Even Birds Are Chained To The Sky And Other Tales

Have you got a Kindle? I haven’t (yet: *hint to husband*). But if I did have, I would definitely be purchasing Even Birds Are Chained To The Sky and Other Tales, which is a new collection of  winning stories by writers from all over the world from The Fine Line Short Story Prize . Not only am I enammoured with the title, it also features a story called ‘Spoiled’, which happens to have been written by my course mate on the Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University, Konstantina Sozou-Kyrkou.

Unlike me, Konstantina is one of those people who does write short stories, stories unlike anything else I have ever read. For a start  she litters her prose with Greek words (if her name hadn’t given it away, she is Greek). This gives everything she writes a real sense of place, which has the very pleasing effect of feeling like you have been transported to somewhere beautiful in rural Greece, a place where white washed tavernas perch high on cliffs overlooking a sparkling bright blue sea. This is even more amazing to me because I have never been to Greece, although last year I did watch a film called The Sisterhood of The Travelling Pants 2 (or was it 1). Either or, Blake Lively, Ugly Betty and Rory Gilmore off of The Gilmore Girls are in both, one of them was set in Greece. (What? I have a nine year old neice) My point is, it looked beautiful. Somewhere I’d like to go at some point (*hint no. 3 to husband).

And even though Konstantina’s stories tend to be quite dark, there is always something beautiful about her writing. So if you like storytellers to put you at the heart of the action, to tease you with twists and turns, hell, if you just like eating feta cheese, olives and stuffed vine leaves, get this book and read Konstantina’s story. It’ll make you want to take a holiday or at the very least eat Greek for tea.

Kindle owners can buy it through Amazon here. So do it. Do it now. She lives in Greece. Need I say more?


I’ve come to a decision about the short story section of this blog. I’m taking it down. I don’t write them. I thought that I might write more of them this year, but if anything, I’ve written less this year than I did the year before.  All my efforts have been going on the novel in progress and I don’t see this changing until I get it finished. And as people keep looking at the ‘Shorts’ section, I’d rather not disappoint before I’ve even started. I realise that this may change in the future, but for now I’ve had to admit to myself it’s not going to happen any time soon. And yes, I do know that short stories are like the chips off a writers work bench or whatever Kingsley Amis said about them.  A few quick wins would be nice, but I have to be realistic. I don’t have the time to spend chasing short story competitions if I want to get my MA and finish the long game before I’m thirty-five.

So the novel, as yet still untitled (I am working on that – honest) is the priority. First draft WILL be completed by March 2012.

As you were.