Introduction

Hi thanks for reading my Personal Anthology. I really hope that you get a chance to read the actual stories, and the collections or anthologies most of them appear in. A lot of my choices have been published (or collected) in the last eight years or so – I was going for ‘very recent’ examples of work that I find inspiring and helpful as a writer. I’ve emphasised the personal element of this personal anthology. It’s very subjective, obviously, but it’s also about what I’m doing right now – its unlikely I’ll ever stop liking these stories, but they are so recent they can only be influences on work I am still drafting.  
 
All of the people on this list are writers I would read anything by – people who have given me the energy to go and write something as soon as I have finished reading their work. To me it’s like a direct shot of inspiration. I read these stories, definitely more than once, and then found them instantly helpful in whatever I was working on at the time. It’s great when writing goes that way, unlike the kind of digging around that can happen when I’m away from reading for too long and everything becomes like a mush on the page in front of me.  
 
As well as serving this artistic function in my life, I do think this would be a pleasing anthology to hand to someone and say, ah yeah, these are all going to give you something – like a bit of a haunting, and a bit of a heartbreak and a bit of a laugh. Taken all at once, these things are what I live on.  

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