Paul Lahert

Paul Lahert

Paul started writing at the tender age of seven, mostly ripping off Indiana Jones movies over two sides of A4 while sitting at his nan’s table. Though other tables may have also been involved.

A hiatus of some years followed before he rediscovered his old passion, but still a fairly young fella, he realised he needed a little more seasoning in order to better grasp the kinds of things he'd like to write about. So he did a bunch of other stuff and waited for the years to teach him a few things. And the years have not disappointed.

He has worked as a gravedigger, a goatherd, a farm and construction labourer, a chauffeur, as a member of a demolition crew, among other things, and even once had a job in an office - which he did not take to. He currently works as a freelance writer and a teacher, alongside other projects, with the odd bit of manual labour occasionally thrown in to keep him honest. He’s sometimes based around London, but more and more frequently finds himself in other climes. His stories tend to deal with the conflicts and dark edges of ordinary lives, and should you take the time to read one of them, he’d be much obliged to you.


Paul Lahert in 60 seconds

When did you start writing?

Once upon a time while I was supposed to be doing something else.

What do you love about short stories?

To steal from and paraphrase Raymond Carver, the fact that when done well they can lower (or indeed raise) the reader’s body temperature a degree or two. No mean feat for eight pages or so.

Do you write in other forms?

Salty haikus, bawdy limericks and illegible notes to self.

What distracts you from writing?

Working for coin and mess. The kitchen is always very clean when I sit down to write. My teenage self would be appalled.

Outside of writing, what are your other passions?

Fixing stuff. Wandering. Picking up phrases in languages I don't speak. Improving the ones I do. Crystal Palace FC. Boxing. Songs about "trouble". Schadenfreude and digging. The last two are only occasionally connected.

What is your favourite book?

“Cutter and Bone” by Newton Thornberg is a book I force on friends and they tend to be very grateful for the imposition.

Who are your favourite writers?

Graham Greene - Did you know he once entered an "Imitate Graham Greene" competition and came second?, Lucia Berlin - To be that good doing it in your spare time? Blimey... and T.C. Boyle - His short stories can be savage but are superb. And damn do they linger.

Where is your dream location?

Despite numerous months spent there, Brazil remains an itch I keep wanting to scratch.

What one item would you put into Room 101?

Yeah... I'm gonna need more room for this.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

You can fix bad writing, but you can't fix no writing. A penny that, personally, took a long time to drop.

Work by Paul Lahert:

Indelible and Other Stories
Paul Lahert
£7.49 Added
Twelve stories for anyone who's ever been burned. Errant husbands, doomed newlyweds, bruised boxers, abandoned wives, damaged former-soldiers and, of course, the ghosts of the ones that got away - these are just a few of the protagonists that feature in a collection of stories and vignettes that explore the dark side of love. Ranging from the visceral to the tender, each deals with what can happen when the light of its promise gives way to the dark of its night. How it can injure, corrode and corrupt. What it does to us and what it can make us do. ***Please Note: Three stories from this collection - "Glass Jaw", "Itch/Scratch" and "Hocus Pocus" are also available separately on this site.*** The following extract is from the story "Needs":
Hocus Pocus
Paul Lahert
£2.29 Added
Fleeing an abusive relationship, a young woman returns to her hometown and her bereaved mother. ***Please Note: This story is also available in the collection "Indelible and Other Stories".***
Paul Lahert
£1.49 Added
As the city swelters in a heatwave, an unfaithful husband makes his way home to a wife whose eyes are no longer closed. ***Please Note: This story is also available in the collection "Indelible and Other Stories".***
Glass Jaw
Paul Lahert
£0.99 Added
A boxer finds himself taking a beating in the early rounds of a prize-fight, but his opponent isn't the only thing he's fighting. ***Please Note: This story also appears in the collection "Indelible and Other Stories".***
Animals and Children
Paul Lahert
£2.49 Added
After a sealing a deal that is going to save his year, a salesman finds his good run continues during a boozy card game with colleagues. But the hangover is coming...
This Isn't Me
Paul Lahert
£2.49 Added
A married woman sits in a hotel bar on the verge of starting an affair. The rest should be simple.
More Than Cold
Paul Lahert
£2.49 Added
Some things are better left unfound. After weeks working offshore and away from his wife, a man waits to be reunited with her in a hired cottage. However, she's running late and into the void of her absence comes a feeling that something is wrong, and a persistent chill that won't just leave him be.

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