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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Band Theme Short Story Project Week 1 (Part One)

Sorry about the long break! December is never a good month for me. Let's just say I'm not a fan of Christmas and the New Year celebrations.

Anyway, at the weekend I had a whacky idea. I needed something to get me motivated to write every day and felt I could do with, not only a purpose, but a ready-made audience. I created a Facebook status update, outlining my idea and had a terrific response. This is the status:

From Monday 5th January and every day for the next twelve months, I will write a short story based around a band nominated by you, my Facebook friends. The day after I've written the story, I will edit it, then post it to the friend who nominated the band. I will retain copyright on each story and plan to submit the stories to various literary competitions and/or magazines. Each day from Monday I'll keep you posted as to which band story I'm working on. So…. please start now. Go ahead and nominate a band for me.

Within twenty-four hours I'd received over fifty nominations. I was gobsmacked. I decided that the story didn't have to be about the band. I would just use the band name as a starting point. However, in some cases, I will write about the band or base the story on one of their songs, so pretty much a loose interpretation of the theme, otherwise it would get very boring!

My husband got in first and nominated his own band, Visitation. I was so excited about the project that I started on Sunday evening. I had such fun writing about Visitation, most of it based on fact. I wanted to write something tongue-in-cheek, which would make my husband laugh. I didn't realise that the drummer and his girlfriend would also want to read it, so once I'd finished it, I sent it to them, too. Thankfully, they enjoyed it and said it made them laugh. So, that was the first story out of the way. It was such a relief that it had been well received. (Bryan's using an electronic kit in the photo, as it was a particularly small pub!)

Visitation at The Squirrel, 15th November 2014

The second nomination came from Sharon Needham, whom I met at the Onboard The Craft Festival last September. Her husband, Martyn Hasbeen plays in a band called Captain Roswell and The Lost Alien Tribe and Sharon nominated this band for me. Thanks, Sharon! I found this one difficult, as I'm not a sci-fi fan, but I did a bit of research and I found the whole Roswell/UFO thing very interesting. I'm not sure the story works. I think it does and I'll be emailing it to Sharon later.

Captain Roswell and The Lost Alien Tribe

The third nomination came from our friend, Astrid Jones, who drums with another Rugby band, Stonefire. She suggested Cream. Now, I could have cheated here, as last year I wrote a flash piece based on Cream's song, The White Room. However, I decided to write a completely different piece and that's almost finished.


I have a method of working, which involves researching the next band and their songs, while finishing off and editing the previous story. That keeps the momentum going. It's Bon Jovi next, nominated by Dawn, a former work colleague of my husbands. I plan to write a story set in the 1980s.

In other news my story, Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire, which was shortlisted in the first Black Pear Press Competition, has been published in their anthology, Seaglass and Other Stories, which is available to purchase here at a cost of £8.66 including postage. I'm in good company, as it features stories by my friends, Diane Simmons and Alison Wassell.

If you'd like to nominate a band for me, please go over to my Facebook profile or leave a comment below. Many thanks!


  1. What a fantastic and fun idea, Jo. I wish you lots of fun and success with that project!

  2. Thank you, Nicola. I'm enjoying it so far. Some bands inspire more easily than others. I'm really struggling with the Bon Jovi story.