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On a first read, one could surmise that these stories have little in common—a beautiful and moving story about a man facing the end of his fight with cancer, a scorned woman’s revenge on a philandering husband, a tortured teenager’s rampage of violence, and several more—but upon reflection, these stories do coalesce around a common theme: carefully crafted and intensively gratifying prose. William Walz first came to the attention of this press when we were graced to have “Far From Home” show up in one of our monthly short story contests. That story took first prize in the April 2011 monthly contest, prompting us to seek more stories from Walz’s gifted pen. Little did we know that Walz’s pen was both gifted and prolific. He quickly honored us with this enviable collection of original short stories. We are delighted to offer them to the public for the first time. I don’t want to spoil the joys and surprises that lie before the reader, but allow me to make a few non-spoiler observations about this eclectic assortment of literary musings. First, these pieces are original; there’s no formula fiction here. Some stories, like “The Abortionist,” are fully unpredictable. Others, like “Addiction,” offer new twists on established themes. All of them keep the reader turning the pages with an unsated desire for more. Second, these stories are character and imagination driven. Walz sometimes leads the reader through an exploration of the motives and thought lives of odd—or even unsavory—characters (as in “Bobby Mason’s Day Off” and “The Sophomore Jinx”). At other times, he invites the reader to wonder about different realities (as in “Hell-Bound Train” and “A Glitch in Time”). Finally, these stories are good. If you like your characters complex and fascinating, your plots imaginative and unpredictable, and your stories intense and emotionally riveting, you’ll love this book. If you like predictable, formulaic plots and flat, unimaginative characters, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Phyllis Scott, series editor
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Bill lives in Bullhead City, Arizona with Molly, Aaron and Jennifer, his first family. His favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut, the greatest writer of dark humor ever to put a pen to paper.
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