The Goblin Child and Other Stories
by Michael Forester
Publication date: October 1st 2016
Publisher: Pegasus House Publishing
Genre: Short stories, Contemporary fiction
Michael Forester’s award winning short stories and flash fiction range from fantasy to young love and old fear, LGBT relationships to spirituality & religion, metaphor to morals, to literary fiction. Always these powerful, highly original tales are gripping and readable, stories that surprise, illuminate, engage and enrich:
• A man who remembers his birth in terrifying detail
• A woman who is certain she has given birth to a goblin child
• A child who takes his god to school for show and tell
• A youth who prefers his revenge served cold
• A teenage girl who, due to her love of nature, falls under the spell of a sexual predator
• A priest confronted by a man who believes he is Santa
• A worker in a care home who is never permitted to leave
• A man who sees the purpose of his life only after he dies
• A dying poet who searches desperately for the interracial love of his youth
In this apparently unconnected and eclectic group of tales, Michael Forester explores the circularity of our lives. The collection culminates unexpectedly in the story of a dying poet who finds, then loses, interracial love in a racist age, and discovers with TS Eliot that he ‘arrives where he began, to know the place for the first time.’ In so doing Forester reveals to us the circularity of our lives and that the events in them, so independent, so seemingly random, are truly interdependent, connected, planned.
Buy Link: Amazon
MY INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL FORESTER
How would you describe you style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
I write at the fulcrum of perceived reality. Sometimes the sea-saw tips one way and takes me into writing metaphorical fantasy and illuminating fiction, sometimes it tips the other and the result is mind-body-spirit Learnings. Always I seek to deliver more than is first evident on the page – an insight, an unusual perspective; writing that makes the reader think.
What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)?
Crucially, what makes my writing work best is when I have an open connection to my unconscious mind and beyond. Often when I write the act of writing takes me in a direction I had not expected. I write far and away at my best when I am open to make changes of direction that I had not planned.
Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation?
My characters evolve during the creation of the work. Often, they become people I had not expected them to be. Only if I allow them to be real, to be themselves, are they credible, people that readers can believe in and identify with. This can mean permitting them to take actions, to take directions that I had not planned for them. When they become spontaneous, that is when they are their own people – just the same as all of us.
Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character? If so which one(s)?
There are certainly those that I warm to more than others – and it’s not always the nicest people! Usually it will be the ones I feel most real or those who deal best with circumstances and dilemmas I have faced personally. Many of my characters contain elements that are autobiographical.
Do you have a character that you have been working on that you can't wait to put to paper?
I’m working on a trilogy of novels at the moment that deals with the clash of belief systems. The prime antagonist is Tolly, a middle aged punk rocker who believes Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols is going to reincarnate to be with her. She fixates on Henry, a twenty-one year old man whom she believes is that reincarnation. Unfortunately for Tolly, Henry already has a girlfriend, Laura, whom Tolly decides must be the reincarnation of Sid’s dead girlfriend Nancy Sturgeon. Tolly has to get rid of Laura to make way for her and Sid’s love to blossom. But unfortunately for Tolly, Laura is convinced she is miraculously pregnant with the second coming of Jesus Christ and will do anything to protect the unborn child she believes she is carrying.
I’ve just finished the second novel in the trilogy and Tolly is still evolving!
Have you ever felt that there was something inside of you that you couldn't control? If so what? If no what spurs you to reach for the unexperienced?
I always have the option to control, but I know from experience that I generate my best results by not trying to control the evolution of my works and characters consciously. Allowing them to go where they want to go gives me much fuller, more real characters than any formulaic character definition would create.
The un-experienced… is there anything else worth writing about? Why say again what has already been said? If I cannot contribute something new I would not want to write at all.
“Venture into the world of Michael Forester’s short story collection and it’s unlikely you’ll want to step away. You’ll experience a rollercoaster of emotions as you read the 30 stories that have emerged over 16 years, emanating from eclectic themes including ecology, racism, child abuse, politics, family, relationships, war, anti-exploitation in all its guises, and so much more. This is a fascinating, raw, heart-wrenching, beautiful and shocking collection of stories that are crying out to be read.”
Some are born with silver spoons in their mouths. Michael Forester was born with a pen in his hand. He is a deafened writer living in, and drawing his inspiration from, Hampshire’s New Forest. Michael’s most recent book, The Goblin Child, is a disarmingly eclectic collection of prize winning short stories exploring the circularity of our lives and the events in them, so independent, so seemingly random, yet truly interdependent, connected, planned. It follows his first published creative work in 2009, If It Wasn’t For That Dog, about his first year with his hearing dog, and his hugely successful 2016 novel in rhyming verse, Dragonsong.
Michael is a Winchester Writer’s Festival prizewinner and has been long/shortlisted three times in the Fish Writing Contest. His work has appeared several international journals and competitions.
His children look on aghast as he squanders their inheritance on such profligacies as A4 printing paper. They need have no concern. He plans to leave them the pen.
Michael divides his time between Hampshire and Somerset, and is regularly to be found at book signings and events across the country talking about storytelling or his beloved hearing dog Matt. He attended Oxford University.