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Ocelot Press Short stories

Doorways to the Past

I’m delighted to be involved in Ocelot Press‘s latest venture: Doorways to the Past, a collection of historical short stories and character interviews from five Ocelot Press authors, will be released on 30th July 2020. There’s something for all historical tastes in here.

Sue Barnard, myself, Cathie Dunn, Nancy Jardine and Jennifer C. Wilson have put together this collection. Yvonne Marjot, the newest Ocelot, has written the foreword.

Vocal characters!

All of the characters have appeared in some of our novels, and they haven’t left us alone, so we decided they deserved to have their say in their own stories and interviews.

The stories span the centuries from Roman times across the Dark and Middle Ages, through World War I, and up to the present day. This journey through time takes you from Scotland to England, and across to France, Corsica and Italy.

Astray in Marseille

My story, Astray in Marseille, takes a character from The Corsican Widow. For ages, I’ve been meaning to write about Francesca Vitello. She is a young Florentine woman, disowned by her family, who fetches up in Marseille in the mid-18th century. The story recounts her desperate attempts to find work and make her way in the city.

Doorways to the Past is now available on pre-order for Kindle on Amazon for 99p/99c. If you order now, that price is guaranteed, and you won’t pay anything until the book uploads automatically to your Kindle or e-reader on 30th July.

A paperback edition will be available soon, too.

You might also like:

Short Stories Inspired by France

Introducing Ocelot Press

Copyright © Vanessa Couchman 2020. All rights reserved.

Categories
Historical Fiction Short stories

The Unofficial Truce of Christmas 1914

World War I soldiers - National Archives
World War I soldiers – National Archives

As Christmas approaches, we’re moving to the end of the Historical Writers Forum December Blog Hop. This has included a lot of fascinating posts by fellow historical fiction writers on the theme of Christmas in past times.

Today, it’s my turn, and I’m focusing on one of the strangest happenings during World War I.

“There, the night before we had been having a terrific battle and the morning after, there we were smoking their cigarettes and they smoking ours.” This was the slightly bemused verdict of a British Tommy on one of the most extraordinary and poignant events of World War I: the Christmas truce of 1914. Up and down the lines on the Western Front, men from both sides clambered from their trenches and laid aside their countries’ differences for a short time.

Categories
Historical Fiction Short stories

Book Cover Design: the Story of French Collection

French Collection Cover LARGE EBOOK

 

When people buy a book, their choice depends on many factors: recommendation, a favourite author, a catchy title, a genre they like and so on. The cover also has a big influence on book buying. For that reason, instead of exercising my minimal (no, zero) design skills on my forthcoming collection of short stories set in France, I commissioned a cover designer.

Categories
Historical Fiction Short stories

True Inspiration for Fiction #1: the Christmas Truce 1914

World War I soldiers - National Archives
World War I soldiers – National Archives

“There, the night before we had been having a terrific battle and the morning after, there we were smoking their cigarettes and they smoking ours.” This was the slightly bemused verdict of a British Tommy on one of the most extraordinary and poignant events of World War I: the Christmas truce of 1914. Up and down the lines on the Western Front, men from both sides stepped from their trenches and laid aside their countries’ differences for a short time.

Categories
France Historical Fiction Short stories

Short Stories Inspired By #France

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie - view of village from above
Saint-Cirq Lapopie, one of the beautiful hilltop villages for which SW France is renowned

To celebrate my 20 years in France, I’ve decided to publish a collection of a dozen of my short stories. They are all linked by being set in France, many of them in the southwest region, where I live. This part of France has rich and varied landscapes and a strong tradition of separatism and independence.