PUBLISHED IN: 2016.
THE AUTHOR: Mitch James.
THE EDITOR: Cetywa Powell.
THE PUBLISHER: Underground Voices.
SUMMARY: In days, the world will be obliterated by Apophis, a meteor the size of Texas. What do you say to those you love? Or imagine a world where some lose their shadows, and when they do, they become catatonic or kill themselves. How would you react when you noticed, one afternoon, that your daughter, only a child, has lost her shadow?
“The Cut Worm,” a chapbook of literary fiction, is rife with families held together by damage. These people are not vampires. They do not fight dragons or live in the future. Instead, they are your neighbors, your friends, your family. Maybe you.
This collection reminds us that nothing cuts like a family, and it begs the question: Can the cut worm always forgive the plow?
THE BACK STORY: I wish I had an elaborate rationale for the production of “The Cut Worm,” but, truthfully, I don’t. I know there are a lot of things that keep us up at night — things that make me feel, all at once, thankful and guilty for every breath I take and those I never will, and I guess I wanted to write a collection that captured just a sliver of it. The love. The uncertainty. The real.
WHY THIS TITLE?: When I was a sophomore in college, I took a literature course where we read William Blake’s “Proverbs of Hell.” One of his proverbs is “The cut worm forgives the plow.” It stuck with me all of these years. I look at all the damage in the world and find that proverb resonates with my observations more than I’d like. There are so many of us with so much to forgive and so much to say sorry for.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? I would like to think the stories are well crafted and make the reader think about the familiar in unfamiliar ways. I hope the stories remind readers of something they’d forgotten about — love, loss, life or hardship. Finally, I hope readers will see their struggles and battles in the stories so they know they are not alone.
“Mr. James is a strong, very powerful writer. I highy recommend him as a writer and excitedly await his next publication.” — Amazon reader.
“Scary. Beautiful. Beautifully scary.” — Amazon reader.
“I read this collection last night before bed and was rewarded with the creepiest dreams ever. His writing definitely gets under your skin.” — Tina Michelle Brown.
AUTHOR PROFILE: Mitch James was born and raised in Central Illinois, where he received a BA in English with a minor in Creative Writing from Eastern Illinois University. He then received a master’s in Literature and a PhD in Composition from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He’s had fiction and poetry published in Decomp, Underground Voices, Kill Author, Digital Americana and Blue Earth Review, among others, and his academic book, “Fiction Writing: What’s Rhetoric Got to Do With It?” is forthcoming with Multi-Lingual Matters Press. Most recently, Mitch’s chapbook of fiction, “The Cut Worm” was published by Underground Voices Press, and his latest short story can be found in Calliope Magazine. Mitch lives in Northeast Ohio, where he’s an assistant professor of Composition and Literature at Lakeland Community College.
AUTHOR COMMENTS: “I’d like to thank Darrell for bringing the work of so many strong writers to light. I’d also like to thank those readers supporting authors like me and projects like Snowflakes in a Blizzard. Finally, for those of you who decide to explore my writing, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to hear from you. Happy reading!”
SAMPLE CHAPTER: http://ragazine.cc/2014/11/mitch-james-fiction.
WHERE TO BUY IT: Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: firstname.lastname@example.org.