New Storyville Column is Live – All About Narrative Hooks

New Storyville column is now up, all about writing narrative hooks. I focus on some of the work of southern gothic author Ron Rash. How do get your audience’s attention with one line? Icebergs and red herrings, what are those? In medias res, have you heard that said before? It’s Latin. And which of these are not narrative hooks: descriptions, settings, action, dialogue, back story? One hint: all of them. Hope it helps!

My debut short story collection, Herniated Roots (Snubnose Press) is now OUT.

OUT NOW.

Table of Contents
Unzipped
Your Enemies Will Devour You
A Bird in the Hand
Released
Herniated Roots
Seeing Red
Gateway
Say Yes to Pleasure
Terrapin Station
Daybreak
Three Mistakes
Descent
The Jenny Store
Tinkering With the Moon
Kiss Off
Dyer

PRAISE:

“Richard Thomas’s stories are filled with a kind of dark magic shot through with danger. These are beautiful roses loaded with thorns. Take hold of them at your own risk and reward—be prepared for the most exquisite, ecstatic kind of pain.”
—Amber Sparks, MAY WE SHED THESE HUMAN BODIES

“Richard Thomas writes from the inglorious depths of human experience. Each sentence, blooming like a bruise, articulates the unspeakable truth of our own disappointment. In Herniated Roots, an aggressive collection of modern fables and cautionary tales, Thomas delivers the kind of prose that leaves you bloody on the inside. This is the kind of book that demands a second reading long before your ribs begin to heal.”
—Daniel Casebeer, PEAR NOIR

“Richard Thomas writes seductively mordant prose. His powerful short stories are noir fables for the twenty-first century—gracefully controlled yet executed with a lethal precision. Precious few writers can provide a vital anatomy of the inner self. Thomas does so masterfully, presenting the darkest slices of the human soul.”
—Darren Richard Carlaw, STEPAWAY MAGAZINE

“Richard Thomas can make his readers feel what he wants them to feel. He distills life into the moments that charge us, and he works them into honest and gripping prose, with visuals that invariably leave a mark.”
—Pela Via, WARMED AND BOUND

“An outstanding short story writer who consistently nails the bull’s-eye.”
—David Cranmer, BEAT TO A PULP

“Herniated Roots by Richard Thomas demonstrates a masterly use of tension. Real page-turning fiction that never resorts to cliché or stereotype.”
—Doug Johnstone, HIT AND RUN

My review of Little Sinners and Other Stories by Karen Brown is live at The Nervous Breakdown

Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, Little Sinners and Other Stories by Karen Brown is fantastic collection of stories. I’m calling it “suburban noir” because Karen focuses on the dark events that happen in these otherwise idyllic settings. I first heard of Karen when she had a story, “Galatea” in the Best American Short Stories anthology back in 2008. I later reached out to her for a story that I ran in the short-lived Colored Chalk ezine. And I’ll be including some of her work in an upcoming anthology with Black Lawrence Press. Check out my full review of Little Sinners over at The Nervous Breakdown.

New Storyville Column on Writing Sex is Now Live at Lit Reactor

My latest Storyville column over at Lit Reactor is all about writing sex scenes! What’s the difference between pornography, erotica and simply a powerful sex scene? What words should you use (and avoid)? How do you create sexual tension? Sex is a part of life, and the power it introduces into every intimate relationship will ultimately define that relationship. Hope it helps. ENJOY!

WARNING: There is frank adult language in this article, so if you are underage or sensitive, you have been warned.

My review of Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye by Paul Tremblay is live at The Nervous Breakdown

I’ve been a fan of Paul Tremblay for a couple years now. It started with a story here, a story there, and then I picked up some of his crime/mystery work. But I don’t think I really became a serious fan until I absorbed his powerful writing in the collection, In the Mean Time. It blew me away. Ever since, I’ve been a diehard fan. He’s a gifted author, but also an editor, and very supportive of other authors as well. This title, Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye (ChiZine Publications) is a satirical look at a dystopian society where Farm and City dominate the landscape. The powerful element of satire is truth, and hidden behind the humor is a dark, layered and touching story. Check out the full review for more information.