KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.


Friday's Forgotten Books: THE CROSSING by Jim Flanagan

When I was in high school a teacher there, Dr. James Flanagan, wrote a novel published by Random House called THE CROSSING--a cruel tale of deep resentment and criminal abuse just below the thin veneer of New Jersey affluence. I recall a forced abortion, a dramatic chase on the Garden State Parkway, and a grim opening scene of a suicide in front of a train. The suicide was an actual event witnessed by the author and served as the inspiration for the novel.I can’t find this book. Every time I'm in a used book store's stacks I search and search...and it seems online used book cues aren't as up to date as they advertise. Apparently they made THE CROSSING into a quickly forgotten TV movie called "The Haunting of Sarah Hardesty". Of course they changed the location (no longer New Jersey) to Oregon and took some strong liberties with the plot. Hell, they threw most of it out the fucking window as expected in Hollywood adaptations. In high school Dr. Flanagan was the advisor for the school's literary magazine. At the time I was scrabbling out from beneath my older brother Jack’s brainy shadow. One of the keen memories for me of that time (other than nearly being expelled before graduation for a “misunderstanding” and other assorted parochial school humiliations—Christian Brothers for teachers, after all…) was when "Doc" Flanagan stopped my brother in the hall. I was on my way to class, lost in the adolescent cow-shuffle, and he shouted to Jack, “Hey, Shea! Your brother? That kid can write.” It was my first story, a brief piece of garbage called “Strange BLT” about a three foot talking rabbit in a purple tuxedo invading a railroad car diner just to fuck with the employees’ afternoon. But Doc Flanagan's comment to my brother fueled my fire, for better or worse….Teachers are important. Doc Flanagan, wherever you are, thanks. I think.