This is the “Behind The Scenes” post for the most recent story, “The Quick Brown Fox“.

I have to say, I quite enjoyed writing this one, despite spending three or four hours staring into space trying desperately to work out how to end it. In the end, I went with the idea of them smuggling the ghost into the flat, after removing the bearer bonds.

The initial idea for this one came to me, in the way that quite a few of them do, because of the next letter of the alphabet, and I pictured a vintage typewriter with half of one of the famous sentences sticking out – “the quick brown fox”. Although I have made a point, over the years, of typing “jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz” instead, because it’s shorter and I like being contrary.

Having pictured this, I needed to work out which typewriter would be the best fit for the story. A little searching led to George Blackman’s website, and the beautiful Olivetti Lettera – which conveniently comes with the sort of carry case that is useful for storing bits of paper cut to the size of bond certificates…

Incidentally, “Jeux des Dames Cruelles” is a real book. I found out about it in an excellent little book (well, pamphlet, really) called “The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the Delight of Not Getting What You Wanted”, which is a book that I do recommend to you. I’d proselytise the delights of bookshops myself, but none of them are selling my books. At least, not yet, anyway…

The post “Behind The Scenes: The Quick Brown Fox” first appeared on and is Copyright © Simon Collis 2018. All rights reserved.

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