does the word "story"
mean to you?
I usually think in terms of setting the stage and establishing a tone,
developing a theme and "sticking" the ending. I use the gymnastic or
diving term to describe the ending. After the triple somersault of my
story does the ending hit the mat or water with nary a wobble or
splash. It’s rare I’ve written a ten (damn the Russian judge) but when
I come close then it’s a story.
Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?
don’t have a specific audience or reader in mind other than, if I use a
certain reference or allude to something, is the reader going to know
what I’m talking about. As an older guy I have to be careful about
mentioning things that were part of my education and experiential past
that may be irrelevant or too esoteric for the younger literary crowd.
This is especially true with respect to any musical reference.
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection, anything at all?
DEF: Where did I screw up? How could I have made it better?
TSR: How does
it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
My royalty check for the book in 2010 was under ten bucks. It would be
nice, however, to chat about literature, reading preferences with the
folks who bought it. I really don’t care much about money. Although it
was nice to get $500 for a piece I did a while back. I bought a new
What are you working on now?
trend these days is to compose stories that are short (under 3000
words). Flash fiction is the watchword. Unfortunately my mind doesn’t
work that way. The last three things I did were between 8000 and
10,000. I haven’t bothered sending them anywhere even though one is
pretty good (I stuck the ending big time). I’ve tried doing pieces
under 500 words and I’m not happy with them. Undaunted, however, I am
working on fiction that deals with returning veterans. I taught at a
college and the paperwork for vets getting tuition and services is
horrible. Each class I had two or three drop out because the government
hadn’t processed the paperwork. I was reading some material relating to
Rudyard Kipling who excoriated his government (Queen Victoria) for its
treatment of those returning from the Crimean War and India. There’s
plenty of evidence that Roman soldiers got screwed as well. Anyway,
I’ve done three and am editing them down to get to an acceptable word
count for most editors.