Short-story writer keeps books rolling with
award, reader outreach and funny faces
Case Study - A.C. Skiffington
In high school, Alec Skiffington wrote an article that led to the resignation of his school’s principal. It was then he realized the power of the written word.
After thirty years in the television industry, moving from being a writer to an executive, Skiffington has shifted his focus into creating short stories. His two books, The Missing and Other Stories and The Lemmings and Other Mysteries, are comprised of short stories that Skiffington finds more entertaining than TV.
“Writing has always come easy for me,” he said.
Publishing also was no challenge to him. He decided that self-publishing was an easier route than the time-consuming search for a traditional publisher. Skiffington’s challenge was marketing his book.
“The most challenging thing has been getting attention from outside my narrowing circle of friends,” said Skiffington.
Skiffington has met the challenge well. He utilized business cards and postcards to get the word out about his book. To meet his readers one-on-one, he participates in book signings and arts festivals. Like many great authors, he believes maintaining a relationship with readers is enjoyable work.
“I listen to their comments, read their emails, read to them at coffee houses and libraries, and--whenever possible--make funny faces.”
He followed a recommendation to enter his most recent book, The Lemmings and Other Mysteries, in the short-stories category of The National Indie Excellence Book Awards. Short stories are a favorite of Skiffington’s.
“To date, it is the venue I have chosen to say what needs to be said with the most impact,” he said.
His actions were rewarded; he was named the winner.
“I look at it as validation of my work,” Skiffington said. “It feels good to have left a small footprint to encourage others down a similar path.”
Despite the success of his book, Skiffington simply enjoys telling stories. He encourages other aspiring authors to find their voice. “My advice is to put no limitations on your imagination and style,” he said.
With plans for a third book in the works, Skiffington is putting no limitations on himself either. He will continue to use the power of the written word to entertain and inspire: “If we can touch someone’s life, even through fiction, then the effort was worthwhile.”