Rod Richards, who owns "The Title Wave" bookstore in Portland, Oregon, has reviewed thousands of books and has been posting reviews on readerman.us. Recently, he reviewed my debut collection of short stories, "All This Digging and other stories."
The link to the actual review is: http://readerman.us/201504_7039/
I wrote these stories while working on my Masters Degree many years ago. They were part of a larger project I was doing as part of my thesis. At that time, the loose collection was called "Unfinished Business," because I believe that all short stories are mere glimpses into a moment in time. We don't generally know what led us to the event detailed in the story nor do we often know what happens afterward. I also named it that because I had the start of a novel (then called "Summer of Seven" which later became "Summer Breaks") and knew that it was not even close to being finished.
Some of the stories begin and end with roughly the same sentence. I was trying to develop a series of stories that I dubbed "Circle of Life" tales. That is, the reader is taken on a small journey that essentially leads the reader right back to where s/he started.
For example, the collection's title piece, "All This Digging," starts off with:
"I hate all this digging," the old man said aloud to no one.As the story unfolds, the reader is drawn into a strange, ultimately horrific, tale. As the old man finishes his work, the story ends with the opening line above.
As Rod says, each story shows, "the way people think in different situations. Some I don’t understand but I recognize them." That is the point of many of the short fiction that I write: get inside the protagonist's head, even if you don't understand what's in there. We often wonder what other people are thinking or what it would be like to be the proverbial fly on the wall. All too often, though, what we'd find would either scare us or confuse us.
Don't get me wrong, these are not horror stories (er, well, not all of them). But, I have found the line between laughter and fear is not always clearly defined.
Want to read the book? Click on "All This Digging" in the right column.
Thanks for stopping by!
*What does the bear picture have to do with anything!? Read the book to find out!