Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Why Read a Short Story or a Collection?

The Blessing or Curse Collection, a sequel to my thriller, Forever Young: Blessing or Curse, is now available. This collection contains five short stories, about five very different types of people who take a pill to be young again.

Instead of dwelling on the thriller aspect, the collection focuses on how the choice to take an experimental pill impacts not only the lives of the test subjects, but also that of their spouses or significant others. The only thriller mention comes toward the end of the collection in a very short bonus section in which the villains from the first novel plot their next moves.

Since not everyone might like to read all the stories, I'm also offering a choice to read one or more separately. Catch a glimpse of the covers in the panorama below.


What the stories are about:

Who'll Mend This Broken Man - Desperation forces Consuela to order the Forever Young pill to cure her husband, Diego, from Parkinson’s Disease; but is the cure really a curse?

What I Did for Love - Strawberry blonde model, Sherri, sees her popularity fading, along with her looks. The pill can bring her fame and fortune, but what about love?

Too Much of a Good Thing - Ezekiel, an African-American male, can't get it up for his lady love, Luana. Will the pill draw them closer together or drive her away?

Suspicion - Doormat, Dee Dee Marshall, takes a bold step when evidence points to her husband's infidelity.

For the Love of Dog - Overweight Chicago Police Officer Walinski must pass a new physical or lose his job, along with his beloved canine partner. Can the young pill offer security, when danger lurks in the line of duty?

You may ask why anyone would want to read a short story or a collection of them? Here are some reasons:
  • It's easier to finish a short story if you don't have much time, and don't enjoy keeping track of what happened the last time you put the book down.
  • You're curious about how the theme will play out
  • You enjoy variety
  • Part of a series you're hooked on.
Any other reasons you can think of?



Experience the diversity & versatility of Morgan Mandel. For romantic comedy: Her Handyman & Girl of My Dreams. Thriller: Forever Young: Blessing or Curse. Science Fiction/Romance Sequel: Blessing or Curse Collection. Romantic suspense: Killer Career. Mystery: Two Wrongs. Twitter:@MorganMandel Websites: Morgan Mandel.Com & Chick Lit Faves

16 comments :

  1. I have to admit to avoiding short stories for the longest time. I find so many of them boring. But I've read two collections recently that changed my mind: Wake Up and Smell The Creepy by Marianne Halbert and Moving Violations by Nicole Amsler. My crit group members have also written blockbuster shorts. I think the new publishing options have opened the door for more exciting entries. I will definitely add this collection to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. As with any format, I think the premise or a sample need to grab the reader's interest.

      Morgan Mandel

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  2. I typically read short stories only as homework for workshops. With the very best of intentions, I've bought several collections over the years—and there they sit, on my shelf, untouched. What can I say, I'm a die-hard fan of the long form. Whenever I try to read a short story or two I start to think, "If I had invested this much time in the next novel I want to read I'd be deep into it by now." I'm the opposite of the person you describe—I lose patience with the short form.

    But I do think writers can learn a lot about story structure from masters of the form, since the length allows an easier overall view.

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  3. I've been reading Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine for decades and decades, and I like being able to finish a story during a brief break. If a collection is about a series I like, and I like the author, I'll probably buy it. Sometimes if it looks like a bargain--considerable less than each story purchased individually--I might buy it because even if I don't like all the stories, I've saved money. Or, if it's an anthology, I've been known to buy it because it's the only way I can find a short story that's part of a series by an author I love or whose characters I love. I have a few of these on my bookshelf because I wanted to know what was going on with Eve and Roarke even though I'd never heard of--or didn't care for--the other authors. (Now, if JD Robb would only ask me to put a story in a book she was part of...)
    Terry
    Terry's Place

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  4. My favorite time to read a book of short stories is when I'm flying somewhere. I can keep the book in my briefcase and read one or two while in flight and then pick up on the next story when I'm back on the plane. I don't have to worry that I'll forget the "book" and have to start from the beginning since each story stands alone.

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  5. And of course a doctor's office is ideal for reading short stories, unless you really like the magazines in the rack. lol

    Morgan Mandel

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  6. I love to read short stories. I think I first fell in love with them when my kids were young and I didn't have much time to read. I could sneak in a short story now and then and satisfy my need for a fictional escape. It will be interesting to see how readers respond to your two-pronged approach to marketing these stories.

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  7. I'm leaving no stone unturned, Maryann!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.amazon.com/author/morganmandel

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  8. Years ago, I bought magazines just to read the short stories. Of course, I'd check them out first to be sure they sounded interesting, and I was rarely disappointed.

    My first serious writing course was in short-story writing. One challenge for the short-story writer is keeping it short and sweet -- and complete. On first thought, you may think writing a short story would be easy compared to writing a novel. If you're a concise thinker who can cut to the chase and eliminate all the fluff while gripping your reader with strong characters and a compelling story line, you may be right. If you're detail oriented and like to bring in various threads to complicate the story, your work is cut out for you. Short-story writing is not for the faint of heart. Do not assume it's going to be easy just because it has a low word count.


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  9. Any path we choose is complicated if we want to do it right!

    Morgan Mandel

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  10. I really enjoyed reading your post. Your short stories sound very interesting! I normally prefer long stories to short stories, though. I appreciate all the detail involved and have no problem at all with putting a book down with a bookmark in it, and coming back to it when I have time to read. Many Fortunes with your stories, Morgan!

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  11. Thanks, Janette,
    I could say I forget what happens sometimes in stories because I'm getting older. Then again, I don't remember if I was that good at remembering when I was younger!
    Morgan Mandel

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  12. Your post caught my eye when I saw the words short story. I've sold a bunch of short romantic comedies and love to read romance ones, finding they are just as satisfying as books. They can be very challenging to write; so more power to you.

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    1. Vicki,
      I'm leaning toward shorter books for my reading pleasure.
      Maybe that's why I'm starting to write them more.

      Delete
  13. I grew up reading the short stories in my mother's magazines (Good Housekeeping, McCall's, Ladies Home Journal, etc.), as well as those in magazines for teens. Now it is very rare to find short stories in magazines and I miss them.
    With a collection I usually do not sit down to read all the stories at once. I dole them out so I can savor each one.

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    Replies
    1. That's what I like about collections. Each story is complete unto itself.
      Morgan Mandel

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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