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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Novellas are awesome by Annalisa Crawford

Novellas are awesome by Annalisa Crawford

Apologies for the title, but ever since seeing the Lego Movie in February, everything really is awesome and – apparently – remaining so for me.

Have you ever read a novella? These days, it’s possible you have without even realising it. With the advent of ebooks, the length of a book is much less of a consideration when you’re buying a because you’re not holding the weight of it in your hand – you’re simply faced with a reassuring 0% at the bottom of the page.

When I began writing in the 1990s, the options for publication were short stories and/or novels. If you wrote short stories you submitted to literary magazines that twelve people read; and if you wrote novels you submitted to agents.

At first, I was squarely in the short story camp. In fact, I never thought I’d be able to write anything above five thousand words. But gradually the word counts lengthened until I was in a literary no man’s land – not a short story, but not a novel either; random pieces of ten or fifteen thousand words.

They ended up on a shelf.

Novellas pre-ebook weren’t unknown. In fact, some of the most famous books in the world are novellas – Of Mice and Men, A Clockwork Orange, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and A Christmas Carol...

But in the 90s, publishers seemed to have a very strict no-novella policy without even considering the content, especially when it came to unknown authors. The costs of publishing were such that only full-length novels were viable for everyone except the most established of authors.

So, I carried on writing, submitting short stories to magazines, attempting to write a novel and getting nowhere near it. In 2011, I wrote a short story which I hoped was going to be a novel but stopped as a perfectly-formed novella called Cat and The Dreamer. Before I shelved that one too, I submitted on a whim – I just wanted someone to read it. And my wonderful publisher, Vagabondage Press, accepted it.

Novellas are a lot easier to place with a publisher than they once were. These smaller publishers usually accept unsolicited submissions, they use print on demand technology so the costs are far less, and readers are more likely to treat them seriously.

I’m still trying to write a novel, but I definitely love novellas right now!

Reasons why novellas really are awesome         Apparently, people have shorter attention spans and/or less time to read, so a shorter book fits into daily life much better
         They make awesome films
         They are the emotional equivalent of a rollercoaster

Our Beautiful Child by Annalisa Crawford

“The Boathouse collects misfits. Strange solitary creatures that yearn for contact with the outside world, but not too much. They sit, glass in hand, either staring at the table in front of them, or at some distant point on the horizon.”

… so says the narrator of Our Beautiful Child. And he’s been around long enough to know.

People end up in this town almost by accident. Ella is running away from her nightmares, Sally is running away from the memories of previous boyfriends and Rona is running away from university. Each of them seek sanctuary in the 18th century pub, The Boathouse; but in fact, that’s where their troubles begin.

Ella finds love, a moment too late; Rona discovers a beautiful ability which needs refining before she gets hurt; and Sally meets the captivating Murray, who threatens to ruin everything.

Three women. Three stories. One pub.

Buy it here: Amazon // Kindle // Nook // Smashwords

I live in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of beaches and moorland right on my doorstep to keep me inspired. I live with my husband, two sons, a dog and a cat.

Despite my location, I neither surf nor sail, and have never had any inclination to try. I much prefer walking along a deserted beach and listening to the waves crashing over rocks. For this reason, I really love the beach in the winter!


Sharon x

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  1. Sounds like an interesting book, I don't think I really knew what a novella was technically! So thanks for that!
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  2. I am pretty sure I have read a few novellas in my time - you are right when you say that people have less time to spare these days, so short stories are the way forward! #UKbloggers

  3. Didn't know what a novella was until reading this ao thanks, you really do learn something new everyday!

  4. We used to read novella's as part of my English Literature degree. I think 'Our Beautiful Child' sounds rather sad :(

    Fiona @

  5. Your stories are as awesome as yourself! One of my all time favorite books is a novella- Jonathon Livingston Seagull. Awesome book. (Kept the awesome trend going!)

  6. Awesome indeed. Stephen King has written quite a few novellas. Very worthy - not too short, not too long. Just right.

  7. I agree they're awesome. Congratulations, Annalisa!

  8. Woot! Novellas are awesome. :) Once upon a time, I would've never thought of writing novellas either, but times have changed, and they're my favorite right now.

  9. I used to read few novellas, but I've been buying more of them. They're quite enjoyable.


Always lovely to hear your comments xx

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