This week’s 5MinuteFiction Judge is Sarah Barnard, Author and owner of Osier Publishing. She’s a long time friend, mentor, and a brilliant author.
Tell us a little about who you are
I’m a mother of two, who spends days watching people and wondering what their stories are! I write stories, and own Osier Publishing, a small press representing a growing handful of independent authors. So far we all write out of the ordinary, covering horror, fantasy, and a little sci fi, but we’re open to a wide range of talents. When not working, I love digging in my garden.
What draws you to writing? And to your genre of choice?
The main draw to writing, is reading. There’s nothing quite like getting completely lost in a book.
My genre of choice is blurred. I love science fiction, fantasy, but anything out of the ordinary often grabs my attention. I love stories with a twist.
How many books have you published?
Well there’s the series of 4, with the short story prequel, and the younger reader’s spin off, and the novelette sci-fi… That’s 7.
Can you share something about them?
Is that not what you meant? Sorry… All my stories feature strong female characters, and out of the ordinary happenings. There’s magic in most of the books, and a psychic link with a planet in the sci fi.
What do you enjoy snacking on while you create?
Snacks depend on the time of year, the piece I’m working on, and my mood on the day! My favourite snacks often include toast, fruit, or chocolate.
What’s your favorite drink?
Tea, earl grey, with milk.
It was the first day back at school for all the children after the long summer holidays and Kate had a couple of hours to herself, but she simply sat at the kitchen table with a large mug of tea. Cradling the warmth in her hands, she let the heat spread calmly through her.
Kate startled at a knock on the kitchen door. She wasn’t expecting anyone. Wearily dragging herself from the chair, she slowly pulled open the door.
“Lily, come in.” Kate’s voice was tired and flat. Lily frowned in concern. Perhaps this wasn’t the best time.
The events of the past few years had changed Kate. Lily could see rawness and fragility in her friend which hadn’t been there before. There was grey in her hair and lines on her face etched there by pain and grief. They matched Lily’s own smattering of grey which wove through dark hair that still held copper glints in the right light.
Lily looked down at the roll of loose pages in her hands. She hadn’t read all of it, but she’d skimmed some of it after Elder had given the document to her as she left that place for the last time. The last Portal she’d opened, bringing Kate and Susan home after Gentian’s daughter had been born.
Then her own magic had died.
“Hi, Kate.” Lily spoke softly and the tone in her voice made Kate suddenly become more alert.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, a frown creasing her face and worry standing in her eyes. “Lily?” Kate searched her friend’s face for an answer. Lily came to the table and sat. She placed the document on the table and left it there in between them.
“It’s from Sam,” Lily said, watching Kate’s face fight to not crumple into tears. “She wrote it for you before she died. It’s an account of what happened while Ametsam held her.” Kate stared at the roll of pages. Lily reached over to pat Kate’s shoulder gently. “I’ll put the kettle on,” she said and got up to walk across the kitchen. Lily leaned on the worktop and listened to the kettle heat up. She watched as Kate pushed out a trembling hand to touch the paper. The tightly rolled pages slowly began to uncurl to reveal familiar handwriting which crawled across each page.
We’ll see everyone back here tonight for #5MinuteFiction!