Delighted to share the news of the release of the anthology Distant Flickers: Stories of Identity & Loss – authors
About the anthology
- 8 Accomplished Authors
- 10 Memorable Stories
- Compelling Characters at a Crossroads
- What Choices Will They Make?
The emotive stories in this anthology take readers to the streets of New York and San Francisco, to warm east coast beaches, rural Idaho, and Italy, from the early 1900s, through the 1970s, and into present day.
A sinister woman accustomed to getting everything she wants. A down-on-his luck cook who stumbles on goodness. A young mother who hides $10 she received from a stranger. The boy who collects secrets. A young woman stuck between youth and adulthood. Children who can’t understand why their mother disappears.
The distinct and varied characters in Distant Flickers stand at a juncture. The loss of a spouse, a parent, a child, one’s self. Whether they arrived at this place through self-reflection, unexpected change, or new revelations—each one has a choice to make.
One of the early reviews for the anthology
This is a fascinating collection of what I consider to all be five-star stories. They all involve loss and identity but are delightfully varied in plot and location. For those of us who write or try to write, it’s a master class in storytelling from eight talented and accomplished authors. I’ve highlighted a few of my favorites below, but they are all wonderful. At the end of each story is a biography of the author and spotlights of their other written works.
In “Norfolk, Virginia, 1975” by Elizabeth Gauffreau, BethAnn is coming to terms with being a young military wife, trying to scrape by with little pay and realizing things aren’t going the way she dreamed. It evoked a lot of feelings in me, as I was also a young military wife. It is a realization that actual love is different than dreams, that marriage can be tough, and that “happily ever after” in a marriage includes hard times and many shades of gray. I am already a fan of Elizabeth Gauffreau, and I highly recommend her book Telling Sonny, set mostly during a Vaudeville tour in the 1920s.
“The Coveting” by Carol LaHines blew me away. It is about a woman who takes what she wants, no matter the cost. Despite the fact that it has an unlikable main character, I found this story riveting. This woman knew exactly who she was, and the loss incurred was always the loss of others. It evoked powerful emotion in me, and although it wasn’t always good emotion, the feelings I came away with were very strong. It was the standout story for me in an amazing collection. This and LaHines’ other story in this collection, “Two Boys,” are the first works of hers that I’ve read, but I will definitely seek out her other work.
Idaho Dreams by Joyce Yarrow is a fascinating tale of a woman who begins to realize that the life she is living is quickly turning into something else, something she is not sure she wants. Then she learns that her husband, who has been unexpectedly changing before her eyes, has been keeping a major secret. It is a fascinating tale of preppers in Idaho, but it becomes so much more. In the end, she has to try and separate fact from fiction and make a choice. What would we choose?
A Spoonful of Soup by Rita Baker is such a heartfelt and compelling story. It is about the life of a homeless man and a reminder that anyone can fall into bad circumstances or make mistakes. It is a reminder that the person you pass on the street has had a life full of rich and varied experiences, no matter where they may be now. It is a call to say we all matter, whether we’re sitting in a warm house or panhandling on the street. I absolutely loved it, and it warmed my heart more than a cup of soup on a cold day.
Every work in this ten-story collection is expertly written and will stir up emotions and sometimes nostalgia in the reader. I highly recommend everyone read these stories, get to know the authors in their accompanying bios, and check out their other work. It was a rewarding experience for me.
Head over to buy the anthology: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Read reviews: Goodreads
About the authors
Rita Baker has lived in Canada since leaving England with her husband to follow their two sons. Reading has been her passion from an early age, Somerset Maugham, H. G. Wells, and, of course, Shakespeare that was drummed into her at school, whose works she also happened to love. Baker writes, “While being a wife and mother is most fulfilling, writing has been my vocation since the age of six when I used to sit before the fire and dream of princes and princesses as depicted in the fairy-tale books that were my passion, and as I grew, so my stories grew with me until, at last, I was able to fulfill my heart’s desire to write. Happily, my life has been full of all the things necessary for a writer to draw from, love, joy, heartrending moments of immeasurable pain and heartache, loss, and happily, fulfillment. Everything that living is about, the living that is so necessary to fulfill a writer’s heart and mind.” Her short story “A Spoonful of Soup” appears in Distant Flickers. Amazon and Twitter
Elizabeth Gauffreau writes fiction and poetry with a strong connection to family and place. She holds a B.A. in English from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. Her fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines and several themed anthologies. Her debut novel, Telling Sonny, was published in 2018. Liz lives in Nottingham, New Hampshire with her husband. Two of her short stories appear in Distant Flickers. Amazon and Twitter
John Casey is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and novelist from New Hampshire. A Veteran combat and test pilot, Casey also served as a Diplomat and International Affairs Strategist at U.S. embassies in Germany and Ethiopia, the Pentagon, and elsewhere. He is inspired by the incredible spectrum of people, places and cultures he has experienced in life. His poem “Distant Flickers” inspired the anthology’s title. Amazon And Twitter
Carol LaHines is an award-winning author whose fiction has appeared in Fence, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Denver Quarterly, Cimarron Review, The Literary Review, The Laurel Review, Sycamore Review, Permafrost, redivider, Literal Latte and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the Lamar York Prize for Fiction. Her short stories and novellas have also been finalists for the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction from Sarabande Books, the David Nathan Meyerson fiction prize, the New Letters short story award, and the Disquiet Literary Prize, among others. Two of her short stories appear in Distant Flickers. Amazon and Twitter
Keith Madsen is a retired minister who lives in East Wenatchee, Washington with his wife Cathy. He serves with AmeriCorps, teaching English to immigrants and helping low-income families with financial asset-building. He also teaches children and youth chess. He roots for the Seattle Mariners and enjoys the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. He has published short stories in Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Talking River, Short Story America,and Adelaide. His story “Where Secrets Go to Hide” appears in Distant Flickers. Amazon and Facebook
Jim Metzner is a sound recordist and radio producer, best known as the host of the Pulse of the Planet radio series and podcast. He’s currently working on a memoire, “Adventures of a Lifelong Listener,” which weaves together sounds and stories to explore the mystery of listening. His story “The Woman in Question” appears in Distant Flickers. Jim Metzner Website and Twitter
Donna Koros-Stramella is a novelist whose short pieces have appeared in anthologies, literary magazines, and national online and print publications. She is a previous award-winning journalist and scriptwriter who spent decades as a communication strategist and senior writer in the corporate and government domains. A Maryland resident, she received her MFA from the University of Tampa. Her first novel, Coffee Killed My Mother, was published by Adelaide Books in 2020, and she is nearing completion on her second book, Among the Bones. Her story “Hendrix & Wild Ponies” appears in Distant Flickers. Amazon and Facebook
Joyce Yarrow is a New York City transplant now living in Seattle. Joyce began her writing life scribbling poems on the subway and observing human behavior from every walk of life. The author of five novels, she is a Pushcart Prize nominee with short stories and essays that have appeared in Inkwell Journal, Whistling Shade, Descant, Arabesques, Weber: The Contemporary West, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Her short story “Idaho Dreams” appears in Distant Flickers. Amazon and Twitter
Amy E. Wallen is the author of the best-selling novel, MoonPies & Movie Stars (Penguin 2007), and the memoir, When We Were Ghouls: A Memoir of Ghost Stories (University of Nebraska 2018). Her sardonic look at writing and its demands, and her mad love of pie come together in her third book, How to Write a Novel in 20 Pies: Sweet & Savory Secrets from the Writing Life (Andrews McMeel October 2022). As writer-in-residence at Ocean Discovery Institute, Amy teaches personal storytelling to young people traditionally excluded from science due to race, income status, and educational opportunity. She also provides book editing services for persevering writers. Amazon and Facebook
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a copy of Distant Flickers. Sally