LINKAGE: Liquid Imagination #18 is Live

For nearly four years I have been proudly associated with a unique little webzine called Liquid Imagination. The latest issue, #18 just recently went live.

It’s the first issue since #5 (Jan 2010) to not have my input in regards to content. This is bittersweet. 2013’s been a doozy of a year and I recently made the agonizing decision to relinquish my position as Flash Fiction Editor to the incoming Christa Angelios¬†who has assumed the editorial duties for the flash fiction section.
I didn’t always edit flash fiction, though. I started out as the Music Coordinator, producing original musical for the zine for issues #5-7, which truly gave us our uniqueness, before I moved onto editing flash fiction, an art form I’ve been obsessed with since the late 1990s. I’d also do an interview here, an article there. But for me flash fiction (my preferred criteria: stories of 800 words or less) was where it was at for me. It was never an easy job selecting the best, and I’ve always said the worst part of being an editor, especially when you’re a writer yourself, is rejecting submissions and relaying that bad news to another author.
I’m confident Christa will do a fine job in her new role, but most importantly, Publisher, Designer & Managing Editor Sue “MVP” Babcock had the faith in enlisting Ms. Angelios when she knew I needed a break. Liquid Imagination is still a class publication, which is also lovingly produced by Fiction Editor Kevin Wallis, Poetry Editor Chrissy Davis¬†and Voice Narrator Robert C. Eccles. With Mrs. Babcock’s leadership and our individual visions over the last couple of years, LI has managed to carve quite a niche for itself as an online publisher of poetry, speculative, literary and flash fiction, as evident by the ever-increasing slush pile we’d amass every reading period.
So, make sure you check out LI, which updates on a quarterly basis in August, November, February and May.
liquidbanner
Advertisements

Liquid Imagination #14

The latest issue of Liquid Imagination is currently live! We present in our 14th issue another batch of outstanding speculative fiction, literary fiction, flash fiction & poetry edited by Kevin Wallis, Chrissy Davis & yours truly. As usual Sue Babcock designed the issue beautifully and the voice of Robert C. Eccles narrated the long form stories. Check it out!

New: Liquid Imagination Online #11 is Live!

The latest issue of¬†Liquid Imagination¬†went live this week. Here’s what we have in store for you:
Speculative Short Stories¬†–¬†Edited by¬†Kevin Wallis:
All of these tales are narrated by Bob Eccles, except *
Flash Fiction/Microfiction РEdited by Brandon Rucker:
Literary Fiction¬†edited by¬†Sue Babcock¬†&¬†John “JAM” Arthur Miller:
All of these tales are narrated by Bob Eccles
Poetry edited by Chrissy Davis:
Plus articles and plenty of stunning digital artwork provided by Sue Babcock and Jack S. Rogers.

New: Liquid Imagination Online #10 is Live!

The latest issue of Liquid Imagination went live this week. Here’s what we have in store for you:

Speculative Short Stories –¬†Edited by Kevin Wallis:

* All of these tales are narrated by Bob Eccles

Flash Fiction/Microfiction – Edited by Brandon Rucker:

Plus:

Literary Fiction edited by Sue Babcock & John “JAM” Arthur Miller:

Poetry edited by Chrissy Davis:

Plus articles and plenty of stunning digital artwork provided by Sue Babcock and Jack S. Rogers.

Check it out.

Update: Selection & Rejection

In addition to finalizing the Local Heroes manuscript in prepartion of it going to press soon for an August release, I am also in the selecton and rejecton process for the next issue of Liquid Imagination Online (issue #10 goes live August 31st). I have to select six pieces of flash fiction for that particular feature of the webzine. With that small number of stories to feature, I have to reject far more stories than I accept (duh).

This is the most regretable part of the entire editing and publishing process. Rejection. Any editor who is also a writer knows all about the sting of rejection from being on the other side of the process.

It’s a necessary yet dreadful part of the process. Even if I had an assistant who did all the dirty work of rejection for me, I’d still be affected by it.

So far I’ve selected 4 of the 6 and I am happy to report that they contain elements of either the surreal, the fantastic, the bizarre or the anthropomorphic.

I sense a certain kind of mood for this next issue, which will be my third as the flash fiction editor of our quarterly periodical.

If you are a writer and would like to submit short stories, flash fiction, poetry or artwork to us, you can do so via Submishmash. Our guidelines can be found here.

About us – Liquid Imagination Mission Statement:
Our mission is to publish a wide variety of art, creating visually stimulating publications of the highest quality that combine many artistic avenues, including graphic and digital art as well as traditional illustrations and paintings; speculative and literary fiction, flash fiction and poetry; music and audio works; digital poetry and digital flash fiction; and other artistic forms. The publication of these convergent arts will also support our mission of advancing the education about and research of autism. Our books, DVD, online magazines and other media combine two or more art forms to create new hybridized art, augmenting traditional art with new technologies. Serving the art community and the autism community, and promoting quality artists are keystones for our company.

ÔĽŅ

Interview: A Conversation with Bob Thurber – Part Deux!

By Brandon Rucker via Liquid Imagination

In this conclusion of my two-part conversation with author Bob Thurber, we chat more about his debut novel, Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel (which was released May 1st by Casperian Books), its long journey into publication, and what the future holds for the new novelist.

You can read Part One here!

RUCKER: I understand that your debut novel Paperboywas originally “completed” back in 2003 when you first began to shop it. The agent you had at the time suggested changes that would have compromised the overall story, so you stuck to your guns and went with your second and current agent. I imagine there’s a great number of first time novelists who would have folded under such pressure for fear of losing that crucial first opportunity. However, you did not. How did it feel to see the integrity you had in your writing validated?

THURBER: I don’t see it that way. After the manuscript was completed, I never felt any pressure. My first agent was a good man, a former senior editor, and a seasoned professional. He originally took me on as a client believing he could sell a collection of my stories to a major publisher. He had great admiration for my short fiction and he was anxious to have the novel in his hands. After I handed in Paperboy, he admired the writing, but not the subject matter, which he felt was too dark, too harsh. And I had no argument on that point. He knew his stuff, knew the industry, and he wanted a more marketable book, so he made a number of suggestions on how to improve the manuscript and make it more acceptable to publishers. Sound advice, really. But I wasn’t interested in dampening the theme or softening the dysfunctional nature of the book. A number of publishing houses, about a dozen editors who had considered the collection had specifically asked to see the novel when it was ready. Though they were waiting for it, he never sent it to them. He considered it a tough sell because of the controversial subject matter and the fact I was a first time author. Still an unknown. And ultimately he was correct in that assessment. My second and current agent loved the novel, and he submitted it to a good number of publishers. Some held on to it for a long time but ultimately they all passed. So I don’t feel any sense of validation in that respect. The happy news is that we eventually found a publisher willing to move forward. I do think it’s a far better novel now than what I originally turned in, so the long waits, the long process, then the rewriting and editing, all that contributed to the finished product.

RUCKER: Paperboy is inspired by and filled with several autobiographical bits of your life. Fiction is a balance of truths and lies. How difficult was it to balance fiction with reality, considering the subject matter and the stark truth of your life events?

THURBER: Though it is a work of fiction, I drew extensively on childhood memories to create scenes, settings, the feel of that time, those years, the hardships of living in poverty, all that. But the book isn’t close to being a memoir. What truth it contains goes beyond my personal experience and realizations. I was a lost child but it’s not a story about me, more about the human spirit, how lost kids survive or don’t. It’s not for the feint hearted. But it’s as genuine and authentic, and as daring as anything I’ve written.

RUCKER: Can you tell us about your decision to use two different tenses in the narrative for this book? It’s definitely effective and I think it really allows you to keep the voice consistent and transparent.

THURBER: Well, the narrator, Jack Fisher, is just a kid, a 14 year old boy, and like most kids that age he is unable to fully tell his story (just as we are all limited in our abilities to express ourselves fully, wholly, completely, whether we’re writers or not.) So at times Jack tip-toes around certain subjects, certain issues, or he digresses, spilling anecdotes from his family’s past. Throughout, he is sincerely trying to tell his story. He’s trying very hard. One reader remarked that “not since Holden Caulfield have I felt such a kinship with a boy in a book” and I take that has high praise for the genuineness of Jack’s character and the authenticity of his voice.

RUCKER: What was your writing regimen like for this novel, particularly the re-write you did for your current agent, Jack Scovil?

THURBER: No one ever asked for a rewrite. Not my agent, not the publisher. They were satisfied with the manuscript as it was. The rewrite was my decision. After Casperian accepted the book, I reviewed the manuscript. I hadn’t touched it in years. I immediately saw things I didn’t like, scenes that needed flushing out, a few gaps that needed plugging, a couple of story questions that needed to be addressed. And the pacing needed smoothing. So I went to work, revised the entire thing from beginning to end, and ended up adding about 30 thousand words. It was an exhausting process, but I had to do it. I felt, and still feel, an overwhelming sense of responsibility to the lost children the book represents.

RUCKER: I assume you will continue to produce short fiction, but do you have another novel on deck to follow up Paperboy?

THURBER: Yes. That manuscript, titled April Fish, is nearly done. I’m close to putting it in my agent’s hands, so we’ll see if a publisher embraces it. Essentially, for twenty years I concentrated on writing short fiction and a novel is a whole different animal. I’ve had to change some working habits, but in time I’ll get better. The next project after April Fish is a book I’ve been researching and making notes on for decades. I’ve never been in any rush.


Read our Exclusive Excerpt

You can sample and/or purchase Paperboy at the following links.

Casperian Books
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 

Learn more about Bob Thurber here.

Liquid Imagination #9 is Live

Our latest issue of Liquid Imagination, the¬†webzine of fiction, poetry and art,¬†is live and ready for you all to read. We’ve got some great things featured, and I’ve got short cuts for ya here:

Micro Fiction (edited by yours truly)

Liquid Imagination Issue 9ÔĽŅ