Indian Summer and Other Stories

Indian Summer and Other Stories

Released: September 13, 2016

Paperback: 226 pages

 Available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords

“This lyrical collection is filled with stories of missed opportunities and heart-breaking losses. Interweaving historical events and recognizable places, these stories illuminate the passions of those who find themselves trapped by circumstances of their own choosing as well as those forced upon them. While mourning their pasts, these fully developed and complex characters face their futures with mixed emotions. Some leave behind toxic relationships while others forsake people to whom they feel indebted.

“The themes explored in this collection are universal: betrayal, fear, love, and loss. Readers will discover the truth in each of these finely wrought stories that “Only Love Can Break Your Heart.”

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The Self Interview

Fred Bubbers, author

How long have you been writing?

Well, I started when I was a teenager, so I’d like to say over thirty years, but I haven’t been actively working at it all that time. I started when I was in high school, where I was editor of the school newspaper, and I had a wonderful teacher who encouraged me. In college, I majored in English and had some stories published in the student literary magazine.

English Major? Very practical.

I’ll say. I graduated from SUNY Albany in 1982, which had had an unemployment rate much like it is today, and there weren’t very many entry-level jobs for liberal arts majors and I needed to make a living. I took a course in computer programing at NYU and got started in that. Getting into the software business back then was like stepping on a high-speed train just as it was about to leave the station. Computers and software just took in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and it hasn’t stopped. If anything, it’s just accelerated. Long hours, constantly trying to keep up with technology. It was very exciting. At the same time, I started a family, bought a house, and pursued the American Dream. I tried to continue writingState Street, Albany on the side, and I managed to keep it up about three or four years, but it was hard to stay focused. First of all, there was no web to speak of so the market for literary fiction was very small. I got a “No thanks, but try us again sometime” form letter from The Paris Review, but otherwise it was very discouraging to send out stories one at a time — nobody accepted simultaneous submissions back then —  and then wait for a year to hear from magazines with circulations of no more than 500 or 1000 copies.

Second, I was working in a business that was creative and took enormous amount of mental energy and focus to do well. In John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction,  he talks about the sort of day jobs that writers should have: menial jobs that let you use your mental energy for your art. Software development isn’t such an occupation. In fact, it’s probably the worst day job a writer could have. I was working in an industry that made everything I knew obsolete every two years and when not working at my job, I had to spend time studying and learning just to stay employable. Not to complain too much about it, it’s been a wild, exciting ride and I still enjoy it.

 

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4 Mini Reviews

The Kiss by Kathryn Harrison ****

The Kiss by Kathryn HarrisonA very disturbing memoir about an incestuous relationship between a father and a daughter. In spite of this disturbing premise, this book is beautiful written an neither sensationalizes nor descends into a superficial rant on victimization. The author accepts full responsibility for her actions and gives us a view into the causes psychological pathologies that she eventually overcome.

That being said, the father in this story gradually reveals himself to be the worst kind of sociopath, manipulating and controlling his daughter to a point beyond which forgiveness and reconciliation are impossible.

 

Almost by Elizabeth Benedict ****

Almost by Elizabeth BenedictSophy Chase, recovering alcoholic, returns to Swansea Island after the mysterious death of her estranged husband, Will. No one is quite sure how to deal with her, not Will’s family, the islanders, or even Sophy herself.

This novel is very-well plotted and once started, it’s hard to put it down until you’ve finished. Sophy struggles to discover the cause of Will’s death, the fate of the dog they shared, and ultimately a way to handle the grief of a sudden unexpected loss. We see her struggling and reaching the end of her tether.

This book is beautifully and sensitively written and it’s emotional impact sneaks up on you, but when it does it resonates very deeply.

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