Welcome back to Writers on Wednesday. This week, I am chatting with a fabulous author of short stories, Rebecca Burns ...
Tell us a bit about yourself …
I am a married mum from the UK, with a young family, and write every minute I have spare! I write short stories – I love the technicality of short pieces of prose; the way that readers are dropped into a moment in a character’s life, the way a wider world beyond the text is glimpsed but not fully realised. The best short stories I have read have left me with a longing to know more about a character and I hope to achieve this in my own writing.
Tell us about your most recently published book?
The Settling Earth is my second collection of short stories, published by Odyssey Books. I’m really excited about this collection – I find the subject matter fascinating. It centres on the experience of British settlers in New Zealand, trying to forge a new life for themselves at the end of the nineteenth century. These brave men and women gave up their lives in Britain and ventured into the unknown; they endured isolation, privation, and had to rethink what they understood as “home”. Houses were built with bare hands, relationships were reassessed, and some experienced freedom like never before while others carried the baggage of social constraint with them. What a life they must have experienced! The Settling Earth is a series of interlinked stories, focusing on the experiences of a variety of settlers and the challenges they faced.
Tell us about the first time you were published?
In actual fact, the first story in The Settling Earth was my first publication – “A Pickled Egg” was published in 2008 by The London Magazine, which is an historic and renowned British journal. It has published many famous and influential writers and poets, and I was really chuffed to be included in this prestigious title.
As writer, what has been your proudest achievement so far?
I was delighted when my debut collection of stories, Catching the Barramundi (also published by Odyssey) was longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Award in 2013, which is the UK’s only prize for short story collections. I’ve also been lucky enough to win or be placed in some writing competitions – I won the Fowey Festival of Words and Music competition in 2013 and came runner up in 2014. I’m very proud of these achievements.
What books or writing projects are you currently working on, if anything?
I’m enjoying the buzz surrounding the publication of The Settling Earth and, aside from that, am editing my first novel, which is a history/detective story.
Finally … is there anything you would like to say to your readers in Adelaide, Australia?
If you haven’t given short stories a try, please feel free to download or pick up a copy of The Settling Earth – I hope you like it and I’d love to know what you think!
Writer’s website: www.rebecca-burns.co.uk
Settling Earth on Amazon: