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About Frances M Thompson
Shy Feet: Short Stories Inspired by Travel is her first collection of stories and it was written while Frances travelled the world, spending time in many of the destinations she writes about.
London Eyes: Short Stories is a compilation of short fiction about London. It is a moving and humorous collection of stories, inspired by the people, places and experiences Thompson encountered while working and living in London.
While she writes about a wide variety of people, places and themes, there are always consistencies in Frances' writing; her characters are identifiable, vivid and perfectly flawed, you will enjoy more than a few gentle laughs, and you will always be left with something to think about long after the final sentence is read.
Since October 2011, Frances has been travelling full-time while freelancing as a copywriter, researcher and travel writer. Frances writes a blog about her many journeys - travelling, writing stories and getting lost in new cities - called As the Bird flies (www.asthebirdfliesblog.com). She is currently based in Amsterdam where she is working on her first novel.
To find out about Frances' upcoming books first, sign up to her newsletter http://www.fmthompson.com/y91a9i (copy & paste the link into a web browser).
Follow Frances on Twitter @bushbirdie
Written by Guardian Top London Blogger Frances M. Thompson, London Eyes is a compilation of thought-provoking contemporary fiction inspired by the sights, sounds and souls of the world's most popular, and some say greatest, city.
Meet the Wizard of Elephant & Castle who stirs a secret ingredient into the cocktails he serves in his bar, follow newly-divorced Georgina in The Tourist as she goes on a bus tour of the city... after twenty-one years of living in London, and find out how and why one young woman uses the busy streets of the City of London to disappear in An Invisible Girl. In A to Zed two truanting teenagers find out more about a Shepherd's Bush gangster than they expect, and in Angel you begin to understand the lengths some people go to to avoid loneliness in London. Travel across the capital's vast metropolis as you learn the reasons why Mick is London's most flirtatious cabbie in Keep the Change, and discover what it is that keep The Ghosts of London Underground trapped in the abandoned Tube stations below us.
London Eyes is a collection of short stories for the Londoner, the London-obsessed, or the one time visitor who dreams of arriving or returning.
See what sisterhood really means to a hopefully optimistic ten-year-old in The Girl Who Would Be King. Learn just how many times the course of true love fails to run smoothly in Together, Apart, before discovering what Stephen King has to do with one young woman's passionate summer fling. In Balloons you can lie on a beach with a heavily pregnant woman who is thinking about the men she has loved and lost and in That's What I Want to Say you hear all the things one woman wants to say but rightly or wrongly, she doesn't. It's Just a Smile is all about one activity many women enjoy, people watching, and Leaving Rotterdam takes you back over 130 years to a time when women were seen and not heard... at least in public. And finally you will discover how age truly strengthens a woman as a widow's heart tries to heal in The Pink Flowers and when good and bad old memories are revisited in Tell Me a Story.
Nine Women: Short Stories is a collection of moving stories which takes a long, slow look at what it means to be born a woman, to grow up as a woman and to live a variety of lives as a woman.
The Runaways: A Trilogy of Short Love Stories is a short but very sweet read with lots of romance, a little food for thought and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing and rooting for the couple at the heart of the stories.
(PLEASE NOTE: If you've already read London Eyes: Short Stories and Shy Feet: Short Stories Inspired by Travel, please note that you will have already read the first two stories in this trilogy, so you may want to jump straight to Tell Me a Story, or alternatively enjoy re-acquainting yourself with this much loved couple of romantics.)
It's Friday night in a London hospital's busy A&E ward. Waiting to be seen is Conrad Douglas, a 48 year old man who is bleeding from a nasty cut above his right eye and sitting on a small mountain of secrets.
Who is Conrad? What's he doing in A&E? How did he get hurt? And who's the man sitting next to him who refuses to leave? These are the questions that The Wait answers... and more.
***That's What I Want To Say is a mysterious and moody short story taken from a collection of short fiction to be published in December 2015. For more information, check out the author's blog www.asthebirdfliesblog.com.***
There was Peter, her first love. Later, she fell for Mitchell, but he became the one that got away. Now she's with Chas, a man who makes her feel valued and wanted. And so they decided to have children together, which is why she's lying on that beach six months pregnant on their "babymoon".
As she reflects on her previous relationships and questions those in her future - particularly that with her unborn child - it becomes clear that she still has much to learn from those past loves... and those that lie in her future.
Balloons is a short story about a pregnant woman struggling to deal with the anxieties of not only carrying a child, but facing up to some home truths about her past.
Together, Apart is as romantic and magical as it is gritty and honest.
Together, Apart is written in two word sentences. No more. No less.
** About The Pink Flowers **
One summer, Yorkshireman Martin and his wife went to see the Amalfi Coast.
Twelve months later, Martin has died and his wife is trying to put her life back together again after caring for him in the late stages of cancer.
As she begins to clear out the contents of Martin's beloved garden shed she finds a stack of overdue library books and in them are letters Martin has written and a very specific order for her to read them in.
The Pink Flowers is a short and heart-warming story about loss, grief and hope in the form of pink flowers that also aren't quite what they seem.
** Praise for Frances M. Thompson **
"A masterful collection of short stories bound together by the theme of travel, but actually embracing just about every important theme in literature - love, death, motherhood, marriage, etc etc - in deftly woven, well-timed tales that had me gripped. Very well written, with a nice blend of humour, and poignant situations, never predictable and always pleasing."
"London Eyes was a collection of short stories that exposed the real London, and it's quirky inhabitants; magic bartenders, eccentric single women, the elderly, taxi drivers, and even a cat. Each story showed a different angle to one of the many aspects of the bustling city, be it a new neighbourhood, the iconic red bus tours, or an out of the way pub."
"Shy Feet is a great collection of short stories.The stories are ostensibly linked by the theme of travel, but using that as her starting point she takes the reader in all sorts of unexpected. She uses the unlimited opportunities afforded to her by travel to explore the limits that as people we sometimes create and impose for ourselves, a theme that runs through a number of stories including Oh Henry and Katie's Maps."
"I love the cover designs, by the way - as fresh and vibrant as the writing itself. Great work, Frances M. Thompson!"
Tilde O'Hara lives in London with two cats who don't like her very much.
Tilde O'Hara has a job she loves, a gay best friend she loves and a maisonette she loves, albeit really a bed-sit.
One night Tilde O'Hara meets an old woman on the number 94 bus and everything changes.
Night Bus is a gentle and thought-provoking short story about dreams, love and the strange things that happen when you get the night bus in London.
Taken from a collection of short stories to be published in the summer of 2014, you can find out more about this book at www.asthebirdfliesblog.com.
"This collection of stories is like a blanket woven from 100% wanderlust under which you can hide as Frances M. Thompson tucks you in with her words and keeps you warm with her descriptions of characters you'll love and places you can tell she knows by heart." Gesa Neitzel, www.bedouinwriter.com
Shy Feet: Short Stories Inspired by Travel is a collection of twelve quirky, charismatic and touching tales of travel.
The inquisitive Ruth tells the story of The Lost Children of Gatwick Airport and in Max's Holiday we learn what a seven-year-old boy considers a "proper holiday" to be. In The Flowers Sleep Tonight, we meet Thomas and Carly, two solo travellers whose paths keep crossing... because that's exactly what Thomas wants. A spontaneous plan to elope is revealed in The Runaways and Homes from Homes is about the lessons Patricia learns from the hotel bellboy she has a fling with. Oh, Henry is the story of how a dream holiday can mean two different things to two lovers and Katie's Maps is an offbeat love letter to a vast collection of maps. Extracts from a travel journal tell one woman's life story in All the Beaches are Made of Pebbles and find out what Australia and underpants have to do with Claudia wanting to leave her husband of forty years in The Road is Long.
From the unforgiving Australian Outback to the jagged beauty of the Amalfi Coast, along the pebbled beaches of Brighton & Hove and down the busy streets of late night Barcelona, this collection of short stories highlights how travel intersects and enriches all of our lives, often without us realising it...
"Shy Feet: Short Stories Inspired by Travel transports you to exotic locales without leaving your armchair and leaves you wanting more... Frances M. Thompson has a novel in her and I can't wait to read it." Nathalie Harris, www.acooknotmad.com
"This story surprised me. And I love when that happens..."
"Absolutely loved it. A brilliantly written short story that provides excellent characterisation and sense of place together with an underlying theme of great sadness well handled."
"What begins as seemingly simple tale of a couple's holiday together, has an intriguing twist which makes the story saddening and bittersweet but also, inspiring."
"Well-written bittersweet short story that didn't quite go where I expected it to (not a bad thing). Loved Martin's character and seeing the Amalfi Coast through his eyes. Would love to know what happens next!"
About See the Amalfi Coast:
Martin is a 50-something Yorkshireman with a penchant for swearing and making model aircraft in his shed. He also likes football and many years ago when a small, longhaired Argentinian started to play for Napoli FC, Martin became aware of this corner of Italy famous for Pompeii, pizza and the mafia. While a later incident meant that Maradona fell seriously out of Martin's favour, his love for Naples and the Amalfi Coast grew and grew. But with a family to provide for and his redundancy to deal with, Martin never made the journey to this part of the world he loves so much. Until now…
Readers have described See the Amalfi Coast as "funny, evocative and moving", "witty, clever and so honest" and "a wonderful read". Enjoy finding out why Martin and his loyal, loving wife have finally made the journey to see the Amalfi Coast and how a number of twists and turns give new meaning to their "holiday of a lifetime".
See the Amalfi Coast is one of twelve stories published in Shy Feet: Short Stories Inspired by Travel, also available in the Kindle Store.
If you'd like to find out what happens next to Martin and his family, read The Pink Flowers, also available on Amazon.
You can find more information about the collection at fmthompson.com/books or asthebirdfliesblog.com.