to help writers who have stalled with their writing projects during lockdown. You don’t have to have completed previous weeks’ activities to enjoy this one.

“Slouch to 5k” – Week 9 Activity – The Empty Hour

A chance to immerse yourself deep into your writing project this week in “Slouch to 5k” by deliberately scheduling time away from work, caring responsibilities, domestic chores and social media. More at the link below…

Week 9 Activity – The Empty Hour

NB “Slouch to 5k” aims to help writers who have stalled with their writing projects during lockdown. You don’t have to have completed previous weeks’ activities to enjoy this one.

“Slouch to 5k” – Week 7 Activity – The Affirmation

Here’s the latest weekly activity for “Slouch to 5k”

Week 7 Activity – The Affirmation

“Slouch to 5k” aims to help writers who have stalled on writing projects during lockdown, by proposing unusual/creative activities that reconnect you to your writing/your project.

NB You don’t have to have completed previous weeks’ activities to do this one.

Have fun!

“Slouch to 5k” – Week 6 Activity – The Cartoon

Here’s the latest activity for “Slouch to 5k”!

Week 6 Activity – The Cartoon

NB – “Slouch to 5k” aims to help writers who have stalled with their writing during lockdown, by proposing unusual/creative activities that reconnect you to your writing/your writing project.

You don’t have to have completed previous weeks’ activities to join in with this activity!