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. There’s more information on the Bio page . . . and here’s a link to a recent interview with radio talk show host Blaine Greenfield, who reports on arts and culture in the Asheville, NC area.
A new novella . . .
Sightless Among Miracles: The (Possibly True) Story of Samson and Delilah, a modern retelling of the Biblical story with a female Sam who is told she has an important mission to accomplish but isn’t told what it is. She knows only that it involves her abnormal strength that sometimes embarrasses her, the unruly long hair she’s forbidden to cut, and the strong fermented beverages she’s not allowed to drink. Her life is a mystery, a tangled and frustrating search for meaning that sometimes leads her to drive too fast, set fires, take too many lovers. She wants to be light in the world and not a source of darkness, but she is lost — until her final, luminous moments.
From the reviews:
“Bache writes with flair and frequent humor to underline a few lessons. One, an ordinary life is a far greater blessing than you can imagine. And two, Yahweh is still around, and in a world that doesn’t believe in miracles any more, maybe we should.” — Wilmington Star-News.
In the unprecedented, difficult year of 2020, it seemed that the only right book for the time would be something fun and funny, a rest from the harshness of real life and a terrifying pandemic. So we re-issued my award-winning comic novel, Over 50’s Singles Night, originally published as part of a new line of women’s fiction called Next. It won the Madcap Award for romantic comedy — the story of two sisters far too old for the romances they get involved in after BJ, age 62. decides her sweet, ditzy 55-year-old sister Iris needs a new husband. Things do not go smoothly, except for the reader.
From the reviews:
“In this charming, wry look at sisterhood . . . the love, misunderstandings, anger and complexity of sister relationships are brought out. . . . Well-written, humorous and emotional.” —Romantic Times Book Club Magazine
“Ellyn Bache has written funny bits before [but] she’s never tried a full-length comedy — and the result, Over 50’s Singles Night, suggests she should have . . . Three-Stooges-style slapstick is out, although one hilarious moment involves one poor old dear coughing up her dentures along with half-chewed chicken fajita. . . Pleasant, undemanding entertainment [and Bache’s] sharp eye for character quirks keeps the story from becoming trite.” —Wilmington (NC) Star-News
ISBN: 978-1889199-20-7 (trade paperback), $14.99 ISBN: 978-1889199-21-4 (ebook),$4.99
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Kaleidoscope: 20 Stories Celebrating Women’s Magazine Fiction, a collection of my short stories originally published in commercial magazines like McCall’s and Good Housekeeping in the 1980s and 1990s, during the heyday of women’s magazine fiction. For decades, millions of women looked forward to these stories each month and read them avidly . . . until the market changed and many of the publications went out of business or changed format. I was surprised how often readers asked about them, and surprised at the nostalgia they seemed to inspire. For those who remember women’s short fiction from its glory years or are coming to it for the first time, here’s a taste of the best of this genre.
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.
“Writers’ Bloc,” a musical comedy co-written with composer Joyce Cooper, who penned all the music and all the lyrics. A lighthearted look at the writing life, 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.
“Dancing with Steers,” a short monologue about an eleven-year-old boy raising a steer for market at the family farm. Like many other young 4-H members, he fell in love with the steer, and when he had to send it off to be slaughtered, it broke his heart.