The big news is that my short story collection has found a home at Small Beer Press. Its current title is Monsters of Heaven: stories, though that could always change between now and its publication date. Though it’s very early in the process still, I think a release sometime in 2013 is a pretty safe bet. The order of the contents are yet to be determined, but the stories to be included are “You Go Where It Takes You,” “The Monsters of Heaven,” “S.S.,” “North American Lake Monsters,” “The Crevasse,” “Wild Acre,” “Sunbleached,” “The Way Station,” and “The Good Husband.”
That Small Beer Press has picked it up is both surprising and immensely gratifying to me. To be honest, I didn’t think they’d want anything this dark. At this point I should know better than to assume I know what editors will want, and I was thrilled to be proven wrong. That I will soon share a publisher with Maureen F. McHugh, Karen Joy Fowler, Liz Hand, and of course Kelly Link herself seems too good to be true. Small Beer is truly the very best place for this collection to land.
These stories represent an era of my life as a writer, and I find it very fitting that the book came together just after I finished “The Good Husband.” That particular story is very dark — perhaps more so than any other story in there — and when I finished it I felt as though I had come to the end of a particular stage of my development. What that means, exactly, I don’t know. But my internal weather feels different. I’m as curious as anyone to see what comes next.
There are things already in the works, of course. Contrary to what the evidence will suggest, I have not abandoned “The Cannibal Priests of New England.” It will soon be relaunched, with a new and reinvigorated face. I’m working on the details for that right now. I’m also working on a series of essays about being a single dad; you’ll likely see a lot of that worked out here on the blog. I tend to use those posts as blueprints for longer pieces. And, finally, I’m working on two novels at once. I don’t know how long that will remain true, but I’ve set myself a modest daily goal for each, and they’re different enough in tone and intent that they don’t bump into each other in my head. They’re both stories I’ve been wanting to write for a couple years now. I feel like I’m finally ready to write them they way they deserve to be written.
This should be a busy year.
15 thoughts on “The collection has a home”
Wonderful news, Nathan! Congratulations, and I can’t wait to get a copy.
Thanks, Veronica! How close are you to a collection of your own?
S%#& be righteous! 😉
Aw yeah. 🙂
Congratulations, Nathan! Small Beer Press is such a perfect fit. I can’t wait to see how “The Good Husband” ends.
You don’t have to wait that long, you know. 🙂
Fantastic news, Nathan!!!!! Small Beer rules, as we all know — congratulations! xox Liz
Thanks Liz! I still can’t quite believe it.
Super new, Nathan!
My deepest congratulations and warmest thanks.
I have anxiously waited for this collection — I had to balance the temptation to seek out every appearance of your work against the expected impact of taking in so much of it together anew. A few years previous, I coerced a friend who had only read bloated fantasy series into reading horror and weird short fiction. He is well nigh hooked now and always on the lookout for the next great author. When mentioning excellent authors who are, thus far, without collections I always finished with “And of course Nathan Ballingrud who is likely the best of the lot.”
While your Clarion classmates are both creative and fecund, it almost seems as if you let those same qualities reduce into a concentrate of imagistic, fantastic catharses. I really do hope that this collection brings you the same good things that the stories themselves will bring to readers. I’m so excited! Though 2013 . . . ack.
Hello E.S. Always good to see you here, and as always I am gratified and humbled by your kindness. I do hope the stories live up to expectation. You’ll have to let me inscribe a copy to you when the time comes.
I’ve long ago trained myself not to focus on the success of certain of my Clarion classmates, though I won’t lie to you: earlier in the game, there were nights of bleak jealousy. But in the years since I’ve come to appreciate that we each have our own creative arcs; some writers flourish in their youth, and some come to strength in middle age. I’m of the latter stripe. And all that means is that the good part of life is just beginning. 😉
I think SBP is a perfect fit for your collection – Kelly and Gavin understand horror and dark fiction that is also highly literary and emotionally intelligent, which is the kind of fiction you write. And I’m glad that other equally good things are happening, as well.
Thanks, Liv. I feel … optimistic. It’s a strange feeling!
Great rreading your post