I remember berating him one day about his lack of commitment to any one of the above. I suggested that because he couldn't seem to commit to following one particular field, with some passion, he was actually achieving very little in all three.
His immediate response was to hit back (wonder where he got that from - must've been his Mother, I guess). His exact words were; "yeah, it's so easy for you. You write full-time and I've got to squeeze my writing in between earning a living and having a life."
That did resonate with me and I felt immediate empathy with his plight. He was dead right! I was very fortunate to be able to live my dream, without having to worry about where the next loaf of bread came from. Incidentally, now would be the appropriate time to thank my gorgeous wife Thess for allowing me the opportunity to do exactly that. Thank you, my darling! You are my hero and my superstar and I love you to bits.
So, I thought on about Chris' comment and finally, it hit me, like a bullet between the eyes!
Why not put together an anthology of short stories, I thought. He could write half of them and I'd write the other half. When I suggested this to him, he was ultra-enthusiastic.
"I've already got at least five I can send you Dad," was his immediate response. We quickly determined to put fourteen stories together in one volume, seven from him and seven from me. Once we had made the decision to go ahead with the project, he immediately sent me his first five stories, followed not long behind by two more he'd just written. Now, the pressure was on me! Not only did I have to edit his seven stories, I actually had to write seven of my own and in a genre, I wasn't particularly familiar with - Horror/Paranormal.
Ye Gods! was my first reaction. Of course, Chris was relentless after this.
"How're you going, Dad? Have we got fourteen stories yet? Come on you slack bugger, what are you doing? Clearly, I had to perform, so I sat down and wrote my seven stories, over the next couple of weeks.
A little concerned, I ran a couple of my stories past a friend of mine, who writes in this genre. He assured me, thankfully, that my stories were great and definitely garnered the right "fright" response from him when he read them. I liked Chris' stories also, but they were definitely different in perspective, language, style, and plot from mine. This convinced me we had a very suitable product to bring to the market.
We had created an anthology that offered something different - two different generational views of the same genre. I was truly excited about what the final product would look like. After getting an awesome cover made from someone I'd used in the past, editing the full book and formatting it, we were finally ready to publish in December 2015.
That is how the first Grant and Chris Leishman, Father/Son tag-team book of paranormal/horror, short stories was born and that is why it is so very special to me.
Lately, Chris has been badgering me to put together another volume - only this time he wants to have twenty-four short stories, twelve each. So far, I've managed to stall him, but I guess I will have to capitulate to his demands sooner or later. At the end of the day, saying no to my son is not something I am good at doing, or indeed ever want to be good at doing. Paranormal Alley Revisited will no doubt appear sometime in the not too distant future.
IF THESE STORIES DON'T SCARE YOU - THEN, MY FRIEND, YOU'RE ALREADY DEAD!
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