When time is short or stress is high, we realise how gloriously satisfying reading short fiction can be.
We live fast and stressful lives and there is always plenty to keep us busy in mind and body: family, relationships, work, hobbies... To relax, we turn to books.
Generally, reading is one activity that allows you to zone away from the real world and regain calm and relaxation. I'd say that for most people is also a way of keeping your body still for a while, but as we are living through the rise of audiobooks, for some, reading/listening will happen on the go.
However, life goes through phases: when stress levels grow and free time becomes a luxury, even the ability to focus on a book for more than a short period of time seems to falter. This, in turn, brings frustration. I love reading - I need to read. As you can imagine, running Luna Press means reading stories as part of my daily work: I need to put all my focus on the submissions, which in turn, can leave me with little energies to read what I choose to.
When work increases and time shortens, my reading times are the first to suffer. Reading a novel becomes a painful marathon, made of forgotten scenes and names and full of re-reading the paragraphs of the day before. I know what to do in those circumstances: I go straight to short fiction. In fact, the more stressed I am, the shorter the fiction I read.
During this Covid19 lockdown, I have had several people telling me that they are finding reading for too long, a hard task: too many worries in their mind. I wasn't alone then.
There has certainly been an increase in sales in our collections and anthologies (in other words, short fiction) and I did wonder if it was partially linked to the stress caused by the pandemic. Then again, I love Luna's collections and anthologies and would buy them under all conditions - call me biased!
So, is short fiction a way around a decreased ability to keep our focus when it's harder to do so? Perhaps a way to overcome the frustration that time, in someone's present, is shorter than normal and that starting a novel will take forever? I believe the answer is yes.
Reading flash, short stories, novelettes and novellas, is certainly a way forward. There is strength in short fiction.
Luna Press really started with an anthology, Beyond Realities, and over the years we have published both anthologies and collections. This year, for the first time, we have also opened submissions to speculative novellas, for a new series which will be called Luna Novella. By the way, in Italian we use the adjective 'novella' (or 'novello' in the masculine form), to indicate something new. Of course, 'novella' is also a feminine noun to indicate 'a story'. I really liked the idea of using Luna Novella for our new series. And no. I was not thinking about 'New Moon', even though you could translate it like that.
Before writing this post, I sent out 5 contracts for the first five novellas that will be published under the new series, next year. The whole team was really excited when we selected our new short fiction authors. Once the contracts are completed, I will be introducing you to the authors and their stories. We know we are not the first to publish novellas, but we hope very much that you will love our new short fiction series as much as we do.
Look out for the announcement and more info on this new series, and until then, stay safe!