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Guest Post from Patsy Collins, Novelist and Short Story Writer

It's my absolute pleasure to welcome novelist and short story writer Patsy Collins back to MBB today to give us some information on her new short story collection, UP THE GARDEN PATH.  She's also sharing her thoughts through this guest post on the relevance of the short story in the digital age.


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It's quick, easy and inexpensive to download ebooks. If you're reading this then you're halfway there. You can grab a free app and have one on your computer in seconds. You can invest in a snazzy ereader with backlit screen, or you can access it on your phone (unless it's as old and basic as mine) We need never be without something new to read.

What to read though? Often we want something to relieve the boredom of commuting, but that won't make us miss our stop so often we get plenty of time to read but no pay cheque. We might not have the time or patience to 'get into' a novel. Maybe we just want a change. Short stories are ideal for anyone short of time, or who reads in short bursts, but that's not their only advantage.

They're a great way of 'trying' a new genre or author. You don't have to commit much time or money to know if they're for you. They're great escapism, without cutting you off from the real world for hours (please tell me I'm not the only one who's unreachable once they're a couple of pages in)

I'm sure our increasing use of technology will see an increase in the numbers of people reading short stories. Previously perhaps they were associated with bedtime reading and considered by some as childish. Plenty of short stories are very adult! (er, so I've been told) 

Electronic short stories are good news for writers too. They open us up to a wide range of styles and ideas and are brilliant for clearing our minds of our own projects before starting work on the next one. They allow us to support a large number of fellow writers by buying and reading some of their work and of course they provide outlets for our own stories.

Alfie Dog Fiction publishes a huge number of short stories, mostly priced at 39p each. You can search by genre or by your favourite author. Mine are here and include this free collection.

Earlier this year Alfie Dog published another collection of my stories. Up the Garden Path contains 24 plant related short stories and is available from Amazon and the publisher. It's also available as a paperback.

I hope I've convinced you to try short stories, but if I haven't maybe I can tempt you to read my 101,000 word novel? 


Eleanor has a traditional garden her grandchildren will love; won't they? Mrs Dalrymple's country home seems the perfect refuge for Daryl and there's no reason Emma can't call the big house home, is there?

Homes and gardens aren't always peaceful havens though. Ted's tranquility is under threat from a BBQ for teenage twins, Penny the Jack Russell is called upon to protect her mistress from a terrifying intruder, avoiding Frances's annoying neighbour was almost the death of her and Rachel can't bring herself to step out the back door.

A walk in the countryside might be less traumatic, unless your beloved tree has been damaged as badly as your heart or Mrs Bishop is lurking to find fault with all you do. Even the simple act of arranging flowers causes problems if your boss is as mean as Brenda's.

Valerie managed to dig herself out of depression on her allotment but Sally was faced with the perils of half an hour in the potting shed with the attractive yet infuriating Jim.

Gardens, plants and people all have their story. Let me lead you up the garden path and tell you a few.

Get this book here:   Amazon      Amazon UK

Patsy has a copy of this lovely collection of short stories for one lucky reader, so please leave a comment before you go to get a chance to win a copy of this  ebook. 


  1. Thanks so much for hosting me, Maria.

  2. It's always a pleasure reading Patsy's stories in WW and other mags! Long may short stories on their own or in anthologies continue!! Yay! Take care

  3. I find writing short stories very difficult - it's a completely different discipline to writing long fiction, and I heartily admire anyone who can do both!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jane. As a writer of both, I can say it's a different kind of discipline, writing short stories and satisfying in a different way.

    2. There are a lot of differences between the two, Jane. That's good because if I'm not in the mood for one, I might be happy to work on the other so at least I get something done. Well, unless I go gardening instead.

  4. I'm becoming addicted to short stories for commuting, and already addicted to Patsy's style, so this is a win win :)

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. I do think short stories generally are becoming more popular again.

  5. Sometimes like short stories

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. I hope you'll give my free collection a try then, bn.

  6. I like short stories if I'm looking for a quick read they are great :)

  7. Excellent reasons for short stories, Patsy! Your collection sounds great.

  8. Great to see Patsy here. I'm off to check your new stories now. Congrats Patsy.

    Thanks Maria.


  9. I haven't tried my hand at writing short stories yet - one of these days! Off to check yours out :)

  10. A lot of work to get this one written Patsy. Short stories are very popular with many now that have hectic lives, and just haven't the time to enjoy reading a longer novel...another gem !!

    1. Thanks, Richard. You're right, a lot of people do seem to have very hectic lives which leave little time for fiction.


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