How They Live! (And an offer…)

It’s such a pleasure seeing good people doing brilliant things, and it’s a delight being able to share that when I can. Jessica Patient’s been a great writer friend for many, many years now and, aside from being a very good egg, she’s a great writer too. Here, she talks about her short story collection (ON OFFER! Only 99p!) The Marriage Scrappage Scheme And Other Stories, and about how the book came to be.

My short stories were on the endangered list, heading towards becoming extinction.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve accumulated many short stories published in magazines and also many floated around the interest ranging from Dear Damsels, Metazen and 3:AM Magazine. Slowly, over time, domain names were not being renewed and links were starting to break. More and more were vanishing, leaving only the echoes of earlier versions on my hard-drive. I was at a crossroads with my writing – let them fade and quietly give up writing, having hit a brick wall with my novel submission or propel myself forward and plunge into a new writing direction.

My writing relationship see-sawed between loving the intensity of typing up a first draft and then reshaping the story, celebrating when stories clicked into place, and celebrating successes to convincing myself I no longer had an imagination, being told it was a ‘silly little hobby’ and the dread of not having an ideas left.

Austin Kleon says in Steal Like An Artist, ‘When you get out of the groove, you start to dread the work, because you know it’s going to suck for a while – it’s going to suck until you get back into the flow.’ I had been stuck for a while, dread tangled around me, amplified my hesitation to write. Yet, a little voice, reminded me how I enjoyed the experience of writing. With lots of encouragement, the idea of a short story collection started to form enabling me to have all of my favourite stories in one place.

Some of the stories, now in my short story collection, The Marriage Scrappage Scheme & Other Stories were stories that reminded me how much I loved writing. Snowman: A Love Story came to me fully formed and I wrote it in a matter of hours, after seeing my elder ex-neighbour walking out in the snow, shouting at children having a snowball fight. Jasper’s Betrayal was added because I entered a writing competition, completely forgot about it until the email arrived, letting me know I had won gold, and if I could attend an award’s ceremony. I was dubious until I turned up at the iMax in Waterloo and found my writing up on the wall. I remember writing Black Hole one summer’s afternoon when the smell of cut grass was tangled in the air with BBQ smells.

Now, after battling with ebook formatting, and designing front covers, The Marriage Scrappage Scheme & Other Stories is available to everybody, back from the brink of broken links.


The Marriage Scrappage Scheme & Other Stories

The 12 stories within The Marriage Scrappage Scheme tells the story of ordinary people stuck in extraordinary situations – an imaginary friend who leaves for the girl across the road, a black hole swallowing a hotel, an old lady falling in love with a snowman, a woman trading in her husband for a newer model. 

This collection includes Jasper Betrayal, winner of the Wordskills gold award and The Department of Extinct Objects which was nominated for the ‘Best on the Net’.

Available to buy from Amazon across all territories, and available for all devices when you download the Kindle app from your app store. 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Amazon AU


About the author

Jessica published her short story collection, The Marriage Scrappage Scheme & Other Stories early in 2019, and is currently submitting her novel to agents and publishers. She lives here on the internet, posting about her writing and book reviews here: as well as Instagram. She lives in Bedfordshire, England.

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