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.

The Pushcarts, Luna Park Review and Online Publishing

When I first read the article by Travis Kurowksi at Luna Park Review, I thought to myself, well, that’s not going to change any time soon. Then I realized that I had a story nominated by Metazen (an online publication) for my story “Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave,” and suddenly I was outraged. Typical, yeah? The more I sat with the information the more I wondered why the Pushcarts, an organization that I thought was at the cutting edge of publishing, founded by many edgy, ahead of their time authors, would turn away from writing that was online? Why does the means of delivery lessen the quality of the writing? (HINT: It doesn’t). I hope that the Pushcarts are paying attention and don’t limit their nominations to those that are at established print journals, even though they are small. There are plenty of small websites and online journals that have talented authors gracing their pages.

My review of Ampersand, Mass by William Walsh is live at The Nervous Breakdown.


In this collection of stories, William Walsh has put together a unique collage of perspectives set in Ampersand, Mass (Keyhole Press). These tales run the gamut from fantastical and bizarre to sweet and touching to heartbreaking and morose. It’s a wild ride, so buckle up.

My review of Karl Taro Greenfeld’s NowTrends is live at The Nervous Breakdown.


My review of Karl Taro Greenfeld’s NowTrends is now up at The Nervous Breakdown. Great stuff. He’s known as a non-fiction author, but he writes fiction too, very well published—The Paris Review, The Missouri Review, BASS, O. Henry, etc. And KTG is one hell of a nice guy, too. I ran across his work in a few copies of TMR and TPR and posted up something at HTMLGiant one day about something, can’t remember what, but he dropped me an email to say that he agreed with my POV and we started chatting. Loved these stories.

Also, I’m a big fan of Hobart‘s Short Flight / Long Drive books. I’ve read many of them, and they’ve all been great.

Storyville Column Four is now up at Lit Reactor: Duotrope

And, now my fourth column is live up at Lit Reactor. It’s all about how to navigate Duotrope.com, one of the best sites going for doing research on magazines, journals, websites and publishers, for tracking your submissions, and for staying on top of all of your literary pursuits. I could not do what I do without these guys. And if you can, when you get a few extra bucks in your Paypal account, send it on over to these guys to help them out. If you write short stories, especially, and don’t use these guys, you could really get a lot out of this column. And, heck, even if you already use Duotrope, maybe I’ll point out something new.

Third Storyville Column at Lit Reactor: The Journey of “Rudy Jenkins”

My third column went up at Lit Reactor last month (December 2011) and I totally forgot to come back here and post up about it. This column talks about the journey of one of my problem children, “Rudy Jenkins Buries His Fears” and shows you what you have to go through sometimes in order to get published. Don’t worry, the story ends well.