Ye cats and little fishes! Fellow writer Elizabeth Twist asked me a few questions about Slices and then let me know that she’d posted “a brief review” of it on her blog. Now, when I read the words “brief review,” I was expecting something like, “Hey, I read this book, it was totally awesome, you should check it out,” full stop.
But this wonderfully glowing review is sharp, insightful, and in just a couple paragraphs, lays bare what the book is all about. So, while I’m not vain enough to link to this just because she liked it — oh, who am I kidding, I totally am — I will say you should go check this out just to see her so clearly express what I’m trying to do with my writing:
The failures and beauties of human relationships are at the core of Michael’s work. Few of his characters work on a solo basis, and those that do are drawn into unusual or regrettable positions. The fantasy and horror elements feel familiar in the sense that a recurring nightmare or a story heard in childhood feels familiar. These tropes resonate powerfully with the emotional problems at the heart of each tale. In my opinion, Slices is at its strongest when considering the many permutations of men’s relationships, most sadly and beautifully in the context of male friendship, brotherhood, and love.
She also asked me questions about why I write short stories, how I approach world-building, and what’s next, so you should definitely check that out as well:
ET: What draws you to the short story as a form? As a writer of horror and dark fantasy, what are the advantages of writing shorts as opposed to novel length works?
MM: For me, horror is such a concentrated emotion that I think it works better in short, sharp shocks. You can take a relatively simple idea, a few clear images, and express them in a very direct way, whereas that effect might be diluted if you were to take those ideas and stretch them out over the canvas of a novel. I think the short story lets you take more risks — and puts your characters at more risk, as well. [...] Novels rarely kill everyone. Whereas in a short story, you have no idea who’s safe, or if anyone is.
She’s told me that she’s also posted a longer review to Amazon. (My first Amazon review!) I’m definitely looking forward to seeing that. Thanks, Elizabeth!previous post: You Were Warned: What To Expect From Me in 2012 | next post: VIDEO: Halloween Reading 2011: “REMAKE”