A former pupil of Aylesbury High School has released a book of short stories which have been compared to the renowned author Roald Dahl.
Tales of the Unexpected, a chilling series of eerie plots and twists by Dahl, has remained as one of the only collection of stories in this genre – until now.
Di Shelley’s book, Sweet Revenge - and Other Stories, is full of vengeance and betrayal, murder and cunning twists that catch you out, just when you think you’ve got the plot – literally.
Described as “a fresh, new approach to writing” it seems that her readers are relishing this original book of short stories.
Actor, writer and broadcaster, Ged Clapson said: “Di Shelley writes from the heart. Her style is natural and unaffected and her descriptive powers are extraordinary, combining, as they do, astute sensitivity with great observations. Di is at her best when she allows her emotions to pervade her creativity. These are the times when it is difficult to separate factual events (Di, the woman, mother and wife) with fiction (Di, the author). She has an acerbic wit, and I found myself inventing a new word to describe Sweet Revenge - bitchion: fiction with a bite!
Eldest daughter of the late and popular councillor, Will George, Di Shelley was a pupil at Waddesdon C of E school, Aylesbury Grammar and Aylesbury High Schools.
She said: “I owe my love of literature to my parents and my writing career to the support and
vision of those few teachers who recognised and encouraged me - in particular Tom Bingham who taught at Waddesdon. He allowed me to write when others were doing their sums as we called them in those days. I owe him in particular a great debt of gratitude.”
Di honed her craft working as a freelance for many years with the BBC in Bristol, creating documentary scripts for Radio 2 and Radio 4, as well as for independent television production companies. She was also a columnist for the regional Bristol Evening Post for three years.
However, she always felt that fiction was where her heart really lay.
She said: “Most fiction is based on human experience and observation. It’s a bit like making a cake. You have all the ingredients - ideas, character, plot and style. Just add a bit of imagination, mix thoroughly and voila - hopefully a finished product that will satisfy all the senses.”
Describing her stories as ‘light-hearted with a bite’, she added: “It’s come as a surprise to me though that readers are likening them to Roald Dahl’s famous Tales.”
So does she expect to see them on television?
She added: “You’ll just have to wait and see. But there is one curious coincidence. For a time Road Dahl lived in the village of Grendon Underwood in Buckinghamshire where I grew up. My aunt spent many hours with his daughters before they moved to the nearby village of Great Missenden. It makes you wonder. Did the famous teller of tall tales leave some sort of imprint on the village ether?”
Sweet Revenge - and Other Stories is the first of a series of similar tales.
It is available on Amazon on Kindle and as a paperback.