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Patricia Flaherty Pagan

Writer of karma fiction in which bad things happen to bad people

Special Guest Blog: Short Stories Come to Life


by Kessika F. Johnson

As an employee of Spider Road Press, I have had the pleasure of helping our recent collection, Eve’s Requiem, come to life. Now some of my jobs seemed small and seemingly not super book-related. I typed. I proofread. I went to Target. I ordered cupcakes. Other tasks were obviously connected to the creation and reality of the book. You can see my number one choice for the cover on the cover! The picture is the façade of house covered with dead vines and graffiti. You can tell the house holds tales of mystery and horror, as does the book! (That’s why I voted for it at the cover focus group event.) I also helped plan the book launch party at which several authors read pieces of their stories. Hearing the stories read aloud was a treat; I recommend you get yourself to author’s readings as often as you can! When I leaned against the wall and accidentally turned off the lights, the author Meg Hafdahl was reading about sitting in the dark from her story “Willoughby.” Luckily, for me, I pushed the correct button on the first try to make the lights come back on and Meg has a sense of humor!

At the book launch, Louis Epstein read from his story “The Diary of the Prom Date Avenger.” Mr. Epstein has written for TV and live shows since age seventeen, including the comedy dinner theatre revue, That’s Country. A regular cast member of The Comedy Workshop and Comedy Sportz, he has become a feature speaker and writer for the NACE, MPI, and ISES associations and received several IABC awards. Now I taught high school for fifteen years, and while prom nowadays is not exactly the same as it was way back when, I promise that many girls spend a decent amount of time thinking about who they will go to a dance with, even if they ultimately choose a group or no one at all! The mix of humor and horror in Connie’s prom diary will make you grin and grimace at the same time.

Another story that struck a chord with me is “In the Corner of Your Eye, I Am Standing” by Erika D. Price. Ms. Price is a Pushcart Prize nominee and social psychologist in Chicago. Her work has appeared in Literary Orphans, Full of Crow, The Missouri Review, The-Toast, and other publications. Like the main character, I am a mother and I love my kids more than I know how to handle some days. Like the daughter in the story, I have a parent with whom I do not communicate. In this age of carefully considering how much personal information to put out there, of thinking about how much you want to be known or hidden, you will find a connection to this story too.

While I am usually a novel reader, I enjoyed this collection of short stories. I found that I liked to read them one at a time. So if you have about five minutes a day, in the carpool line where cell phones are expressly forbidden, during the last bit of your lunch hour, or while dinner is heating up in the oven, this book is for you.

You can order it from us here at Spider Road Press.