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Book Release: Strange Fire

I’m excited to share my latest book with you: Strange Fire: A Collection of Peculiar Short Stories (Story Sanctum Publishing, 2022)!

It’s been a hard week, month, year for many of us. One of the ways I’ve been coping with it all is through writing. For the last six months, it’s been primarily short stories.

Before I share more details of the book, I want to make a quick case for fiction.

I used to see fiction books as less substantive than nonfiction books. In my head, fiction was an escape from reality. But the more I read and write fiction, the more I see how fiction has the power to change us.

In an Atlantic article on J.R.R. Tolkien, writer Yosef Lindell argues that Tolkien saw fiction as more than escapism, it’s a return to the fundamentals of what it means to be human. Fantasy fiction, he says, “revives those who are choking on the exhaust fumes of modernity.” I think in dark and heavy times, fiction has a way of both comforting and disturbing us, allowing us to see the world as it is and how it could be.

For me, fiction is hope.

The stories I’ve included in Strange Fire run the gamut of human emotions, and include a wide range of topics, including love, loss, vengeance, justice, friendship, fear, failure, family, horror, and hope. The stories are like Twilight Zone and Black Mirror but with religious and social themes.

I didn’t mean for the stories to be particularly relevant, but there’s a story about a Ukrainian family desperately trying to bridge generational divides and recover from the scars from the past, which I wrote before Russia invaded Ukraine, and the title story, Strange Fire, about a fundamentalist family wrestling with the issue of abortion, which I wrote months before the Supreme Court’s recent ruling. For those looking for distractions from current events, there are plenty of speculative stories including the Windy City Wizard, an urban fantasy story about a 15-year-old from the South Side of Chicago who discovers he has special powers to fight injustice, and a humorous and moving story, Characters, about a depressed writer whose fictional subjects stage an intervention. There are 15 stand alone stories to capture your heart and mind. I’ve loved writing these stories, but I’m eager to pass them along to others who might enjoy them.

Strange Fire is available on Amazon and Kindle now! The proceeds from the book will help cover the maintenance costs of running Story Sanctum.

I’d love for you to get a copy of the book, leave a good review on Amazon, and let me know what you think of the stories!


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