The Many Worlds of Mr. A. Skouandy follows a psychiatrist as he evaluates a patient that was dropped off and, in the process, learns the history of the patients in the sanatorium. What was the inspiration for this collection of short stories?
As my thesis for my MA.E.CW, Fic (Master of Art, English, Creative Writing, Fiction), I selected a collection of short stories instead of submitting a novel. I love to write short stories, and I love twist endings, so pulling a collection together was in my wheelhouse. I wanted and needed a theme to connect each story together. My answer was to bookend the story of Dr. Blanchard on both sides of the collection and connect the stories through the character of Aaron Skouandy and the sanatorium. Of course, the ending has a twist, which hopefully brings the reader full circle about the subject matter of each story and why it was included in my short story cycle.
I really enjoyed the short story “Silence So Deafening.” Do you have a favorite story in this collection, and why?
Silence so Deafening is a favorite of mine too, and it was placed in a contest and received publication, which was beautiful. But my favorite has to be Inseparable because my sister and I really stayed in the cabin this story is based on. I let her be the main character and kill me off. This delighted her to no end. Neither one of us has any plans to ever revisit the cabin. Ever.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
The stories were centered around assignments mainly. For example, Baby Makes Three started off as a memory required for the first part of a project. My memory was about the adoption of my eldest son. The second part of this same project was to flip that memory on its head. I did just that and turned my characters into aliens and developed a plot around their baby. My professor immensely enjoyed it and commented that Science Fiction may just be my genre. I’m not sure about that. I haven’t written another Sci-Fi piece since.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I have two books in the final revision stage. The first is a collection of shorts (several previously published online). The majority unseen by the public and written after peers in the writing community asked me to please turn them into full-length stories and make them into a novel. The title is The Crooked Crone and Other Mystifications and is slated for publication this fall. The second novel, We Three: The Ipswich Chronicles, is based on the main character from the book previously mentioned, the Crone, and her sisters. The story is about how they learned they were witches and their journey to find the source of magic, and my Beta readers loved it. So excited to publish this novel, targeted for spring 2023.
Additionally, I have a couple of collaborations with my writing partner, Derek R. King, slated for this summer. First, the second volume, Amore, of our new The Lighter Half Series, which launched in February with volume one, Abracadabra. These are delightful and magical collections of poetry. Second, we have a wonderful poetry collection for children themed around faeries titled The Enchanted Faerie Realm. This children’s book is slated for publication in May of this year.
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