Meet award-winning fiction writer Ellyn Bache, author of nine novels (including “Safe Passage,” which became a Susan Sarandon film), a short story collection that won the Willa Cather Fiction Prize, a nonfiction journal, and several books for teens and children.
Kaleidoscope: 20 Stories Celebrating Women’s Magazine Fiction, a collection of my short stories originally published in commercial magazines in the 1980s and 1990s, during the heyday of women’s magazine fiction. It turned out to be, truly, a celebration of a kind of fiction millions of women looked forward to each month and read avidly . . . until the market changed and many of the magazines went out of business or changed format. I was surprised how often readers asked about them and surprised when I went back to them how contemporary they still seem — and how much I think women will enjoy them, whether they remember women’s short fiction from its glory years or are coming to it for the first time.
And if you’re in the mood for a Halloween story, here’s one from the book: THE BABYSITTER
The Art of Saying Goodbye
Morrow Trade Paperbacks, $13.99
As four women in a close-knit suburban development grapple with the illness of a long-time neighbor, each of them also looks closely at the pressing issues in her own life — a marriage put on hold because of a difficult child . . . a nurse’s eerie and unwanted gift of diagnosis. . . a widow’s destructive bitterness . . . the price of a successful career. A SIBA Okra Pick and book award nominee.
Five stories from Wordrunner echapbooks. Says the editor:
Vivid, unsettling tales [about] the family black sheep you helplessly love or hate — so finely drawn you will never forget them.
You don’t often see fiction in chapbook form, but I think it fits the short story very well. I particularly like this press because they let you read their materials for free, or download them inexpensively from Kindle or Smashwords if you want to keep them in your library. Of all my short stories, these are probably the darkest.
June 2017 — short monologue, “Dancing with Steers,” incorporated into a full-length production of monologues at the Selah Dessert Theater in Struthers, Ohio, near Youngstown. It’s based on my late husband’s experience, when he was eleven, of raising a steer for market at the family farm. The trouble was, he fell in love with the steer, and when he had to send it off to be slaughtered, it broke his heart. I don’t think he ever got over it . . . but I do think he’d be pleased that an audience had heard about Ebony, all 1200 pounds of him, and what a wonderful steer he was.
April/May 2016 — “Writers’ Bloc,” the musical comedy I co-wrote with talented composer Joyce Cooper (who wrote all the music and all the lyrics) was produced at Furman University. A lighthearted look at the writing life, first performed in Wilmington, NC back in 2003, the show is about a group of seven aspiring writers who meet to critique manuscripts, celebrate small victories and commiserate over rejections — until they discover one of them is not who he says he is.