Although One Day For Me is Sally Jenkins’ first published collection of short stories, she’s been writing stories and articles and placing them in magazines for many years. A computer programmer by day, she recently decided to self-publish some of them in e-book form.
That’s a great idea, as it will enable her to reach a new audience who don’t buy women’s magazines (e.g. me). Even better, the purchase price of her e-book is way under the cover price of a glossy magazine. There is a burgeoning market for bite-size, digestible fiction that’s quick and easy to read on e-readers or smartphones, while commuting or waiting for appointments, and these light short stories are perfect for such situations.
Now that she’s mastered the e-book technology, Sally will be able to rattle off a series of e-books like this, until she’s exhausted her back catalogue. If, at the end of each one, she adds links to her other books, she will easily be able to cross-sell the range. She is helpfully providing a live example of the premise of one of my recent blog posts, How to Sell More Books: Write More Books. Thank you, Sally! Right, now on to the actual review…
One Day For Me is a a terrific debut. The author’s experience shines through in these slickly produced tales which together form a highly readable, easily digested collection. Set in the familiar world of 21st century Britain, most of the tales incorporate clever twists that will have you thinking twice about ordinary situations and people you meet in everyday life. It was also refreshing to read a set of stories in the third person, past tense, after reading a glut of first person, present tense stories, which, though I love those too, can sometimes feel slightly exhausting (or is that just me?)
Each story in this collection is thoughtful, amusing, clever, humane, touching and life-affirming – even the one that begins rather startlingly with the acknowledgement of a murder! Accommodating all of these qualities within such a compact format is no mean feat, and I was filled with admiration for the author’s craftmanship. Aspiring writers of short stories would do well to read and learn from her mastery of the form.
I had intended to ration these modest tales as bedtime reading, one a night, to make them last a week, but I enjoyed and admired the first one so much that I couldn’t put my Kindle down till I’d feasted on the lot. It was like trying to take just one Malteser from the bag and leave the rest: it simply can’t be done.
And whaddya know, since I downloaded One Day For Me, she’s already published a second collection: Old Friends. Go, Sally!
Sally Jenkins also writes a great blog for writers, generously sharing not only writing tips but also details of imminent competitions. You can follow it here: www.sallyjenkins.wordpress.com