- Written between December 2014 and January 2015, released February 2015.
- Length: 30 pages, 7476 words
- Highest Amazon rank: #3 British & Irish Short Stories. There may be other rankings, but that’s the only one I seemed to have made a record of!
- Music listened to while writing: Mostly Halestorm.
At about thirty pages long, The Lift probably doesn’t even make it into the short story category. Nevertheless, it’s had some fantastic reviews – one of them was almost as long as the story itself!
I’ve mentioned most of what follows in various blog posts, but I think it’s worth mentioning it here too, then it keeps everything all nicely labelled and wrapped up, and easy to find.
The story of The Lift begins last year (2014) when I was floundering a little while writing the new Eddie Collins novel, Sword of Damocles. Like it or not, Eddie has quite a few fans who wanted to know about the new novel, when it would be out, what it was about, that kind of thing. I would bump into people at work, and they would forgo the usual, “Morning, Andy,” and go straight for the jugular: “When’s Damocles coming out, then?” And sometimes they weren’t especially friendly about it either. Same on Facebook and same by email.
So that’s one reason why I penned The Lift. I also felt inclined to do an interview with Eddie Collins. I hadn’t thought of a format for it though; and various permeations whirled around my head: a sit-down chat between Eddie and an interviewer was good, but how would Eddie respond to questions about his past? Would he keep referring back to me, “Blame him, he wrote it like that!” or would he stay in character, “Don’t blame me, my Mum died when I was eight.” How would he respond to questions about his future? He’d shrug, look across at me, and say, “Dunno, ask him.”
How about a chat between Eddie and myself? Sounds good, but how the hell would it work considering I made him? How would he refer to me? Would he ask questions about why I wrote him entangled in this scene or that scene; why did I almost get him killed in Black by Rose? Come on, it’d mess with my head far too much.
So I thought the best way of getting inside Eddie was for Eddie to be inside something he couldn’t get out of. It would be an interview insofar as we could probe a little and see how he reacted under certain conditions (Eddie, the lab rat!), and get to know him that way, the indirect route. But surely, he’d need someone to ask him the questions, or more specifically, someone to bring out his true feelings of others – because really, that’s how we are all judged. And Eddie’s no different from us: how he treats people is a measure of himself.
And just because he holds stereotypical thoughts about others, it shouldn’t be held against him – everyone does it, it’s just that everyone else isn’t brain-scanned and then written about. See my point?
At least with Eddie, because you’re allowed inside his head and can see all the naked gears turning, you get honesty.
Anyway, I digress. All I needed to create this laboratory, was a room and some people. Already you can sense Eddie feeling uncomfortable (I know this, because I would feel uncomfortable too). Seal the room up, and the people in there with him, the very people he detests, and you’ve got sparks. Turn up the tension a bit, have a fight break out maybe, and you’ve got something exhilarating.
One or two people have commented that they enjoyed The Lift, but it should have been longer. Hmm, fair point. But The Lift had a job to do. And it did it in just the space it needed, no more, no less.
For your delight, here is the blurb…
The Lift is a stand alone Eddie Collins short story of about 30 pages.
CSI Eddie Collins embarks on another ordinary day. But the people he meets in a lift prove that you should never make assumptions, never let preconceptions sway your judgement. And never let down your guard.
And the new improved cover!