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Short Fiction and Plays

Curiosity Killed the Sphinx and Other Stories

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

Curiosity Killed the Sphinx and Other Stories was released May 21 by Press Americana's imprint Hollywood Books International.   The paperback is available at Barnes & Noble and    The ebook and Kindle version will come out later in the summer, 2012.  

Press Americana is part of Americana:  An Institute for American Studies and Creative Writing.   They also publish Magazine Americana: The American Popular Culture Magazine, Americana:  The Journal of American Popular Culture, and Review Americana:  A Creative Writing Journal. 

"The stories aren’t ghost stories, but there’s an eerie coolness in Holmes’s work, so that even stories about a family cookout or an unemployed woman making a quilt feel haunted. Holmes is a native of Minnesota and the Midwest figures heavily in her work, but Holmes’s Midwest isn’t a place of robust sunshine and casseroles: it is a place of attics and flowers fraught with meaning. In every story, there is something lurking just beyond the edges of eyesight."   -  E. D. Watson for Front Porch Journal

From an interview with Shannon Yarbrough at the LL Book Review, July 18, 2012

"I wanted to portray Midwestern life as I knew it. The Midwest has undergone many changes while I’ve lived in Minnesota all my life. Often I wrote a short story for answers since life has been a puzzle. Sometimes the direction that I didn’t take sparked my imagination."
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"'Curiosity Killed the Sphinx' is a fine collection that gives readers much to think about"  - The Midwest Book Review

"Holmes likes to use language vividly and originally ... [She] also uses patterns of imagery to convey her themes. In one of my favourite stories, 'Nuts and Bolts', a childfree couple choose not to spend a holiday with friends ..." - Ruth Latta, The Compulsive Reader 

"It's great enough to read again and again. I originally borrowed from a friend." - Michael J., Goodreads

Read a short story excerpt at The Electronic Text & Literature CloudHere

Sneak Peek from Indies Unlimited    Here

New Writing:  An Anthology of Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, Drama:  The Best of Americana, released from Press Americana.  A story from Curiosity Killed the Sphinx and Other Stories is included - "An Elderly Woman and an Adolescent." The anthology includes work from Press Americana books and from Review Americana.  Other contributors are Alexandra Ashford, Peter Neil Carroll, Darren Demaree, William Doreski, Donna J. Gelagotis Lee, Howie Good, Richard Hoffman, William Hudson, Donald Levin, Mary MacGowan, Kelly Moffett, Rich Murphy, Jacqueline K. Powers, J. R. Solonche, Ann Walters, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Alan Davis, Roger Real Drouin, Eleanor Swanson, Pensacola Wilson, Donald Dewey, Richard Thieme, Curtis Smith, David-Matthew Barnes, Timothy Braun, and Jason Visconti.  Edited by Leslie Wilson.


Two One-Act Plays: 
The Lawn Auction & Would You Like to Go Out Shoveling Tonight?

Both of the one-act plays present a cooperative setting and the dynamics within it. Personal aims and relationships reveal discreet happenings that cause characters to take sides. Rumors and scheming build to intrigue and comic turns. The first play concerns an auction where dealers from an antiques store are part of the bidding. Becca is a new counter clerk, learning the ropes which include dealer provenance in the aftermath of a divorce. The second play takes place in an apartment building where tenants air their frustrations and attempt to goad the caretaker. Hazie wants to be on her own side when pressures from her neighbors and the caretaker force her into involvement.

The paperback is available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Ingram's.  This 64-page book is also published in Kindle and eBook formats.

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