- Books, Literature, and Writing
Amazon Books For Kindle: You Did a Bad Thing
You Did a Bad Thing Short Story Collection from Amazon Books For Kindle
Want to read a scary story? Available for download on Amazon books for kindle is You Did a Bad Thing. A collection of nine original short stories written by myself, James Lamb. I have published numerous other short stories as well as pieces of fiction and non-fiction over the years both offline in magazines and newspapers and online too.
The nine tales in You Did a Bad Thing have been written over a number of years but selected from many others to form this collection. I tried to create a mix of topics but on the face of it this compilation does appear to lean towards the darker side of human nature involving death, murder and the paranormal. There is quite a bit of humour to lighten things up as well. Stephen King is known for his amazing skill in scaring the pants off his readers and making them cry with laughter within the same stories. I am a big fan of Stephen King and I'm probably heavily influenced so if you're a fan, this collection will be right up your street. Presently all my work is being published on Amazon books for kindle.
Table of Contents in You Did a Bad Thing
The collection's content is as follows:
1) You Did a Bad Thing. Lizzie is a twelve year old child who is not as sweet and innocent as she appears and who knows a shocking secret. The book's title is taken from this story.
2) Instant Karma. When Mac loses his young wife to cancer he will do anything to see her again.
3) The Queue. Waiting in line is something we British do particularly well but you'd be surprised how the mind wanders.
4) Milestones. A raw WWII soldier battles his way through Sicily, the slaughter of D-day and many other theatres of war but all he wants to do is survive the carnage. He seems to have a little help from an unusual direction.
5) Together Forever. David and Caroline made their wedding vows to be together always but somehow they lost their way and it became, Life's bitch and then you die.
6) Just Another Day. Harold and Maude have been married nigh on sixty years. Although they bicker like cat and dog they're still devoted. By now their days are routine, except, things are not quite what they seem.
7) No Silver Lining. Phyllis had a weakness. She loved her bed so much it led to unemployment on numerous occasions so what better way to solve a financial crisis that a bit of armed robbery?
8) Things That Go Bump in the Night. Stephen is an unruly teenager who has become completely out of control. A late night visitor to his bedroom brings a revelation he could never have imagined.
9) Love Thy Neighbour. They say you can't choose your family or your neighbours. For Mary both bring about an intolerable situation until she comes up with a brilliant plan to solve her problems once and for all.
Origins of the stories
The old saying that we all have a novel in us may be true but giving birth to that particular child is a difficult delivery to most. The idea of writing a story is exciting. I have been creating my fiction since very young childhood that now equates to half a century. A lot of time and a lot of stories have come and gone but now with the arrival of self-publishing on Amazon the ability to see one's work in print is a reality available to all.
Before the internet came along I was writing and publishing my fiction and various other pieces of work in my career as a freelance writer offline. In the days of pre-internet the publishing markets were restricted to newspapers and magazines and I have had good success there. Now all my work is online with commissioned none fiction work. Recently I made the switch to start uploading and publishing my fiction initially on Amazon but now I am moving to other online opportunities.
Many authors are asked where they get their story ideas from and I have to admit I have been asked this question too. The glib answer is that stories are everywhere. Just take a look at the TV, newspapers or magazines to inspire tales, listen to other's conversations, watch a movie or read a book. There are endless ideas that can spring forth if you let your imagination run free. With regard to my short story collection above, You Did a Bad Thing, I will explain how they came about.
I read a news story regarding the notorious case of Lizzie Borden who was accused of murdering her parents in 1892. My spidey senses began tingling and I was compelled to create a tale involving a young girl who I named Lizzie Warden. The story Instant Karma began with a mental image of a young man tenderly holding the hand of his frail wife as she slips away from life and his reaction. The Queue by comparison to imagination is actually based on a true incident and I really did stand for ages in a post office line waiting to collect a parcel. The stupid ending is also 100% accurate, sigh!
The inspiration for Milestones was my own father who joined the British Royal Navy as a 15 year old boy in the 1930's. When war was declared in 1939 he found himself immediately thrust into the horror and carnage of war being in charge of a gun crew aboard a navy destroyer and still aged just eighteen years old. Atlantic and Russian convoys, aerial and submarine attacks, Dunkirk, pounding the shores for the attacking troops on D-day, he endured and witnessed unimaginable horror but made it through.
Over the years I have written and published a number of twist-in-the-tale stories. Leading your reader in one direction only for them to discover all is not what it seems is a delicious ruse. Together Forever and Love Thy Neighbour are two such tales. While No Silver Lining was inspired by a dream. I rarely seem to remember my dreams but the clanging of a letter box and dragging myself out of a comfy bed to read the mail intrigued me to explore it more.
I have mentioned that I am a big Stephen King fan and have read most of his work. I guess this must influence me a little. Just Another Day and certainly the idea of an unexpected night visitor in a teenager's bedroom in Things That Go Bump in the Night are indicative of King's love of scaring people and his macabre sense of humour which fortunately is much like my own.
You Did a Bad thing runs to approximately 114 pages. On your local Amazon site you can read a portion of this book :
The Greatest Short Story Writers
To attempt to put together a list of the greatest short story writers is an impossible task because it is so subjective. No two people can compile a list of authors and be in total agreement. We all have our individual likes and tastes. I myself do not have any one author I hold in the highest regard above all others because each writer can bring a different element from their work.
I will openly confess I am a huge Stephen King fan and there is no doubt much of my own writing is at least sometimes heavily influenced by him. But, after holding the man with such regard I don’t like everything he publishes. The Dark Tower series, for example, was something I just couldn’t get into. And so it goes with many authors, I simply like some stories of each but that is not quite the same as rating the skill or influence of each of them. But then again, how does one measure that? While every author brings that different “Something” in their work, should you not enjoy that particular tale, do you still consider the author “the greatest” on technical skill alone?
For no other reason than these are authors I have read an at least in part, enjoyed, I state wonderful short story writers that are solely according to my own opinion. The list in is no particular order.
Ray Bradbury – Ernest Hemingway – Graham Greene – J.G Ballard – Edgar Allan Poe – Stephen King -
Rudyard Kipling – F. Scott Fitzgerald – Raymond Carver – Flannery o Connor -