Libraries are deeply important to our communities, serving as a refuge for the lonely, a source of information, a place to access books, a safe space for children to explore the world, develop a love of reading and join in a variety of activities. Libraries give us more than most of us are aware.
Borrowed tells the story of the library at the heart of the small (fictional) Scottish town of Finlay. In a variety of styles and genres, the authors have collaborated to write about the stories of the library, its patrons and staff. More than just sharing a theme, the stories in this anthology share a location and a key group of characters.
Contributions from: Shona Kinsella, Ian Skewis, Claire Patel-Campbell, Lou Allison, Stevyn Colgan, Paul Holbrook, Elena Kaufman and Erinna Mettler.
As will likely come as no surprise with a group of authors, literacy is very important to us. Literacy changes lives and words can change the world. The royalties from this book will all be donated to World Literacy Foundation.
The Ties That Bind – Harold doesn’t believe in ghosts, but something strange has been happening ever since he took over as Library Co-ordinator.
Remembering Miss Clare - Dorothy, an elderly woman with a dark secret, is interviewed about her enigmatic schoolteacher Miss Clare, by an abrasive journalist who will stop at nothing to get a sensational headline - can Dorothy keep her past where it belongs, or will it finally begin to catch up on her...?
A Different Corner – Roy invents systems to help him chose which book he’ll borrow - will it be learning or stories?
A Test for Lester Aldrich – They're giving the parents the test at the library. In some ways, Lester feels like the test is just for him. In some ways, his whole life has been a test.
Slightly Foxed – What happens when you invite one of the world’s most obsessive fact-checkers to be part of your pub quiz team?
Cast a Golden Shadow – Pavel is the happiest man in the world, and having the most perfect day ever; what could go wrong?
The Disappearance of Veronica Richter – A Scottish librarian is trapped in her favourite book, powerless to stop the brutal outcome while winged beings threaten the safety of her community
To See How Things Really Are – A young schoolgirl sees something she can't explain at the loch. Is she communing with the mythical otter kings or do the waters hold other secrets?
A Time to Remember – The death of a friend prompts memories of a long-lost love.
Harold glanced at his watch and gulped his coffee, grimacing as it burned all the way down. He put the cup on the counter, moving too quickly and causing the liquid to spill over the side, burning his hand. He cursed and ran his hand under cold water.
‘Calm down,’ Daniel said, sounding amused. ‘You have plenty of time.’
‘Harold turned around with a sheepish grin. ‘I just don’t want to be late on my first day.’
‘At the place you’ve worked for the last ten years?’ Daniel stepped close and straightened Harold’s tie.
‘You know what I mean. My first day as the boss.’
‘I know. You’ll be fine. You deserve this promotion and everyone knows it.’ Daniel planted a quick kiss on Harold’s cheek. ‘I’m taking you out for dinner tonight to celebrate. We can try the new Japanese place. Meet me there at six?’
‘Perfect.’ Harold rested his forehead against Daniel’s then gave him a slow kiss before pulling away reluctantly. ‘I have to go. I’ll see you tonight.’
Harold arrived outside the library at eight-thirty, an hour before opening time. He set his briefcase down between his feet and took out a cigarette, lighting it with an engraved lighter that Daniel had given him for Christmas. He smiled, running his thumb over the words For my hunky hubby before tucking it into his pocket. He took a deep drag, holding the smoke in his lungs and tilting his head back before releasing it in a streame took a He to dissipate in the morning sunlight. He had been trying to stop smoking for years but just couldn’t quite get there. Still, he had managed to cut down to just three a day. That had to be better than nothing.
Pledge £20 or more on Borrowed between the 30th November and 5th December and you'll receive a free Ebook copy of my soon-to-be-released collection of flash fiction, In a Flash.
As promised, here's the opening to the wonderful bonus story Borrowed Time by Paul Holbrook. The rest of the story will be released in sections to patrons only as a thank you for supporting our project.
They didn’t have to hold too tightly onto Nora’s arms. Her rage had more or less left once they had got her into one of the small meeting rooms at the back of the library…
I have been shockingly bad at posting updates here and for that I apologise. I hope to do better in the coming weeks. Let me tell you a bit about what's been going on.
We have a completed draft manuscript of Borrowed which has been through one round of editing (by me) so far. I expect to do another round over the coming weeks but if we reached 100% funding today, I would have a manuscript…
In short, I have always written. As soon as I knew how to use a pen to form letters, I was making up stories, all no doubt long since lost to house moves and clear outs and time – but there it began. I was (still am) also terribly competitive, so when a schoolmate said she liked writing stories too, I made it my goal to write stories that were better than hers. I have no idea if they actually were…
What goes around, comes around...
I started writing in 1989, aged nineteen. I was holding an exhibition of my lithographic prints and poems at Dumbarton Public Library and I was approached by the editor of a local free-paper, The West-Ender, who wanted to write an article about me. I did the interview and then she asked me if I would like to contribute to the paper by conducting my own interviews…
The Terrible Tale of how Paul Holbrook got off his arse and started writing.
So when and why did I start writing? Well, it depends how far back I decide to tae it. When I was at
Junior school I wrote a story that my teacher loved so much that she took me to the headteacher, so
that I could show him. She said that it was the best story she had ever read by a student, and the
I thought it would be fun to do a series of posts introducing each of the contributing authors for Borrrowed, telling you a bit about their journey to becoming a writer and how they came up with the idea for their story in Borrowed. I'll try to post one of these each week for the next eight weeks.
My name is Shona Kinsella and I am a fantasy author.
I have loved books for as long…
Today I thought it would be nice to share some flash fiction with you. Flash ficiton is very short stories, often under 1000 words. All of the authors are busy working away at some interesting updates for you and Im really looking forward to sharing those with you over the coming weeks.
At the Water's Edge by Shona Kinsella
Anna swore as she stumbled over a tree root…
These people are helping to fund Borrowed.