I had some welcome news recently: I’ve had a story accepted for the next edition of Seven Deadly Sins—A YA Anthology, a book series for young adults which puts a modern twist on age-old themes. Yay!
This new book will be the fourth, and so far I’ve had a story published in each one. Since the stories are chosen via an international contest and judged blind (ie, with our names taken off), I hope you’ll forgive me for being quite chuffed.
The previous three editions cover Pride, Sloth and Envy, and the upcoming fourth book tackles Gluttony, a vice dear to my heart, since most of my family and friends are obsessed with food!
Meaty topics like the Seven Deadly Sins provide a rich hunting ground for ideas. For the first two contests, I had no problem thinking up stories, drawing on emotions I’d felt and experiences I’d had or heard about and pushing them to their limits. But when it came to the third book, Envy, I was really stumped. When, after days of mulling, I still drew a blank, I asked husband Mark about things which had made him envious in life. He remembered how, at school, he and his friends were envious of each other’s family cars.
Now, cars are something of a bone of contention in our family. Mark and the step-kids rave about them, but for me they’re a necessary evil at best, gas-guzzling polluters at worst. I was intrigued by Mark’s idea though, and the challenge it represented. The result was my story “Petrolhead”:
Although Josh’s family is better off than Ricky’s, the two boys have always been the best of friends, linked by their joint passion for cars. Josh can talk to Ricky about anything. All except the things that really matter, like the way he feels about Louise. As resentments bubble beneath the surface, an unexpected windfall sets the three of them on a fateful course.
I love being involved with Seven Deadly Sins, and as with most good projects, there is a talented and dedicated team beavering away in the background. Our esteemed editor K T Stephens is an author in her own right. We have creative editor E N Loizis who runs the social media side of things, plus Dino Laserbeam in charge of Layout. Dino also runs the excellent Freeze Frame Fiction , which has also published a story of mine.
Our cover design artist is Luke Spooner of Carrion House, who creates stunning covers for our books.
All the writers in the series, both new and established, are members of Scribophile, a fantastic international writing community, a respectful place where we critique one another’s work and discuss the nuts and bolts of the writing craft. I can say without doubt that Scribophile has helped me enormously in my quest to create the best fiction I can and get published. I’ve also made some genuine friends there, from all over the world, including the excellent Belinda Mellor, who co-writes this blog with me. I’ve even met a couple of Scribophile members in the real world, and they were just as lovely in person as their online personas suggested.
(Excerpt from “A Mother’s Pride”, my story in the Pride edition.)
I’ll post an update when Gluttony is ready for release. Meanwhile, we have a Facebook page here and a website devoted to the project here. Check out these photos of the Pride writers as teenagers! https://sevendeadlysinsanthology.com/authors/volume-1-pride/
Meanwhile, with the fourth book underway, only three sins remain: lust, avarice and wrath. If those vices pique your interest, why not join Scribophile and look out for the next contest? Look me up if you do, I’ll be glad to see you there.
Our books are available in paperback and kindle editions.
Find them here:
Proceeds from book sales go to charity First Book