If you're yet to pick up a copy of Guns & Romances, an anthology featuring an eclectic selection of stories fuelled by gunpowder and lust, don't delay. You can pick up a copy at Amazon, Kobo or Smashwords, but for now, I welcome Guns & Romances author Ackley Lewis to my blog for a little Q&A.
Tell us more about your story and what you enjoyed about writing it.
'Gloria, A Love Story' is about a guy who is trying for 'normal' and buying into all the trappings that he thinks go with it: settling down, marriage, job, home, without really looking at the deeper reasons why he's doing it. He's so bound and determined to do the right thing and be the good guy, that he doesn't see 'wrong' when it's directly in front of him. Or rather that he does see it, and chooses to ignore it at his own peril.
I think the most enjoyable part of this story was writing the dialogue. There are only three characters in the story and two of them are pretty mouthy, so it's always fun to write a mouthy person's words. I'm fairly reserved in person so it can be quite freeing to write that way. I think it helps to balance out all those things I've personally wanted to say out loud but had to clamp down on. Repercussions are only fun to write about, not to experience.
Why do you think short fiction is important?
I think short fiction is a great way to 'nab' a reader. You have a relatively small window to not only map your story out, but to make it interesting as well. Novels are wonderful, of course, in that you have more time to build a story and establish characters, but short fiction is more 'wham bam', for lack of a better phrase (I'm really flexing my writing muscles here). With short fiction, you're saying 'I'm only here for a little while, but I'm going to make you listen.' It's challenging. I'm very new to all of this, but that's the first thing that struck me when writing short fiction.
What is your favourite short story?
So hard to narrow it down. It could be anything from Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (which is a series of short stories interwoven into one story with connected characters, so I don't know if that counts), Richard Matheson's F--- (aka The Foodlegger) or 'Next of Kin' by David Sedaris, which is quite possibly one of the funniest stories I've ever read. My choices aren't all that obscure, but we love what we love, right? Anything that makes me laugh or throws a twist at me will win me over every time.
Have you got upcoming projects you'd like to talk about?
I'm in the process of writing (and rewriting) a novella. It's tentatively titled The Monroes and it's about a family coming apart due to a supernatural occurrence from many decades before. Although if I keep reworking it, it might end up about a band of travelling aromatherapists who fight crime. The important thing is knowing when to stop.
Follow Ackley on Twitter.