Posted by Literary Titan
Something Went Cold is a collection of thought-provoking short stories on a variety of topics. What inspires you to stop what you’re doing and write?
I suppose I’m like a lot of writers in that I felt I had some very intriguing stories to tell or share and that motivated me to write the stories in Something Went Cold. I also felt I had some talent, and talent wants to be expressed. I’ve never had any shortage of ideas. What has stopped me is the work involved. Good, cogent writing requires hard work, patience, and discipline. Stephen King was right: “Writing is re-writing.” And good writing requires nothing less.
Another thing that motivates me is that I like interesting stories as much as anyone. I like stories that intrigue, are thought-provoking, and entertain. I personally enjoy reading stories that are impactful with a quick payoff of enjoyment. If one thinks about all the movies, TV shows, plays, and books that we are bombarded with, there is one fundamental element: someone wants to tell a story that they think mandates attention or interest. (We truly are a culture of storytelling.) Fundamentally, I think I can identify a good story, and tell a good story. So, that is what compels me to write, and what compelled me to write Something Went Cold.
The characters in your stories are varied but equally interesting. Who was your favorite character to write for?
I enjoyed writing all the characters in Something Went Cold (I know that sounds like a cop out!). However, if there is only one that I’d have to choose that was fun to write, (as much as it was disturbing), I’d have to say the Adolf Hitler character. I had to learn a lot about him in writing the story and he was most definitely a loathsome character, to say the least. I had a very specific plot line in mind for that story and I never deviated from it. Lastly, I suppose I enjoyed writing about his fictional story in I that I enjoyed making sure he got the justice he so richly deserved meted out to him so thoroughly in my little universe.
Now deceased actor Spencer Tracy once said that he put himself into every character he portrayed. I think a writer can’t help but put a little bit of themselves into their stories. So, second place for me would be the girl from the #MeToo story. It’s a completely fabricated story and character but almost everyone in some form is bullied in life in some way, and almost everyone wants to see people who hurt them get their comeuppance. So, that was an interesting character and story for me to write, too.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this collection?
To be honest, I never wrote any of the five short stories contained within Something Went Cold with the express intention of focusing upon a specific theme. I was more concerned with writing stories that were intriguing, interesting, unique, enjoyable, and readable. In my opinion, if a writer focuses upon a theme too heavily, it can harm the story. Every story has an arc and while I certainly sought to hit the guideposts of format, which helps to make a story linear, I think that the events and problems that characters need to solve or deal with in a story are what create suspense, intrigue, and a “what’s-gonna-happen-next” type of feel. One of the best compliments I received from a former work colleague who bought my book was when he messaged me on LinkedIn saying, “I didn’t want to put it down.” When I read that, I felt within myself that I had made the story intriguing enough to merit such a response. And that pleased me.
To me, a story’s universe of problems, characters, and scenes must contribute to the reader experience, and to me, reader experience is everything. It’s more important than theme, in my opinion.
Lastly, I’ve always been a fan of the now 60-year-old-plus television show The Twilight Zone. Each story had its unique characters, storyline, theme, etc. Almost all of the stories gave a “jolt” to the reader – and I liked that. That’s how I view the short stories in my book, Something Went Cold. They are somewhat like The Twilight Zone stories in that they are unique stories that end unconventionally while subtly exploring dark themes of survival, life, revenge and so forth. The thematic elements were again not deliberate but inevitable, I suppose, given the stories’ construction.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I just completed a book tentatively titled “The Success Secrets of Arnold Schwarzenegger.” It’s about the Austrian movie star’s goal-setting, success, and visualization strategies using neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) principles and postulates to decode and isolate his processes. I don’t know when it will be available. I’m looking at the different options available to me with its publishing, marketing, etc. I’ve also started work on a novel. That’s what I’m involved with now. I actually have no shortage of novel and short story ideas. Obviously, I’m hoping to find a marriage of commerciality and story. That would be the best of both worlds.
Posted in Interviews
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Posted by Literary Titan
The short story collections’ lesser popularity, compared to the novel, boils down to inconsistency. Just like an album, there are bound to be one or two skips in almost every short story collection out there.
This was my mindset coming into Something Went Cold, Glenn Reschke’s short story collection. With just 5 short stories across 160 pages, I thought that all of them had better be good. And with my experience when it comes to short story collections, five is almost never enough to keep the whole boat afloat.
Well, I’m happy to report that I’ve been proven wrong. After reading the book, I put it down on my desk with a sigh of relief. Reschke did it – he made me enjoy a short story collection from cover to cover.
Whether intentionally or unintentionally, he seems to have created a piece of literary work that feels right at home with the Netflix Generation. The synopses for the short stories vary wildly, with “#MeToo” being about an abused woman’s revenge and “The Afterlife of Adolf Hitler” which imagines how the late dictator and monster moved to the other side. I would be remiss not to mention the boldness of the latter.
The diversity of the stories and their fascinating topics capture the readers’ attention immediately. There’s never a dull moment or a narrative that goes too long. And just like the “Next Episode” button on Netflix, it’s pretty hard not to turn to the next page once you’ve finished a story.
Instead of being one unified piece, the book feels more like a portfolio or showcase of Reschke’s writing. It’s all over the place in the best way possible, but it leaves you wanting to know who Reschke is as an artist. This collection doesn’t satisfy that question. But at the end of the day, that’s a minor flaw compared to the quality and talent that he displays here.
Pages: 162 | ASIN: B096586Q9L
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