As I get back into the daily blog routine after a somewhat disastrous trip to Thailand to obtain a visa for my continued stay in Indonesia, I want to take a few posts to remark on and review some work I am finding on authors’ mailing lists. My initial take is there are a lot of Independents putting work out through mailing lists and sites such as INSTAFREEBIE. I think that makes the authors automatically interesting and innovative. Yes, there might be dross, but I bet there is a lot of good stuff. And I am about to find out.
The Chans by Em Shotwell is a short story probably written to get readers interested in the author’s Blackbird Series. This short story (38 pages) sells for USD0.99 through Amazon. It has had seven favorable reviews. The first one mentions that this prequel is available for free. I missed the opportunity to get it free from Amazon but got it free anyway from the author’s mailing list.
Logan is a frustrated music teacher going home after a boring faculty budget meeting. Is there any other kind? On the way home Logan reflects on his relationship with an ex-girlfriend who he describes as a “placeholder.” Feminists will be up in arms about that. I am sure the author is just establishing the POV of Logan. While reflecting, Logan is pulled by some errant desire to exit at a small, rural, Mississippi town, named Brooklyn. The feeling is familiar to Logan. His grandmother called the feeling the Chans, almost like chance. Logan felt compelled to follow it knowing the feeling only appeared for a reason.
What was the reason that led Logan to enter the old-time diner in Brooklyn, Mississippi? It wasn’t to meet Loretta who practically seduced him while taking and delivering his order and it wasn’t the diner owner, Myrtle. As he used his iPhone as a defensive mechanism to avoid Loretta’s advances, he noticed another woman entering the diner. And Logan knew the Chans had led him to the diner to meet her. A chance conversation identified the stranger as Tallulah. This was lucky for Logan as he could not think of a ploy to introduce himself. After Tallulah left for some unknown reason; Logan was left to figure out why the Chans may have deserted him. Fortunately for Logan, Tallulah came back. And then …
This is a prequel. The reader will have to work a bit to find out the “what’s next.” Based on the prequel, I will download other books from the series. The descriptions of rural life, the hints of what might be to come for a segment of that society that does not completely fit in (Tallulah) are fascinating. And how will educated, modern Logan adapt to dealing with rural folk? He is just a Netflix binger type of guy.
This is nice escapist storytelling that I like my son to read. With assigned tags of magical realism and Gothic, I think this is a natural attraction for the YA population.