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Check out my interview with writer Alan McMonagle for The Woven Tale Press

alan mcmonagle

Interview by Press Literary Editor Jo Ely, with  Alan McMonagle of alanMcmonagle.com. Read his story “Bleeding Boy” featured in The Woven Tale Press Vol. III #12.

Firstly, congratulations, Alan, on your recent two book deal with Picador. This is wonderful news and well deserved recognition for your work. You are clearly one to watch. I wonder what first drew you to the short story form. [Alan has previously published two short story collections.] And what caused your later shift toward the novel?

Thanks a lot, Jo, and yes, it’s been an exciting couple of months, and, I suspect, yet to fully sink in (that would be down to the delay mechanism I come with). As to my leanings towards the short story, it was probably the manageability of the form initially that appealed to me. And an early belief that I was chock-full of ideas, and full of ‘look-at-me, aren’t I wonderful’ nonsense every time I thought I had converted one of these ideas into a short story. I also had a tendency to take words like ‘short’ and ‘story’ at face value and so quickly convinced myself that I was naturally prolific. Ha-ha. Of course, I eventually discovered that a short story is neither necessarily short or for that matter prepared to adhere to that age-old ‘once upon a time’ convention. As I developed and acquired some stamina as a writer I began to fathom how a novel or at least how my idea of a novel could accommodate what I was interested in writing about. I have just completed my first novel and having managed to get it done makes me want to try another, and another. That said, I enjoy flitting from one form to another. I have published poems, written a few radio plays, and so long as the ideas keep landing I will always have a yen to convert them into short stories.

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Jo Ely

Described as "an intelligent, creative, imaginative, original writer" by Guardian Book of the Year author Trevor Byrne, Jo Ely has been Shortlisted for the Fish International Short Story Prize and has had a short story selected for an anthology edited by New York Times Notable Book of the Year author Sandra Tyler (Woven Tale Press, US ed. 2016). Jo has published short stories, children's books and written interviews with writers for the Woven Tale Press. She also reviews for the world's first online Empathy Library. 'Stone Seeds' is Jo's first novel, published by Urbane Publications (Amazon.co.uk).

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