The Circle (n) a group of people who share a common interest, profession, activity, or social background. a course or route that follows a curved path, a process or series of events that ends at the point at which it began, or that repeats itself continuously ...
A collection of twelve short stories about a Writers’ Circle who meet in the fictitious Rivertown, in South West London, every Thursday night. They are there to discuss their work, but somehow their personal lives keep taking over. Gem, who resorts to witchcraft to win back her lover’s affection. Robin, the Chairperson. He writes bad thrillers until the perfect plot falls into his lap. Would he kill for it? Giles, writes risqué poetry. Plays away from home, but a reading at The Circle makes him see himself as he really is. Maddie, soft voiced and successful. Writes for teenagers but has a secret and dangerous way of dealing with negative criticism. Or could it be that Will Shakespeare spent his lost years (1579 - 1587) honing his writing craft as a founder member of The Circle? What happens when he enters the annual Halloween Writers’ Contest?
Robin Marks tried to ignore the sound of the mail dropping on the mat for as long as he could possibly bear before willing himself to go and pick it up and to open the envelope. Of course, he knew it was another rejection because his name was written in his own handwriting. It was the obligatory self addressed envelope he had so carefully enclosed, along with the hopeful letter to the literary agent. He had no chance of getting a publisher without first finding an agent.
“We writers, even address our own rejection”, he thought as he read the inevitable brief, type-written compliment slip. “We regret to inform you that our client list is already full and we are unable to help you on this occasion. We wish you luck elsewhere”. “Where?” He thought. He had just about tried everywhere else. “What was the point. What was the fucking point”. He threw down the letter and his attached synopsis and sample chapters. Jed, his live in partner, glanced up alarmed.
“Oh, it’s ok. Just another set back. Nothing I’m not used to” said Robin in reply to Jed’s quizzical look. He splashed milk onto his cornflakes before realising that he didn’t feel like eating. “They don’t like The Burning any more than they liked Death Throes … or anything else I have tried to write.”
Jed nodded sympathetically. He knew better than to say anything when Robin was on a rant. The least he could do was allow him his moment of anger, his outburst. It was pointless trying to say anything like ‘their loss’ or ’J K Rowling got turned down a dozen times’, as it only inflamed the situation. Personally, Jed had never much liked ‘The Burning’ either. It was full of stereotypical characters in convoluted situations.
Biog - Christie Cregeen (inside cover with photo of head in hand - smiling, black top)
copyright Sophocles Alexiou (new addition to add to under photo)
Born in Belfast, Christie has been writing stories either in her head or on paper since childhood. Entered journalism after school but was surprised to find that there was no place for a vivid imagination during the worst of the Troubles. Stumbled into TV via Ulster Television. After years spent in production, first as a staffer at the BBC then as a freelance for many well known companies, decided there was no place for her there there either and took a year off to fulfil her dream to write. Not surprisingly, she doesn't want to stop as she is happy right here. She is able to indulge her imagination to her heart’s content. She returns to Ireland frequently to recover her accent and sense of humour.