A LOCAL writer and columnist has had her longest fiction story published as a novella under a pen name.
Ev Bishop, who writes a monthly column for the Terrace Standard and has her own writing services, has written an inspirational Christmas romance, The Present, not her typical genre of fiction writing.
It’s published under the pen name Toni Sheridan.
“Basically, I chose to write/publish The Present under a pseudonym because it’s a totally different genre/type of story than I usually write,” said Bishop.
“A lot of people don’t like romance, so if someone read my other short stories and liked them, I wouldn’t want them to pick up The Present and be like, what’s this mushy warm stuff being written by Ev Bishop?”
Short stories she’s had published include “The Picture Book” and “On the Wall” by Every Day Fiction Magazine; “Riddles,” in 100 Stories for Queensland, “My Mom is a Freak” in Cleavage: Breakaway fiction for Real Girls, “HVS,” “Red Bird,” and “Wishful.”
She has also had a fair amount of her non-fiction published.
The Present began as a writing exercise, said Bishop.
“I read widely and write in a variety of genres, but had never tackled romance and thought it was time,” she said.
“I was surprised by how fun it was. I loved getting to know Candy’s family and learning what made her, and them, tick. I was really rooting for her to – well, no details. I hope you’ll read it for yourself!”
Bishop, who said she doesn’t read a lot of romance, loves storytellers like Maeve Binchy, Diana Gabaldon and Jan Karon as their stories aren’t romances as such but are about relationships.
People often find genre romance limiting in that it always has a happy ending but she said she adores that now that she’s older.
“Romances, or the best of them anyway, explore situations and emotions that are true to life, that tear us up, and almost destroy us – but we get to see those situations overcome, the darkness beaten back for another day,” she said.
She’d love for the story to remind people that while the past affects us and contemplating the future can be stressful, what we have is now and we have to make the most of it.
“But really, if my story brings a smile – or a tear – and triggers memories of the best parts of family and love at Christmas time, I’d be more than pleased – I’d be thrilled,” she said.
And Toni Sheridan will likely surface again with more books.
“I still love my Ev Bishop works – speculative fiction and mysteries with paranormal elements etc… but I think Toni Sheridan definitely has some other stories to tell.”
More details about The Present can be found at tonisheridan.com.