BeWrite Books today releases Horseshoes by Harry Hughes in paperback and all popular ebook formats. And these horseshoes are certainly lucky for Harry’s readers … they get five extra tales thrown in, because the new book – a long novella – includes five extended short stories.
Harry’s Horseshoes follows in the hoofprints of his hilarious (but also chilling) crime novel The Bait Shack, published by BeWrite Books last year.
You can read about Horseshoes by clicking on its cover in the bookstore section of our website at www.bewrite.net or reach the site by clicking on the open book icon at the top right of this page. It’s available there, at all major and minor online bookshops for paperback and at ebook stores in formats to suit every electronic reading platform through PCs, laptops and netbooks, to Kindle, Nook, Kobo et al, and for iPods and smartphones. You can also order the paperback from your local brick-and-mortar bookshop.
Harry is a Viet Nam and Woodstock vet, an award winning popular song writer and a professor of psychology. Seven years of his life in New York is the subject of the National Book Critics Circle Award nominated book, Homefires; An Intimate Portrait of One Middle-Class Family in Postwar America, by Donald Katz (Harper Collins Press, 1992). Harry's short story, A River Too Distant (which is included as one of the tales in Horseshoes), was published, along with works by Edward Albee and Joseph Heller, in Hampton Shorts, Vol. 3, 1998. He currently lives, writes and teaches in Utah.
So why the switch from a full length novel to novella and short story format? Let’s leave it to Harry to explain:
“The novella, Horseshoes, which opens the book, did start out as a novel. But if I’ve learned anything as a writer of fiction, it’s that stories end themselves. Any attempt to stretch a piece of fiction into something longer than what it can comfortably carry usually becomes an exercise in contrivance. If I had forced the novella into a novel, the tension, humor and impact of the work would have been diluted with filler.
“So I decided to add five short stories (although they’re not really very short) to allow the novella to reach publishable book length. I do not regard these stories as fillers, but rather as slices of life from various milieus, each revealing something palpable about the human condition. Some of these stories were written before the novella was born, others after the novella was completed.”
HORSESHOES is a comic novella about an aeronautical engineer’s mid-life crisis precipitated by one too many trips to the drawing board. His irrational fugue state carries him from East Hampton to Dallas to New York City with relentless irony shredding the seat of his pants.
In SWOOP, two US Marine combat veterans concoct an outrageous plan to keep a young surfer from being shipped to Viet Nam.
In A DOLLAR TWENTY-FIVE PER MILE, a Long Island night-shift cabby eyes the beautiful day driver Althea from an immeasurable distance. One morning he drops to the back seat of her taxi. "California," he tells her.
A RIVER TOO DISTANT concerns an African-American repo man who reclaims the Honda Civic of a white southerner abruptly fired from his job at the lumberyard. But the errant car-owner and his chainsaw are ready for him.
HECTOR'S DRUNKEN BUDDHA tells the story of an aimless, underachieving Latino who rediscovers his self-worth following a nightmarish weekend of migraine headaches, prescription drug abuse and the death of two close friends.
And in FRY COOK, a North Carolinian woman named Marnee tells the story of her otherwise gentle husband’s grotesque plan for revenge and its inevitable execution, an act that is both unnerving yet strangely reasonable.
Harry added: “Of course, works of fiction are never only fictional. The author invariably infuses bits of his or her own realities into the mix.
“Of the short stories, for instance, Swoop is closer to an actual event that occurred during the late 1960s. It qualifies as fiction merely because some of the facts have been embellished and because names of those involved have been changed. The story also reveals a dirty little secret about medical treatment of a certain class of military veterans returning from the Viet Nam War. It is my belief that readers will find Swoop to be a harrowing account on every level of human conflict imaginable.
“Naturally, I believe that you will also discover that the novella and other stories enliven your sense of humanity in the realms of drama, humor, compassion, and wit.”
Harry’s BeWrite Books editor on Horseshoes was Hugh McCracken. Cover art and external and internal design is by Tony Szmuk, who also handled the technical side of things, including the careful preparation of all ebook presentations.
Happy reading. Neil Marr
Psssst ... First BB blog reader to email me gets a free paperback, three others will get a free ebook download in the format of their choice: PDF, ePub or Mobi. Good luck. Neil -- firstname.lastname@example.org