I admit it. I am a huge fan of Jack Croxall. His voice and writing style is unique, bringing traditional storytelling back into the present, and his mass of 5* star reviews for his debut YA Victorian-era adventure, Tethers (including mine) shows that he is one author to watch. Well, I’m so excited to reveal the new short story, X, that Jack will be releasing during the next few days. I love the front cover, as it conjures up so many possibilities about the story, meaning you can’t help but go in for a closer look.
Here is the blurb:
Fifteen-year-old X thinks she is going to die. Shacked up in the cellar of an old farmhouse, she starts a journal to document her last few days. Much less than a few days if the things outside manage to get in.
X is a harrowing short story from Jack Croxall, author of Tethers.
And there we have it. The great thing here is that the blurb is just short enough to capture your attention and go “Who is X?” “What are the things outside?” “Does she die?” and that’s just for starters. It is incredibly intriguing to say the least. The short story market has exploded recently, which means you can read whilst on your daily commute to work, to school .. even to town to do the shopping!
What struck me was that it has been written largely as a series of journal entries. This means that the story will be incredibly personal; all told from X’s point of view. I’m expecting to find a lot of tension in here, drawing us to will X on for another entry. Dare I say that Anne Frank introduced us to this style of haunting journal style writing, and although this is a work of fiction, it most certainly has a harrowing feel to it. Especially since the opening page simply says: What follows is the contents of a journal, found in the basement of a farmhouse somewhere in the English Countryside. Do I need to say any more? I’m guessing this is going to be a thriller, rather than a horror, but it definitely has the marks of a dystopian too.
I’ll definitely let you know when I review the book later this week. But the author has allowed me to show you an exclusive extract from X.
Extract from X:
OK I’m an idiot. There’s nothing else I can do down here; I’ve rooted through every cardboard box a hundred times, organised and reorganised my supplies until I can recite the labels on the cans by heart, and even built a fort. So, I’m back. Hello. Again.
God this diary is going badly.
But there’s just enough light coming in through the boards I nailed over the cellar’s tiny window to write by. So I may as well. Stops me constantly staring up at the window waiting for a shadow to pass by.
Where to start? Well, my name is – actually, I think I’m going to refer to myself as X. That sounds mysterious. If you’re reading this and want to know my real name, I still carry my purse. Stupid I know. But my railcard is in there and, if you really want to know who I am, go find me and fish it out. I won’t bite.
So, my name is X and I’m fifteen. Before all this happened, I was at school, doing pretty well. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do afterwards, but I think it might have been fun to do something in the movies. Not act. I can’t act, but I love the sets used in period movies. I think I might have liked to be the person who designed those. That’s a job, right?
What else? I had a mum, a dad, a sister and there was a boy I liked, his name was Jonah. That’s about it. Or was it at least.
X is now available as an eBook from:
About the Author
Born in High Wycombe, Jack Croxall now lives in rural Nottinghamshire with his chocolate Labrador, Archie.
He has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Nottingham and currently toils away as a science writer in between working on his books. His debut novel, Tethers was released in early 2013, with 50% of all profits from the paperback edition is being donated to fund CFS research.
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