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Thoughts on Afterwords

One of the things I’ve enjoyed when reading collections of Stephen King’s short stories are the afterwords where he discusses the stories. It’s fun to read about the inspiration for the stories, how he developed them, why he made a decision to do one thing instead of another. Not only does it give me insight into the creative process, it also make the stories feel more personal.

Reading a short story collection without context is fine. I love Raymond Carver’s storytelling and don’t necessarily need to know the background on each story. The stories speak for themselves. But as a writer, I like to have that extra bit of information about how the stories came to be. In a way, it’s nice to know that other writers – even famous and prolific writers – can struggle and get frustrated.

While I know it’s not true, a part of me always feels that these big-league writers always get it right the first time. From mind to pen to page in one pass. If only. So reading about the process encourages me as a writer and reminds me that all artists struggle.

So I thought it would be fun to write an afterword for my upcoming short story collection. Partly because I think some readers might find it interesting to know the process. Also, because some of my stories can be…different. Giving some background might be helpful. Quite a few of my stories begin with some sort of prompt, a phrase, a photograph, a dream. I think that having some background can make a story more interesting.

And no, I’m not going to write an essay on each one, just a paragraph or two.

The book is still “coming soon”. I expect it to be available no later than the end of August. Adding the afterword will take another week (trying to squeeze this in an already busy schedule). Stay tuned!

RB

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