I just got word that my novel in short story form Bones Buried in the Dirt has been accepted for publication with River Otter Press. The release date is still being finalized.
For those not acquainted with the form, it’s something in between a collection of linked short stories and a more traditional novel structure. The individual pieces are stories, but the stories together tell have a larger story arc. In my opinion, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is an excellent example of a novel in short story form, though that is composed more of vignettes than full individual stories.
In Bones Buried in the Dirt, the individual pieces together tell an overall story in the voice of a young boy named Peter. Ranging from Peter at age four to Peter at age twelve, the stories focus on the sort of moments in childhood that get buried in the mind but never fully get absorbed, the moments that constantly come to mind later in life and shape what sort of individual people become.
Unlike most coming of age tales, the stories never bring Peter forward into adulthood. Rather, though the stories are often reflective, the distance of the reflection is short. Thus, instead of a story about how an adult became who they are, the result is a story of the child Peter becoming- a sort of sonar picture of the individual Peter will become. The collection is therefore forward-looking instead of backward, like the difference between viewing a sunrise compared to a sunset.
Individual stories from this upcoming collection have been published in (or will soon be appearing in) The Writing Disorder, The Lincoln Underground, Cannoli Pie, Split Quarterly, C4: The Chamber Four Lit Mag, Children, Churches and Daddies, Cultural Touchstone (a Children, Churches and Daddies collection), Grey Sparrow, and Fine Lines.
Anyway, stay tuned. I’ll post news about this here and on my writing website as I have it.