This Week’s Reader: Richard Thomas

220px-Richard_138_B&W_highAbout:

Richard Thomas is the author of three books—Transubstantiate, Herniated Roots and Staring Into the Abyss. His over 100 stories in print include Cemetery Dance, PANK, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Midwestern Gothic, Arcadia, Pear Noir, Chiral Mad 2, and Shivers VI. He is also the editor of three anthologies out in 2014: The New Black (Dark House Press), The Lineup: 25 Provocative Women Writers (Black Lawrence Press) and Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press) with Chuck Palahniuk. In his spare time he writes for The Nervous Breakdown, LitReactor, and is Editor-in-Chief at Dark House Press. For more information visit www.whatdoesnotkillme.com or contact Paula Munier at Talcott Notch.

 

A sample of his work:

“Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave” at Metazen (nominated for a Pushcart).

 

Other flash/short fiction that he really loves:

That Baby,” at Everyday Genius, by Lindsay Hunter. SO GOOD.

 

Deal Breaker:

Even though I write dark fiction, everything from horror to fantasy/science fiction to crime/noir to magical realism and literary fiction, there are a few things that really turn me off. Rarely can I stomach any sort of child abuse, especially if it’s sensationalized. I can’t stand the overuse of profanity, because it’s just weak, in my eyes. Saying “fuck” doesn’t mean much, we can all curse. Find a better way to show frustration or anger or a lack of control. And a story that just feels like it’s been told a million times—find a way to make your plot, your characters, your voice fresh and new, through your language, your choices, and your lack of predictability. Surprise me, not in a twist, but with how the protagonist is complicated, how the antagonist has some redeeming qualities.

 

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