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A Satisfying Story in Minimal Words

Dennis Milam Bensie
Dennis Milam Bensie Author Interview

Robinson, IL and Other Flash Fiction Stories is a collection of imaginative stories with intriguing commentary on society. What inspires you to write flash fiction?

I think my interest in flash fiction comes from the “tweet” and Facebook posting. Most posts are stories with tone a beginning, a middle and an end. With all the devices we have on hand and all the platforms we have the come with devices, there is a challenge to telling a satisfying story in minimal words.

Did you write these stories specifically for this collection or did you write them over time?

I had no intention of creating a collection. These stories were written to stand alone between 2012 and 2019.

My favorite story from the collection is ‘Eighty-Five Days’. Do you have a favorite story from this collection?

I love “Have a Cookie”. This is exactly how the majority of people from my hometown think.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m currently working on a play (for the last five years) called Doris Tate. The play got it’s second workshop last February 2021 with actors over Zoom. Doris Tate was the mother of actress Sharon Tate best known for Valley of the Dolls. When you see someone giving a crime victims impact statement on TV or in a film, that is the work of Doris Tate. After the Manson family murdered her daughter, Doris Tate went from grief to grit and became one of America’s most effective crime victim’s advocates.

Author Interview: GoodReads | Facebook | Instagram

Welcome to Robinson, IL. 
 
Here you will find a kiddie pool, the Miller Family reunion, and a Nazi-themed gay bar. There’s even a home for Dad.
 
Sissies and nancy-boys. A boy playing with dolls in the garden. A therapy doll, renewed.
 
A cocktail truck that delivers a disco to your cul-de-sac.
 
Book a ride on Patsy Cline Airlines … if you dare.
 
Meet Dick and Jayne, a pirate diva, and the author himself. 
 
A handsome young man named Eric in your bed after a harried Thanksgiving dinner.
 
Dennis Milam Bensie is still called “Denny” by what’s left of his family in his hometown of Robinson, IL. The author of three memoirs, Mr. Bensie is now offering twenty-seven flash fiction short stories from his rich and twisted imagination. 
 
Denny doesn’t aim to offend … but he/him/his might.

Robinson, IL and Other Flash Fiction Stories

Robinson, IL and Other Flash Fiction Stories by [Dennis Milam Bensie]

Robinson, IL is a collection of very short stories by Dennis Milam Bensie that explore life on the path less traveled. Classified as flash fiction, the stories are only a few pages long, but still manage to imbue enough emotion to be powerful and thought provoking, a fact which speaks of the talent the author possesses. Most of the stories focus on the LGBTQ community and the difficulties that come with it, both externally and internally. The tone of each one varies as much as the subject matter and ranges from somber, to flippant, to absolutely wild, and everything in between. There are even a few that have an almost science fiction feel to them. Overall, the author’s ability to convey so much in so few words is remarkable, as the more serious of his stories really make you feel the self doubt and angst that is a part of growing up and accepting who you are. The less serious ones are no less interesting and will leave you definitely wanting more of the world he’s created. And what would a book be without a touch of humor? There are unexpected laughs sprinkled throughout and when they do happen, they come naturally, again showcasing how easy the author conveys everyday slices of life.

The LGBTQ themes are explored from multiple perspectives in the collection. In one, it’s a son looking for assisted living placement for his gay father. In another, parents are trying to help pay for their child’s gender reassignment surgery. Often, the tales are told in the first person by someone within the community, sometimes happily, sometimes at odds with themselves. The variety of voices and perspectives add depth to the very human emotion and dilemmas that are presented. 

While it’d be easy to say I wish the stories were longer, I really believe that their length is a huge part of their strength. The bite sized portions of humanity move quickly, but stay with you long after their few pages are done and leave you imagining so much about the characters. Robinson, IL is a stirring and well crafted collection of fictional short stories that find strength in their brevity while still delivering thought provoking commentary on life.

Pages: 123 | ASIN: B08ZCZVKSF

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