"I began writing short stories, I guess, because I had very low expectations, and also because I love short stories, much more than novels. A novel has to be damn good to keep me reading more than fifty pages. Also, a novel seemed way beyond my skills at the time. So I told myself that if I could just write one decent short story, well, I'd be more than happy." - Donald Ray Pollock
This past summer I picked up Pollock's Knockemstiff because I'd heard things. Powered through one story after the other thinking, "Gee, the next story can't be as good as the last one." Dead wrong. This collection just picks up white hot speed and you're left begging for more. If you haven't read it shame on you. Go get it, you will not be sorry...and one more thing...for anybody out there sweating it in the fictional trenches, read that last sentence in the quote above and take heart. Gosh knows I'm trying to...snowstorm of rejections be damned.
In other news, I'm sending out good vibes to anyone affected or in harm's way with Hurricane Earl. Like most, I used to think hurricanes were fun. But in real life and post-Katrina if you live anywhere near the coast and its waters, you know that these evil mothers are no joke. Nobody's holing up with a young Lauren Bacall and sipping rum. And as for surf, give me long waist-high swell any day over death on a stick.
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 ...as 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.