As a writer, I’m not nearly as fond of writing short stories as I am of writing longer books. The reason, I suspect, is that a short story requires all the elements of a longer book—character development, plot, beginning, middle, ending—but that all has to be achieved, and not always easily, especially by me, in a condensed version of fewer words.
On the other hand, I can see why a lot of readers prefer short stories. It has a lot to do with today’s shorter attention spans. It has a lot to do, too, with a reluctance of readers to put out the larger sums of money to purchase longer books, especially in this day and age when more and more money is needed to buy them, when the reader might not like what he buys. Short stories, in ebook formats cost less and can, thus, make disappointments far easier to bear—financially and otherwise. Purchase of anthologies, whether in ebook or print format, wherein several writers publish short stories, side-by-side, pretty much assures the reader that for the price paid the odds are pretty good that he or she is going to come out liking at least enough of the short stories to make the purchase worthwhile.
As a writer who firmly believes in diversification, and in giving readers stories in whatever formats they prefer, I do, on occasion, write short stories. My whole BOYS’ REFORMATORY SERIES of short-short ebook tales, revolving around young men sequestered behind razor wire and in barred cells, offers examples of my short stories that can be bought individually, cheaply, and be read quickly. If you don’t like them, you’re only out a few cents.
Likewise, in that short-story-of-mine ebook category are:
RENDERING OF SOULS
LUDUS SCAENICUS MORTIS RUBRAE
By way of anthologies, usually available in print as well as ebook formats, my short stories make their appearances in:
THE HONORABLE SILENCE
MELTING THE SLOPES
LOVE ME DEAD
ONCE UPON A FUTURE (mainstream sci-fi)
MORE WHODUNITS (mainstream mystery)
CHOICE WORDS: THE BORGO PRESS BOOK OF WRITERS WRITING
ABOUT WRITING (mainstream essays)
Finally, of course, there are short-story collections, all tales by one author, available in print and/or ebook formats, for those readers familiar enough with an author to believe they’ll find enough of his or her stories enjoyable to make the purchase price worthwhile … or for those unfamiliar with an author but suspecting they’ll still find enough of the writer’s stories enjoyable to make the purchase price worthwhile.
For any of you who would like to go that route, I’ve:
MALTESE & EKKEL
With a final few words about MALTESE & EKKEL and its 28 original stories by me just “out” in ebook formats, soon to be out in an oversize (7.5” x 9.25”) collector’s edition, after over a year in the writing (I did say that short-stories are not easy for me to write, didn’t I?!)—
FROM THE PEN OF INTERNATIONALLY BEST-SELLING AUTHOR WILLIAM MALTESE, BASED UPON THE ARTWORK OF DUTCH ARTIST JOHAN EKKEL…
…MALTESE & EKKEL is a power-house male-on-male short-story collection, from MLR Press, with quality reproductions of the original drawing or painting that specifically inspired each story.
Says Maltese, best known as one of the vanguard writers of m/m fiction who helped launch that genre’s “Golden Days ” in the sixties, now with over 200 books to his credit, “Johan did two portraits of me for my Artists ‘ Do ’ author William Maltese art collection. After which, I bought several other of his pieces without me as their subject matter. When he showed me his black-on-white sketches, many of them erotic male-on-male, from among which my inspiration came for many of the short stories in MALTESE & EKKEL, I was simply blown away. ”
The collection’s stories, each tailored to complement the one inspirational illustration with which it is accompanied, take the reader into the world of male-on-male love, sensuality, passion, sex, vengeance, retribution, redemption, salvation, and even murder … with … surfer-types, their bodies perfect and tan, on the beaches of southern California (Boy on the Rainbow Towel) … the physically fit Army vet returning to the sun-lit shores of a private island on the U.S. east coast (Man of War) … a handsome matador trying to squeeze in love between the confining dangers and death he confronts weekly on the hot and blood-soaked sands of the Spanish corrida (Reines in Spain) … the stealthy and sinuous werecats possibly masquerading as mere jungle cats as they perform nightly on the sawdust of the center-ring circus cage (MANEATERS) … the unwitting aliens, with strong and boxy physiques, who perform their mating rituals on a brown-earth stage for the curiosity of unseen observers (I SPY, I SPY)…
These and more of the MALTESE & EKKEL collection offer a sensuous smorgasbord of delicious “Maltese” reading fare that, with their “Ekkel” visuals, by way of dessert, will turn you on to exceptional writing and exceptional artwork as never before.
Or, better yet, just turn you on … period.
Filed under: Articles, Column: Between Heaven and Hell, Fiction, William Maltese | Tagged: Bottoms Up, Boys Reformatory Series, California Creamin', Hard Working Men, Honorable Silence, Love Hurts, Maltese & Ekkel, MLR Press, Summer Sweat | Leave a comment »