Hello from the Bookwormery, today I am lucky to be hosting a guest post from Luke Carter, who along with Anna Ametller, is the author of The Gardener and other short stories. Enjoy!
The Gardener and Other Short Stories by Luke Carter and Anna Ametller
Where do you start when introducing The Gardener and Other Short Stories, the surreal collection of new stories by Luke Carter and Anna Ametller? With The Postman, busy opening and rewriting people’s letters? With Mr Hard-Luck, perhaps? The self-proclaimed Treasure Hunter in the town of Vanishing! Or is it with the story of how the lives of a thief, antique collector, artist and business man are all brought together by a cat with one eye!?
Or maybe, it is best to begin with a huge thank you to the kind people of Bookwormery for the invitation to write here, along with an explanation on why I wrote the book?
The Gardener and Other Short Stories, filled with surreal villages and suspicious characters, had two important aims. The first was to write a book that told beautiful and simple stories…but with perhaps a little more lurking just beneath the surface. (The abused metaphor of an iceberg comes to mind!) The second was much more fun! To create a world so full of characters and details that you could pluck any figure from a page in the book and they could effortlessly be turned into a short story of their own! Father Falcon, for example, with his dark hair that everyone knows is a wig; or Mrs Buttercup, 89 years old, deaf in one-and-a-half ears, and wearing prescription glasses that magnify her eyes into dinner plates.
“The weather had turned up at last. It was a sunny day. It was a gloriously sunny day with a sea blue sky where few clouds went swimming. It was palm tree weather. It was a day that brightened your garden as well as your soul.
Speaking of gardens, this one was flourishing. It had never looked so good. It was as green as a field of rice. Pea shoots coiled their way up the windows. Grapes tiptoed up the bendy banisters on the stairs to choke the chimneys above. The oven had become a glass house for exotic mangos. Young saplings were planted into old shoes and the vegetables growing in the fridge couldn’t be fresher. The garden had taken over the house.”
I live in Spain and think I must have been missing England a little when I wrote the stories. They are full of English nostalgia, village gossip, and eccentric people and the illustrations match that feeling perfectly! With houses that have grown ears for listening and a gentleman in pyjamas ironing his Financial Times, the images, over thirty in total, add an extra layer of curiosity to the stories without distracting from the plot. They were drawn by the talented Anna Ametller, sculptor and artist who produces work from her little sailing boat in the Mediterranean.
The joy and difficulty of self-publishing come in equal measure! It is a great freedom and adventure to write, design, edit, print, promote and distribute a book all by yourself! Yet it goes without saying that this all takes time…a lot of it!
To help fund the publication, we have spent this month crowdfunding on Kickstarter, a platform that allows people to pre-order a copy in order to finance the book. It has been an interesting process, especially as it has allowed for us to offer more than just a book. For example, we thought it would be great fun to bring one of the stories about a nosey postman to life, by offering hand written letters from different characters in that story! Not only that, but you also get the option to REPLY to these characters and begin a fictional pen-pal journey!
It is currently available on pre-sale and will be printed in late April! You can to purchase your copy and find more information about the book here: http://kck.st/2Zpym4L
About the Author
Luke Carter has been making books for years. From history books to illustrated A-Z’s of English expressions, Luke has always searched for the story in everything. His style is deceptively simple and, as a lover of stories, his books are richly layered with bizarre characters in even stranger worlds!
When he is not writing books, he teaches English and watches birds on the tiny paradise of Formentera, Spain. More of his work can be found here: