Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories by Deborah Sheldon Genre: Dark Horror, Crime Stories

What sort of research do you do before writing a story?
That depends entirely on the story. For example, some of them are memory- or emotion-driven, which means I focus on my own thoughts and feelings. Others are more dependent on facts. For example, the back story of “Farm Hands” required research on how to maintain fences in rural farms. The characters in various stories in Figments and Fragments have firearms, so I had to find out details about different gun types and calibres.
A number of stories grew from firsthand experiences. For example, the technical details about fishing that inform the plot of “Lunch at the Trout Farm” come from my own family’s trip to a trout farm when my son was little. But only the technical details! The characters aren’t based on my family; I’m not a memoirist.

Describe your writing style.
Spare, direct, cinematic.

What do you think about the current publishing market?
The digital revolution turned out to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it allowed medium- to small-sized presses to flourish, and their passion for good stories – rather than good sales – has had a wonderful knock-on effect. Genre-mashing, for example, is the brainchild of the new publishers who wanted to know what would happen if you started mixing up the status quo. This was a game changer.

On the other hand, the digital revolution has flooded the market with “indy” writers. And while many self-published books are well-written and of a high standard, most are just uploaded first drafts penned by people with limited skills and experience. With about 4,500 new books getting released every day, it’s difficult for good authors to stand out above the crowd. Unfortunately, it’s not true that cream always rises to the top. Often, cream just gets covered in shit.

Publisher: IFWG Publishing International 
Publication Date: November 18, 2019

Brutal. Compelling. Sinister. 

From wheat farms, roadhouses, caravan parks and beaches to quiet suburban streets and inner-city apartments, award-winning author Deborah Sheldon tells distinctly Australian stories about violence, loss, betrayal and revenge. 

Figments and Fragments includes three new stories written especially for the collection. 

I'm an award-winning author from Melbourne, Australia. I write short stories, novellas and novels across the darker spectrum. 

My latest releases, through several publishing houses, include the horror novels "Body Farm Z", "Contrition", and "Devil Dragon"; the horror novella "Thylacines"; the crime-noir novellas "Dark Waters" and "Ronnie and Rita"; and the dark fantasy and horror collection "Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories" (winner of the Australian Shadows Best Collected Work 2017). 

My short fiction has appeared in many well-respected magazines such as Quadrant, Island, Aurealis, SQ Mag, and Midnight Echo. My fiction has been shortlisted for numerous Australian Shadows Awards and Aurealis Awards, long-listed for a Bram Stoker Award, and included in various "best of" anthologies. I'm also guest editor of this year's edition of Midnight Echo. 

Other credits include TV scripts such as Neighbours and Australia's Most Wanted, feature articles for national magazines, non-fiction books published by Reed Books and Random House, and award-winning medical writing. 

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