short story collections step into the

find something to read by:

Heather Beck

Website: HeatherBeck.Tripod.Com

Twenty two-year-old Heather Beck was born in Canada. She currently attends university where she studies English and a vast array of other disciplines. Heather began writing seriously at the age of sixteen. Her first book, The Paradise Chronicles was published when she was only nineteen. Since then Heather has written several more books. Although university keeps her busy, Heather is adamant about making time for her writing career.

Short story collections

Ten Journeys Through the Unknown (Saga Books, 2006) 

Reviewed by Stefani Nellen

What Legends Are Made of (Rain Publishing, 2007) 


Echoes of the Strange: Fable Farm Volume 2 (Sparklesoup Studios, 2005) 


Excursions and Extracurriculars: Fable Farm Volume 1 (Sparklesoup Studios, 2005)


Interview with Heather Beck

The Short Review: How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?

Heather Beck: If I remember correctly, it took about a week to pen one story, with ten tales in total. Taking into account the process of editing, it took about three months.

TSR: Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

HB: Yes. I had numerous short scary stories outlined and knew I wanted to write and compile ten of them into an anthology. Before Ten Journeys Through The Unknown I wrote two volumes of the Fable Farm series which consisted of four scary stories each. The Fable Farm series is a bestseller for the publisher, Sparklesoup Studios so I was confident in my ability to craft more anthologies in the same genre.

TSR: How did you choose which stories to include and in what order?

HB: I chose what stories to include before I wrote them. I have a massive list of titles and synopses of would-be stories. As for the order of the stories in Ten Journeys Through The Unknown, I started with Gnome Genome because it’s a tale which operates by cycles and continuity. At the other end of the spectrum, I ended with Long Live the Bonsai which revolves around the notion of an everlasting existence. The concepts which I use in my stories masquerade as what I hope my work can achieve (e.g. continuity or a prolonged existence).

TSR: Do you have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?

HB: I love to write in multiple genres but I always pay attention to my readership. When I am writing for children I make sure that all the included material is appropriate. I do not, however, belittle a younger reader by using simple sentences and even simpler words. I will include complex ideas and phrases because I believe reading should not just be recreational but also educational. Finding that balance is difficult but, if achieved, wholly worth the effort.

TSR: Is there anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your
collection, anything at all?

HB: What a great question! I am not at all interested in asking my readers how I can improve my writing or what I could do to improve sales. Instead, I would like to ask if they received any entertainment from my work or gained any knowledge which affected their lives in a positive manner. If the answer to either of the latter two questions is yes, then my efforts were not carried out in vain.

TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?

HB: It’s a sublime feeling to know that what I created is coming to life for others. I am thrilled if even one person reads my work and enjoys it (but don’t tell my publisher that). Making a living from writing is, to say the least, extremely difficult so it has always been about the love and passion rather than the profit.

TSR: What are you working on now?

HB: I have enough projects on the go right now to keep me busy for years. I have two coming-of-age drama novellas being finalized for publication. I also have two other scary story anthologies in the editing stage. I have been writing screenplays for almost two years now and have several projects in various stages of development. They include a few short films, two feature length films and three television shows. I absolutely adore writing and find it to be the most rewarding, as well as therapeutic, career.

TSR: What are the three most recent short story collections you've read?

HB: Lately I’ve read Natasha and Other Stories by David Bezmozgis, Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood and The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: Fifty North American Stories Since 1970 compiled by Michael Martone. I love not only writing but also reading anthologies because they offer the instant satisfaction of short stories along with the longevity of a novel.