Fred McGavran served as an officer in the Navy. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he practices law in Cincinnati, Ohio. He won the 2007 Writers Digest Short Story Contest in the horror category, the 2004 John Reid/Tom Howard Contest, and the 2003 Raymond Carver Award from Humboldt State University. His stories have appeared in Pearl Magazine, Rosebud, Gray's Sporting Journal, Dreams & Visions, Storyglossia, Third Order, and other literary magazines and e-zines.

Short Story Collections

The Butterfly Collector
(Black Lawrence Press, 2009)

reviewed by James Murray-White

Interview with Fred McGavran

The Short Review: How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?

Fred McGavran: These stories were written over about 15 years.

TSR: Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

FM: I always had hopes.

TSR: How did you choose which stories to include and in what order?

FM: I chose The Butterfly Collector as the lead story and title for the collection because the story won the Raymond Carver Award from Humboldt State University, and a number of people told me that it moved them. I chose Lillian because it was written in the same voice. Others were chosen because people liked them (Two Cures for Phantom Limb, A Friend of Bill Gillen) and to show that I could write about a broad range of characters and situations (A Gracious Voice, The Historian) and from different points of view (The Beautician). I put them in the current order to move from semi-serious (The Butterfly Collector) to the dark (The Deer) to end hopefully (The Annunciation of Charles Spears).

TSR: What does the word "story" mean to you?

FM:  A coherent short fiction with believable characters where something happens to intrigue the reader.

TSR: Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?

FM:  Myself, my wife Liz, our daughters Sarah and Marian, and a number of friends who have encouraged me.

TSR: Is there anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection, anything at all?

FM: What did you like and why? What didn’t you like, and why?

TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?

FM: Great.

TSR: What are you working on now?

FM: A story about a crystal wand, inspired by a crystal wand my wife just bought. I also have a second collection that I am sending to publishers.

TSR: What are the three most recent short story collections you've read?

FMA Friend of Kafka and other Stories, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Passions, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Shadowplay, an anthology that contains one of my horror stories.
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