Myself and Other Strangers, 2016, Olympia Publishers
Maureen Oxley's new book Myself and Other Strangers is an eclectic collection of short stories that explore the many facets of love and sexuality. 'An Imperfect Past', where a shocking revelation in the confessional box has a profound effect on the confessor. Memories and regrets stirred by an impending funeral are explored in 'In Thoughts of You'. We see in 'Just another Day' how the depths of despair and anguish following the death of a loved one can eventually be overcome by a new love, only for happiness to be dashed again. The stories contained in Myself and Other Strangers are often poignant, frequently dark, looking at many aspects of the emotion of love and the consequences that can occur. A collection of stories the reader will find difficult to put down.
Myself and Other Strangers is available from Amazon and all good book shops: ISBN 978-1-84897-802-7, £8.99 paperback.
Notes from the Author:
Each story is inspired by a painting by Jack Vettriano. Each picture carries a narrative which I can identify with. It may be connected with me, my own life events or those of my contemporaries. Although my narrative is not his, his work has been a source of inspiration and allowed me to take a look into the lives of and situations of fascinating characters
Jack has read these stories, really enjoyed them and very kindly agreed to my using the images in the publication.
I have long been a great fan of Jack Vettriano. Born in the same year, 1951, I greatly appreciate the subject matter of his work - in particular the glamour, sexual passion, hope and regret which his work depicts.
'People watching' is a favourite hobby of mine. I was a teacher and Head teacher all my working life and, as you can imagine, the opportunities to observe so many characters in so many situations has nurtured my understanding of the human condition and the events which shape it.
I have been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil but things took a more serious turn when I completed a part-time degree in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham at the age of 58. I met many more people as I worked through this course - including my fellow students, the products of their imaginations and, not least, authors of established literary and popular fiction and their creations.
I have been faithful to the spirit of Jack's work. Each story carries the same title as the art which inspired it and is preceded by a high res image of the art work.
I am now retired and live in Kidderminster. I previously lived in Bromsgrove but was born and raised in Birmingham, living there until I retired in 2009.
I wasn’t quite ready to settle down to knitting and jam making, so while continuing my writing career, I tried on-line dating. I met some memorable men including my wonderful husband John – a Derbyshire man through and through. He makes a great cup of tea. We were married in Bromsgrove on 22 October 2011.
The title of the collection reflects not only the autobiographical element of the stories but also the impact of the art on my own psyche and the bitter-sweet nostalgia which it evokes.
This collection is a ‘must read’ for those who remember the art of romance as well as for those who never had the opportunity to ‘live the dream’.