I’m so excited to have you join me today. I have quite a treat for you, and I know you’ll enjoy it. Without further ado, let’s welcome today’s guest…
So, funny story. Eric Halpenny, author of Thread and Other Stories was all set to put this post together, but he isn’t feeling well so he decided to stay in bed and pretend the rest of the world isn’t happening today.
But Marlena’s blog has to continue on. In his absence, he asked me to come and introduce him instead since I am basically the hero of his short story Thread, which is the title story in his book. So yeah, kind of a big deal. His book is a collection of seven short stories with all different characters and genres. Although different, they sort of follow a common theme as you’ll see when you read them.
My name’s Yannick, by the way. Now, I say I’m the hero, but Eric always calls me a “pro-tag-o-nist” because he’s that kind of guy (*cough* nerd *cough*). It’s really the same thing as far as I can tell.
Eric’s my author, he’s treated me pretty well so I think I’ll keep him. He lives in California, the northern part, not southern, because he likes trees and mountains more than beaches and smog. Sometimes he leaves his computer and phone behind and goes backpacking. He is married and has three kids. He started a blog in March 2017, but he’s been writing for much longer than that. He started writing books when he was eight years old, but he hadn’t ever published any of it before Thread because he’s a little bit shy.
I wasn’t supposed to say that. What he actually told me to say was that he didn’t publish for all that time because he never really believed deep down that he could write anything good enough. But then a few years ago he realized that if he didn’t ever try he was going to be 80 years old one day and full of regret for never having tried. So, he sat down and started putting these short stories together just to see what would happen. Eighteen months later he was sending a manuscript to an editor and looking into self-publishing options.
Something else he said was that his number one priority was to write something entertaining—something that other people would want to read. But he also hoped that he could write something meaningful, something that might inspire his audience. That was really important to him.
Eric loves literature and reading. He loves finding real meaning in what he reads. One of his favorite quotes is by Victor Hugo, which says “To Learn to Read is to Light a Fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” Eric really hopes those who read his book are inspired.
Hey, what’s going on here?
Who are you?
Really? You don’t know me? You know we’re in the same book, don’t you? I’m Zona, the protagonist from Chance. We might be in different stories, but we’re only like 15 pages apart.
Yannick: Oh yeah, I remember you. Well, what are you doing here? I don’t need any help.
Zona: I’m not so sure about that. I’ve kind of been listening in, and I need to set the record straight on a few things. Just because your story’s first in the book doesn’t mean it’s the most important. Eric says all the time that my story, Chance, is his favorite. Seems like I should get to say at least something about him too.
Yannick: What do you want to say?
Zona: Well, did you know he came up with our story while he was driving in his car on the way home from work one day?
Yannick: Huh, no. I didn’t know that. I would think that he wouldn’t want to think of anything on the way home from work. He’s an engineer and I bet his brain hurts at the end of the day…all those numbers…whew.
Zona: Well, he does usually tries to decompress on his drive home, but sometimes he turns off his music playlist and wonders about things and imagines stories. And then if something good pops in his head, he has to hit the gas a little to get home in time to write it down before the idea slips away. That’s what happened with me and my brothers Owen and Abner, and my parents Emil and Annie. He wrote over 2,500 words about us in an hour after that drive home. There’s a scary part in my story, but I don’t want to talk about it—my brother knows more about it anyway.
You youngsters sure are proud of yourselves.
Yannick: Who are you? You’re not from Zona’s story. How come I don’t know anyone in this book?
Zona: That’s Greg. You might not have met him. He comes in right after my story. His story is called Conflict.
Greg: Look, I don’t want to get too involved. I’m only here for moral support you know. But I would like to point out one thing. You two aren’t the only stories in the book you know. John and I carry some weight with Eric. We’re by far the oldest of any of you. He wrote our story way back in 1993 for an assignment in Mr. Clancy’s English class.
Zona: I didn’t know that.
Greg: Well, we looked quite a bit different then, not as mature as now, but same storyline.
Yannick: Are you even still relevant after all this time? I thought Eric wanted to say something meaningful. He was a teenager when you were invented. Teenagers don’t have anything to say.
Zona: Yannick, you’re a teenager.
Greg: Well, we’re historical fiction, not speculative and science fiction like you guys. You might say we’re timeless. Our story is always relevant. Eric came up with us after studying a lot (like, a LOT) about World War I.
Yannick: Hm. Wait, who’s that? Another of yours, Greg?
Greg: Oh, I know her. That’s Veera, her story is right after Conflict. It’s called Oversight, the real science fiction story in the book and definitely too brainy for a simple guy like me.
Veera: Sorry, no time to talk. I’m about to launch some satellites…near Jupiter.
Yannick: Jupiter? Wow. And what about that guy right behind her?
Zona: I know him. His story is number two in the book, right between Thread and Chance. That’s…um…well, he doesn’t have a name. But he’s some kind of doctor from what I read. Sort of thinks he’s pretty clever. His story’s called Shrink. He talks even less than Yannick.
Zona: Know anything else about him?
Yannick: All I know is that Eric was writing a novel back in college in 2001—by the way, still unfinished—
Zona: Yannick! Be nice.
Yannick: Well, it’s true! Anyway, he had this idea for the story Shrink, which is about a soldier in the Vietnam war. It’s kind of like an interlude from that 2001 novel, but Shrink has its own point all by itself.
Greg: Sounds like a story I would like to read.
Yannick: So, are these stories even any good? I haven’t had a minute to read any of them, and I sort of got lost at the end of ours.
Zona: Sounds like a promising beginning—
Yannick: Hey, who’s that?
Zona: Shh! Yannick, that’s Dmitry.
Yannick: So? Who’s Dmitry? And why are you whispering?
Zona: Because, I don’t want him to notice me. Trust me. He’s that guy from Deception. That’s the last story in the book and he’s a nasty one. Keep your head down if you know what’s good for you. Just tell the readers where to buy the book and let’s get out of here!
Yannick: Click here to buy Thread and Other Stories and then run for it!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Please help me in supporting today’s guest author with likes, shares, and comments.
Until next time……………………………… Stay Creative!!