I don’t know about you but I’m so relieved to have finally finished my India series! Of my three short story collections to date, this was by far the toughest to put together!
Some of the installments had been written years ago but felt so underwhelming I was forced into complete re-writes. A lack of decent photographs meanwhile had me scrambling around the web seeking out suitable shots I could use without getting into copyright trouble.
Then there was a bout of writer’s block, which saw a few chapters plagued by a debilitating case of stop-start sickness. Not ideal when the writing was already being done in pockets of time snatched on various planes, trains and automobiles across Thailand.
Oh, and the less said about my flailing memory the better (I turned thirty seven this week, I guess it’s all downhill from here). It’s funny how I could recall the tiniest, most inconsequential details of my year in Bratislava, but when it came to my India trip (the year after Slovakia) there were gaping black holes left right and center. Not, I hasten to add, because of intoxication! (Well, most of the time).
Incidents in India was originally going to be ten installments so I have a certain Lisa Brownlie to thank for the existence of the final two. I’m so glad she gave me the push I needed, as without her encouragement, not to mention invaluable memories, they’d never have been written and the series would have been all the poorer for it.
All things considered though the rewards of publishing the tales have far outweighed the challenges. Aside from the to-be-expected enthusiasm of family and friends (shout out to my reblogging sister!) I continue to be surprised and humbled by the support of strangers who’ve taken the time to read, share, follow and comment.
A number of people have been asking what’s next for Leighton Literature. Well, first up is a richly deserved break before I launch into a new set of short stories. There’s also been some queries asking which country will feature, but in the interests of anticipation I’ve decided to remain coy on the subject.
Besides, there’s plenty to be getting on with in the meantime as I move into the final three album reviews of my all time top 20 records. It’s been a slow old process, but at long last the end is in sight! And of course there’s the necessary evil of social media promotion, which I persist with despite my general apathy. I do however admit to being fascinated by the results. What have I learned? Basically that Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and Linkedin provide me with moderate traffic but are blown away by the all-conquering power of Reddit, which is responsible for around 60% of my daily visitor count. Perhaps most pleasing of all is that LL now enjoys a prominent position in Google searches, though I’m not gonna even pretend I know how that works. Less successful was my brief flirtation with StumbleUpon, which was such a disaster I eventually called it a day and abandoned my account. The next step, after months of meaning to get round to it, is the mighty Instagram.
Onwards and upwards!