CLAIRE Louise Norton has found a surprising new way to bring her Portsmouth ghost story to readers.
The ambitious writer has signed a deal with national publisher Ether Books to release her latest work as an app.
Customers will be able to download the short story, about a haunting at Southsea’s Clarence Pier, straight to their iPhone or iPad in a publishing innovation.
Claire has written 10 other short stories – along with two full-length novels – and is hoping to have more material published.
She said the new technology provided a real chance to break into the market for new authors.
‘It is such a great opportunity for writers like me,’ she said.
‘If it takes off I can see people using this app a lot.
‘Short story writers have a hard time anyway because these days few people want to spend money on full novels, let alone small works by unknown authors.
‘But this way you can have a story sent straight to your palm or tablet screen – it is just so convenient.’
Claire, of Foxbury Grove, Fareham, juggles a part-time job in a local pub with trying to launch her writing career, and was keen to set her latest short story – called Legendary – in a famous local landmark.
‘I picked Clarence Pier as the setting because I remember it from when I was little, and nothing is quite as scary as a fairground,’ she said.
The 30-year-old was shortlisted for the London Short Fiction prize at the London Festival Fringe.
From that exposure she got invited to take part in an evening of horror stories called Are You Sitting Comfortably? in Brighton.
Legendary is offered alongside stories and essays by a diverse range of writers, including author of the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith, and Sir Paul McCartney.
Claire said: ‘I just tried to enter as many competitions as I can in the hope of getting noticed, and finally Ether contacted me.
‘It was a great feeling to be there alongside some big names.
‘I just hope it makes a few people try out my story.’
For more information on how to download the book, visit etherbooks.co.uk.