The Echoing Green and Other Stories by David Jordan
Once he got into his stride, he told the story much more competently than he thought he would. As he got deeper into it, he began to see it in his mind. It was vivid, like a dream, but incredibly clear. It was like he was viewing it on a movie screen and then just relating what he saw. Part of him protested. This isn’t right! That’s my story! Nobody else’s! But another voice shushed him, as if he were at the back of the movie theatre, making noise.
So, he sat back and enjoyed the show, all the time telling the girl what he was seeing.
As he approached the end of the story, the people on the big screen began to morph into strange, hybrid creatures, both eldritch and beautiful. All manner of flower and fauna seemed to merge and meld creating unique beings, whose like would never be seen again. The dominant creature seemed to be a lion that stood with a hide of crimson flowers. He held a staff with a clock at its tip. The landscape also became more surreal. He soon found himself transported to that place. He was in an arid desert. The sand was so hot that he couldn’t rest or even walk. He had to run. There was a small, squat medieval tower ahead of him. The hybrid creatures were crowding around it, demanding to be let in. The lion was at the head of the crowd, knocking at the door with the clock on his staff. As he ran, he shouted at them, that’s my tower! Nobody gets in but me! But his voice was small and high pitched, like a little girl’s, so nobody heard him.
From a quest to find the Starbucks mermaid to a god’s dream of saving the planet, this collection of short stories has an abundance of imagination as well as ingenuity and style. In serene and sparkling prose, David Jordan will introduce you to places and people that you have never encountered before, with a unique voice and vision that will satisfy story lovers everywhere.
So, the time has come to announce the imminent release of my new short story collection, The Echoing Green and Other Stories.
What can I say about it?
Well, the stories are stronger than my previous efforts. They are more focused and thematic and have the confidence of a writer who has found his voice. Although mythological beings are still present in the stories, there are more creatures of pure imagination. The plots are as ingenious and inventive as The Chronicles but, again, there is more focus and less rambling. Because they are more thematic, the stories are, I hope, more thought-provoking. There is also more of a social conscience present, especially in the stories, ‘John Frost and the Angel’ and ‘Home’. This is something that was missing from The Chronicles.
The Echoing Green and Other Stories were written in a very short period of time. I always write fast as the stories seem to flow through me. The process was the same as for the other books: I’d cook up a few ideas in my imagination before sitting down at the computer and getting to work. I never have trouble coming up with ideas. It seems like I can turn them on and off like a tap. It’s a very deliberate process: there is thinking time and there is writing time. I’ve never had writer’s block.
So, altogether a more mature, confident and controlled effort that will, hopefully, satisfy most readers.
I should also mention the cover art. This time, instead of the easy option of finding a design on Shutterstock, I’ve gone with an original work of art by the very talented Diana Muller. ‘A Head Full of Hills’ is most fitting for both the title and content of the book. The cover is classier than the previous books, and I hope the content lives up to it.
In what way is the collection similar to the previous books?
Well, the influences are the same: the early work of Yeats, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, and Stephen King. And the strangeness and originality of the ideas are still there. As in previous books, the dialogue is probably the strongest aspect of the work. There are the same playfulness and humour about the stories.
So, altogether, I’m very pleased and proud of the way the stories in the collection turned out.