So . . . last year, I signed a contract for a two-book deal with Kensington for books one and two in the Dark Glass Series. Keep in mind that I tend to “hang out” both in person and online with a lot of other writers. I think that’s normal for someone who’s been in the biz as long as I have. I am a go-with-the-flow kind of person, and my mother taught me the great value of the importance of nodding and smiling.
I’d been with Ace/Roc since 2002, and a number of my self-published writing friends/acquaintances were surprised when I signed on with Kensington, not because I was changing publishers, but because I was working with a publisher at all.
“Geez, Barb. Why are you doing that? Why give a publisher any of your royalties. Why not just self-publish your new series?”
All these three stories are dealing with the human soul or psyche. They build up and then the surprise at the end turn things over. It’s possible that the end will cause the stories to continue in your head…
From the first few sentences it is obvious that the writer has a talent for expression using few words. The stories were interesting with a lot of dark humour thrown in. Once you start reading you won’t be able to stop!
Delightfully dark and surprising, these little gems of story-telling are a fun read. I love that the photographs at the end added even more depth to the last story. I am left with a sense of curiousity and a craving for a glass of Tokaji!
Waiting for a Latte, is story that connects to place. Everything about Portland the reader knows, or thinks, gets tapped into here. Seunnasepp brings our own urban anxiety to the table and gives the reader a glimpse of self-awareness through the situation and character interactions. Read in a coffee shop on an iPad, how perfect. A nice multidimensional story focusing on the social subtleties embedded in the mundane.
In Goodie Two-Shoes we meet characters we all already know. Seunnasepp gives us context and details, and a chance to spy on the inner essence of these people we all see on a daily basis. The writing is never dense, never showy, but just right.
Couches have flavors. This is an unsettling fact that will no longer be overlooked by the readers. Seunnasepp is heavily influenced by the climate of the Pacific Northwest. We all discuss the weather as a basis of social interaction, and this is the foundational thoughts from which the stores develop.
Jaan’s short story Elk City, has just been published on Work Literary Magazine.
Mission: To publish the best writing, thought and information about work, or lack thereof, while providing a forum for readership to connect and respond.
WORK is dedicated to celebrating the daily grind: white collar, blue collar, pink collar, sex work, food service, freelancing and more.
Elk City is a semi-fictional account of a trip to an isolated Idaho town by a group of hippie tree planters, and the relationship they set up with the townsfolk.
A group of old timers and a bunch of kids sat around the campfire. A couple of fresh logs were tossed on, sending a rush of sparks up to the sky. Robbie Richards pushed back his grey hair, and stretched his long boots towards the fire. Someone handed him a fresh bottle of Black Butte Porter, and he took a swig. The others, young and old turned towards him as he began his story:
Dusk was settin’ in and the rain was pourin’ down like there was no tomorrow as Tim Boty and me turned onto route 14 outa Grangeville and headed toward Elk City in spring of ‘76. Tim was driving his dusty old green Saab 96. That thing had more creaks and rattles in it than an old horse buggy, but she ran just fine. Man it was comin’ down!
I began to produce these ultra-short stories – sawn-off tales, as I call them – when I was commuting from Manchester to Liverpool…
These stories, small as they were, had a huge appetite; little fat monsters that gobbled up ideas like chicken nuggets. The habit of reducing text could get out of hand too; I once took away the last two sentences of a story and realised I had reduced it to a blank page.
How to write flash fiction
1. Start in the middle.
You don’t have time in this very short form to set scenes and build character.
Being a writer – or other artist for that matter – is a bit like being a boxer. If you think you are going to get into the ring and are not ready to take a few punches then you should not be there.
Not only is it unrealistic, but you do your audience a disservice if you are not willing to take criticism.
We are a sensitive lot and it is painful to see our babies criticized, but it is necessary if we wish to grow and improve our craft to take valid, well meant criticism.
You do not necessarily have to agree with everything, but it is important to listen and evaluate. In the end it is your name on the piece not your editor’s or other critic’s. So you need to be true to yourself, but not closed off.