When I first launched Leighton Literature back in October 2014 it was as a vehicle for my short stories. I already had one series written and ready to go about my travels in India. But, ever the stickler for doing things a certain way, I was insistent on publishing these tales in chronological order. So I quickly began work on two more sets, one from a year spent in Qatar (my first time living and working abroad), the other from twelve months in Slovakia (probably the most jubilant, carefree period of all my days).
From there I began to slowly but surely document the key periods of my life, each collection attached to a different country, such has been my lifestyle. Although today LL has been largely hijacked by My 5s (bite-sized travel reports from around the globe), I haven’t forgotten about my short stories and remain dedicated to adding a new compilation every year.
After all, these are the narratives that have made me who I am. For better or worse I’ve never been afraid of putting it all out there and, over the course of the six collections published to date, that’s exactly what I’ve tried to do. These stories are about the amazing things I’ve seen and done. They celebrate the dizzying highs and successes I’ve enjoyed both personally and professionally, but also reflect on the crushing lows of regretful actions, broken hearts and lost friends. As such, I dedicate these stories to the wonderful places I’ve been lucky enough to visit and those special people that have played such crucial roles in my life journey.
Writing and sharing in this way often feels like a form of therapy. It fills me with a sense of warmth, nostalgia, gratefulness and wonder. Above all, it’s helped me to feel at peace with the present, try to live life to the fullest and look ahead to the future with hope and encouragement. Feel free to dip in and out as you see fit. Or if you’re really brave, just start at the beginning and enjoy the ride.
The Qatar Collection (2001-2002).
The Slovak Files (2002-2003).
Incidents In India (2004).
Based in Belgium (2005-2009).
Challenged In China (2009-2010).
Notes From The Netherlands (2010-2013).