Saturday, 17 May 2014

New Release: 'Far Away In Time' by Maria Savva

Regular followers of my blog will already know the author Maria Savva who has very kindly visited us here regularly at 'The Secret Writer'. Maria has recently published a new collection of short stories and she has very kindly agreed to tell us a bit about her latest new book 'Far Away In Time'!

Our lives are a series of stories, and we are the characters with the starring roles. The memories, regrets, secrets, and struggles that fill these pages are at once unique and relatable. These stories  belong to us all.

Eight unforgettable tales reaching out to a place Far Away In Time...

The story behind the stories...

What inspired the stories in Far Away In Time? A common question I am asked. So I thought it would be nice if I write a few sentences about what inspired each story.

The Ghost of Christmas Past

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the title for the story was taken from Charles Dickens’s  “A Christmas Carol”. I love watching Scrooge, and the various alternative versions of that film every Christmas; it’s one of my favourite ever films. The title for my short story, however, came after the story, so that didn’t inspire the actual story.

The short story was written because I had an idea that it would be nice to write a Christmas-themed short story in the run up to Christmas. It was never written with the intention of it being part of a collection. My initial idea was of someone looking back at his life and what had gone so wrong that he was all alone at Christmas. I had no idea that the story would end up as dark as it did.

One of my beta readers said he nearly cried when he read this story, and another said this  was the only story in the collection she didn’t like — not because it wasn’t well written, but because of the subject matter. I think there will be many who will feel the same way. It is a very dark story. The darkest one in the collection.

When I read it over after writing it, I was actually quite shocked at how dark it was, but I feel it’s a powerful story, and thought it would be perfect as a first story in the collection to draw readers in. However, I am aware that I may scare away more people than I attract with this one...

Increasingly, I am becoming a fan of darker fiction, I think this is being reflected in my work.

Far Away In Time - Parts I and II

Far Away In Time is not only the title of the collection of stories, but also a two-part fantasy story in the book.

I am currently writing my sixth novel, which is also a fantasy, and this story is the most similar to my upcoming novel.

This fantasy tale was probably inspired by my interest in the difference between reality and fantasy (a theme covered in my novel Haunted, but in that book the story is much darker).

Far Away In Time is a magical tale. There is a wizard, there is magic, there is a lot of the ‘unexplained’.

This story was a real hit with my beta readers and two of them said they’d love to see a novel, or a series of short stories featuring the character Mr Silverfrost the old wizard.  It remains to be seen whether I will use that character again. I have to say I was inspired enough to write Part II to the story, so it’s likely I will return to this one and continue it at some stage.

Echoes of Her Dreams

This story was originally written for a short story competition. I decided to include it in the collection because I thought it fitted in well. A couple of my beta readers said it was their favourite story.

In this story, I wanted to explore the idea of someone who feels as though they haven’t achieved their dreams. It’s melancholy because of that sense of regret running through it, but I think it’s also a subject that many (especially women) will be able to relate to.

A Sign

This is a mystery story with a paranormal theme. It started off with my intention to write about someone finding something valuable under the floorboards when she moved into a new house. The way the story developed was not something I anticipated, as it took a different twist to that which I had initially thought it would. The paranormal element only revealed itself later on. Many of my books have paranormal elements to them, most notably, Haunted, and The Dream. Many of my other short stories in other collections have  paranormal themes too.

Tragedy of Love

This one started off as a train of thought, and it developed. In the first part of the story I wanted to write a few paragraphs that many people could relate to or that would be the type of thoughts felt by someone who might be feeling lonely, depressed, sad. I wanted it to have a universal feel, so didn’t include a character’s name in that part.

The second part of the story reveals something at the end which will bring the reader back to the first part of the story. I had initially thought that I might write a few parts of the story, including other characters, and have them all link back to that first part of the story so that the reader was left guessing who the unfortunate person in the first part of the story was. If that makes any sense.

In the end I left the story as it is because I thought it would be more powerful as it is.

The Beach

Another paranormal tale. The first part of the story came to me quite easily and wasn’t planned in any way, but then I was left wondering how I would continue it. I left it sitting for a while and then when I came back to it, the ending I wrote seemed to fit well.

The inspiration here is probably the fact that I have had precognitive dreams in my life and am always fascinated by the subject.


Another favourite among my beta readers. This is a story that I had thought of writing alternative endings for as I had two ideas as to this character’s motivations. In the end I combined both of those into a rather long story; probably the longest in the book.

This is, I think, the most true-to-life tale in the book, which is why I think it will resonate with a lot of people. At its core is a dysfunctional family and the feelings of betrayal that can arise from that.

Here are the links to the book:

Available on Amazon:

Maria Savva can be found on the following links:


  1. Thank you for featuring my book here today, Calum :)

  2. Thank you too Maria for calling by and telling us all about your new book. It is very much appreciated! :-)


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