a high school teacher for kids with special educational needs, has been
writing for some time. His highly developed command of words and
structure has led to notable successes from flash fiction collections
to full length novels.
by Mark Dalligan
The Species Crown
In the Jukebox Light
(March Street Press,
Placing Ourselves Among the Living
(March St Press,
with Curtis Smith
How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?
oldest story was written in 1990. The most recent one was just
this past year. Most of them are within the last five or so years.
have a collection in mind when you were writing them?
really—at least nothing coherent or linked. I just wait until the
number of pieces I feel happy with reaches a sort of critical mass and
then begin both the shopping and the shaping process.
you choose which stories to include and in what order?
fortunate to have had many stories published, so I had a few extra to
play around with. I just tried to pick the ones I was happiest with and
then arrange them in a way I found pleasing. I write both long
stories and flashes, so in this collection, as with my last one, I
alternated between long and short.
does the word "story"
mean to you?
CS: Anything that I can read and which can take me someplace new.
Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?
I don’t have one particular person—but I guess I do think of a
particular demographic, people who read for the same reasons I do,
people who want to find work that is all at once engaging and
entertaining and thought-provoking.
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection, anything at all?
CS: Not really. But I would offer a very sincere thank you for taking the time to check it out.
it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
What are you working on now?
I’ve just finished the final edits for a novel that will come out next
spring. The past eight months or so I’ve been working on a new
novel—I’m hoping to have a rough draft done by the end of the
year. I recently took a break from the novel and wrote a cycle of
ten or so flash pieces. Every so often I’ll take a break from the
novel to write a longer story.
the three most recent short story collections you've read?