Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Introducing Sunlounger... a fab collection of short stories

One of the books I'm most looking forward to reading this Summer is Sunlounger,  a fabulous collection of short stories by more than 30+ authors, which is being published on 1st July. 

The stories promise to take us across the globe so for those of us not having a summer holiday this year we can read and dream about some of the beautiful destinations, Dubai, St. Tropez, Australia... to name a few, and pretend that it's us on these journeys.

The website was launched this weekend and I love it.  There's so much info on there to discover, authors taking part and the destination they wrote about, travel tips, as well as the chance for you to win a diamante-studded suitcase fall of signed books.  

So how did this all come about?  The following has been reproduced from the website with the permission from Belinda and tells us how her idea took off and snowballed...

What began as a whimsical notion has become a jet-set juggernaut! 

It seems to be a growing trend - avid readers of women's fiction long to see their own words in print, but the idea of writing a whole novel (80,000+ words) is off-puttingly daunting. Quite rightly so, it's a mare! (I've written 10 and it doesn't get any easier!) So I thought something more bite-size could be just the ticket. For the reader as well as the writer: you know all those disjointed elements to travel: standing in line for check-in, loitering at the luggage carousel, hanging on for your friend who's decided that she is going to  straighten her hair after all... Wouldn't it be nice to have a quickie jaunt to Hawaii while you wait? Or nip to the Amalfi Coast on your coffee-break or commute? Instead of having to wrench yourself away mid-story you could read the whole thing and still have time to think, 'Hmmm, I wonder what I would have done in her flip-flops...'

The fact that the stories would be set abroad was a given - over the years I've found there is no better way to get a keyboard a-clattering than to picture a foreign shore, and as soon as the theme was announced the Belinda Jones Travel Club regulars were buzzing about where they might set their mini masterpiece!

That's when I started wondering about compiling an entire book of stories, maybe asking a few professional writers to join in... Why not, right? Anything is possible with digital publishing! We launched the competition in Nov 2012 and then over Christmas I began emailing writer pals, starting with former more! magazine colleagues - Fiona Gibson, Tasmina Perry, Katie Agnew... It was such a kick to get a positive response I decided to widen the net...

Before I knew it I had over 30 wonderful women's fiction authors on board, running the gamut from self-published first-timers with infectious pep to savvy former journalists and best-selling bonkbuster belles. The common factor to them all is that they are good-hearted girls, the kind you would want to have a cocktail and a chat with. It was such a treat to be spirited away by their stories - already I have my favourites, ones I am eager to read again, and I look forward to hearing yours. On June 15th we shall be revealing the opening lines of each story in the anthology so you can get an idea of who you want to read first. In the meantime you might pick up some ideas on where you might go on your next trip. I have to say that for me now, Cambodia is top of my list. Along with the German fairytale castles of Bavaria, and I never thought I'd say that!

Belinda x

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