A couple of weeks ago I published Red Shoes, a short story set in Burgos, Spain. And for a week I’m offering it free to those who subscribe to my newsletter, an occasional affair dedicated to news about new books, including future offers, etc.
Marisol González is a young photographer who believes in destiny. As a teenager she meets Domingo Manuel Sanchez, an agoraphobic photographer who becomes her friend and mentor. And Marisol’s destiny begins to unfold in ways she could never have imagined.
Not to mention in ways I could never have imagined.
“That’s a lovely story. I enjoyed it very much. You seem to have the short story technique well in hand. I know comparisons are said to be odious, but “Red Shoes” is much more readable than some of Virginia Woolf’s that I have dipped into.” — C.B.
I began the story with a line about Salvador Dalí and, instead of questioning why, I continued writing and so found my story. At the end of the first draft it was apparent that Dalí had no greater part to play than an usher who, with the aid of his torch, guides people through the darkness to their seats.
The first draft came in at just over 2,600 words. A good length for a short story. But in the reading it was clear that I needed to flesh out certain parts that only made sense in my own mind. Plus the story was too neat. I needed some tension. And so I got to work on the second draft, uncovering and discovering more twists and connections. By the time I finished the final draft the story was much more rounded and the word count had doubled to over 5,200 words.
At this point I set the story aside for a few weeks before returning with my editor-proofreader’s hat. I replaced the occasional out-of-place word, inserted a few additional words here and there, in places that could benefit from clarification, and revised some punctuation. Then I handed it over to Sean who, like me, has a keen editing-proofreading eye. A handful of changes later and I had my final final draft.
The moment of publication was simultaneously a joyous and an anti-climactic one. The story was finally out in the world, but only available via Smashwords and, as I learned, it would take much longer to begin to show up in other online stores. It was two weeks before it was listed in Barnes & Noble and Kobo, three before it showed up in the iBookstore, and I’m still waiting for the slowly turning cogs to deliver it to Sony, Diesel, and Amazon.
In the meantime, I decided to celebrate the publication of Red Shoes with this free offer. Normally priced at $0.99, you can access download links for the ePub, .mobi and PDF versions when you subscribe to my newsletter. Just click here to sign up.
I’d love to know what you think of the story. You can leave comments here and/or email me directly. Either or both would be greatly appreciated.
And, please do let your friends, family and colleagues know about Red Shoes — the more downloads in a week the merrier!
Mufidah Kassalias is a writer, photographer and slow traveller. A digital nomad, she’s also co-founder of Creative Thunder, helping creative individuals and small businesses to fire up their online presence and prowess. To get a free copy of the inspiring Creative Thunder Manifesto, click here