Memories of Lee Child, maybe

I have a memory, perhaps a false memory, that 25 years ago, while running my own little short story magazine, Nutshell, that I once rejected a submission by someone called Lee Child.

That is the Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher novels, and, today, one of the most commercially successful writers in the world.

Now, I could be wrong. It was a long time ago. But, like the campanologists who practise in the church across the road every Wednesday night, his name rings some very loud bells.

It is a very distinctive name, and an entirely plausible scenario. Lee Child is the pen name of Jim Grant. Mr Grant was born in Coventry and moved to Birmingham. Nutshell was a Birmingham-based little magazine until I took it on and moved it to Coventry.

I told this story at the launch night to demonstrate that having a story rejected, as many people were in the run of to choosing the final selection for Dorset Shorts, should not be taken too badly by those who failed to make it.

All writers, I assume, face such rejection at some point.

If memory serves me well, with Mr Child (if it was Mr Child), it was not the writing I did not like, it was just the genre - just not my kind of thing.

I like to think that whatever I said in that rejection note that it contributed in some way to his future success; but my thinking may be wishful.

One of the joys of Dorset Shorts is that it includes such a variety of stories that there should be something in there to suit all tastes - murder to mermaids; horror to humour.

Serendipity, the Lyme Regis bookshop has placed an order; and KB Willson, author of Father’s Day, has delivered some copies to the bookshop in Swanage.  More orders have arrived online.

Sales: 55

Bookshops: 34

Other: 105