Books are a forest and it’s hard to see the trees, except the tall ones or the old ones. But when you enter the forest, it’s the new growth that emits the sunlight....

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My short story collection released! - Curiosity Killed the Sphinx and Other Stories

Curiosity Killed the Sphinx
and Other Stories
Released from Press Americana is my short story collection, Curiosity Killed the Sphinx and Other Stories !!  The book is available at Barnes & Noble and besides being distributed by Ingram’s.  Later this summer, the Kindle version will also be available.  At Barnes & Noble, the paperback is currently $7.97, almost half price.

Here is the back cover text about the book: 
“Winner of Prize Americana, Curiosity Killed the Sphinx and Other Stories is a collection of short fiction exploring the complexities of life.  Laying the profound beside the mundane, author Katherine L. Holmes creates rich and complicated characters who search for identity, meaning, and purpose within a world often dangerous and sometimes even cruel.  Her readers relate to such struggles and find comfort as they face similar challenges of the own.”

A couple crashing with early computers, a divorced woman finding her scattered family strangers, a girl running away to the shop where her parents’s antiques were sold, Midwestern college students in weather and water emergencies  - these are some of the conflicts examined.  Past solutions tempt as characters consider contemporary choices.

My tags at are:  antique stores in fiction, computers in fiction, contemporary issues in fiction, domestic violence, drug abuse in fiction, midwest fiction, midwest short fiction, minnesota authors, parent issues, relationships, short stories, short story collections, women s issues.   You can add or reinforce tags when you look up a book at Amazon.

Of course, I want to encourage people to read my short stories.  But I also want to encourage people to read more short stories.   In my used book work, vintage magazines are a favorite to list.  America developed the short story for magazines, many containing three or more short stories in their issues from 1885 to 1930.  The great short story was terse and had a twist at the end.  When I listed and read vintage magazines, I saw people sitting around a hearth, reading short stories on their own or aloud in the way we watch television.  The detective, the romance, and then the literary short story were the fare of thousands.  

Could never forget Thurber's "Catbird  Seat."
The short stories of  F. Scott Fitzgerald, Katherine Anne Porter, D. H. Lawrence, Muriel Sparks, Margaret Atwood, and Alice Adams were, for me, as great in collection as their novels.  Then there were the authors who concentrated on the short story -  James Thurber, Katherine Mansfield, Frank Ellison, Ann Beattie, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Munro.  Short stories tend to focus more on character than on plot.  But that’s why the story twists and fascinates when the author has captured a character in a situation. 

Today, the public can watch short television dramas or sit-coms without wishing they were movies.  We live in a time when people are busy, traveling from here to there or to work everyday.  Granted, the novel has its movie mesmerization when it’s good.   But reading short story collections, I couldn’t understand why the public didn’t like them as short fiction fare, something they could finish between planes or over a lunch hour.

The internet journal might revive the magazine short story.  I watched them disappear when photographs took over magazines such as Look and Life; a few magazines such as Redbook continued to feature short stories.  In the old magazines, short stories were usually accompanied by illustration.  Internet publishing can accommodate that and attract readers.  I had some published after cruising the journals at New  If the magazine comes back that way, I hope the collected short story book can promise reading satisfaction more than it has.

I’ve lived in Minnesota all my life - in the southern agricultural region, in both St. Paul and Minneapolis, and in Duluth, the region where my grandparents lived.  I meant for my short stories to be regional, portraying contemporary life in the Midwest.  That was because life in the Midwest was changing and still is.


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  2. I enjoyed your post. I started out writing short stories, and I know how challenging that can be. I also remember reading stories in my mother's Redbook magazines while growing up. We both looked forward to the magazine every month because of those stories.
    Best of luck with your short story collection!
    By the way, I found your blog through LinkedIn's "Book Marketing / Do You Have a Blog?" group.