These twenty wry and witty short stories examine change at every stage of life, in a natural progression from birth to death.
Mostly lighthearted, but often moving too, this collection is written with an admirable economy of style. They're short enough to class as flash fiction, sudden fiction, microfiction, ultra short fiction - call them what you will,
Ranging from a spartan 100 words to the relative luxury of 1,000, they combine sharp observation of contemporary English life with gentle humour, profound affection for the social quirks of the author's native country, and the odd dark rumbling undertone. Plenty of surprises emerge along the way, from twists of magical realism to whimsical wish-fulfillment.
Here's what some pre-publication readers have had to say about Debbie Young's first collection of flash fiction:
"I loved these stories. Sly, witty, surprising, and the twists are genuine twists. The characterisation is lovely, very deft and economical. They make domesticity look edgy, sometimes dangerous, but they are also life-affirming." - Lucienne Boyce, historical novelist and historian
"Very subtle, very English, very clever. I also loved the overall idea, the way the stories went from infancy to old age, shedding a revealing light on each stage. Good luck with this splendid collection." - Marius Gabriel, author of historical novels and contemporary thrillers
"A joy to read, absolutely delightful!" - Georgia Rose, contemporary novelist
"The language reveals a sharp intellect and a broad knowledge." Mari Howard, contemporary novelist
"Flash fiction is so hard to do and it was a pleasure to read." - E J Eyles, mystery novelist
Other reactions from early readers: "a feather-light story", "fabulous story with sinister undertones", "brilliant!", "like Roald Dahl's short stories", "as sharp as a Kirsty McCall song", "like a prose poem", "a masterpiece", "perfect", "very powerful and mysterious", "what a lovely idea!", "laughed out loud at this one", "rather moving".
All of the stories are contemporary, i.e. set in the 21st century. Topics covered include birth, childhood, youth, coming of age, friendship, love, dating, marriage, parenting, family life, parent and child relationships, infidelity, divorce, getting on with neighbours, death, loss, grief, bereavement and coming to terms with life at every stage.
"Quick Change" is the first in a planned series of collections of Debbie Young's flash fiction stories. Several of the stories were originally published on her author website, www.authordebbieyoung.com, and "Clean Linen" was chosen for the 2013 edition of FlashFlood, the online journal of National Flash Fiction Day (NFFD). Debbie's work has also been included in "Eating My Words", NFFD's 2014 anthology of the best contemporary flash fiction authors.
Stories in this collection:
Out of the Mouths of Babes
Going to Grandma's
Penny for Them
Peep Behind the Curtain
The Art of Medicine
The Alchemy of Chocolate
The Mutton and the Lamb
A Singular Life
The Comfort of Neighbours
Debbie Young is an English writer of fiction and non-fiction.
Her fiction has been described as "very subtle, very English, very clever" by novelist Marius Gabriel. Calum Kerr, founder of National Flash Fiction Day, says "Debbie Young's attention to detail brings the extraordinary out of the everyday".
With two volumes of short stories now published (Quick Change and Stocking Fillers), a growing collection of stand-alone single short stories in digital form, and more stories included in anthologies, she is currently working on her first novel.
Debbie Young's non-fiction includes self-help books for other authors, such as Sell Your Books! and Opening Up To Indie Authors. She is Commissioning Editor of the self-publishing advice blog of the Alliance of Independent Authors.
She is an enthusiastic blogger at the Young By Name blog on her author website.
She takes inspiration from both village life and her travels in the family camper van with her Scottish husband and their young daughter.
She is never bored.