Saturday, April 20, 2013

Karl Erickson is an Author? (Updated with "What I Learned from Samwise, My Interview with Sean Astin")

It's probably going to come as a shock to many of you, but, yes, I do actually write stuff!  You might know me as a number cruncher, but numbers are actually just the day job.  I know it's startling...but I'd like to introduce you to several of my favorite pieces.  The short story collection needs reviews on Amazon--if you are up to the task!  (By the way, my lovely wife, Kimberly, is wonderful illustrator.)

Tristan's Travels (Rafka Press)

(Opening excerpt)

It never occurred to anyone to take a closer look at the houseboat’s window planter.  The pine flower box was unremarkable enough at first glance.  Sheltered by overhanging flowers and a sick trillium plant, the cubbyhole beneath the flower box was hard to spot unless you looked closely.  This hidden nook had become Tristan’s home.  It was a perfect morning to be a seagull, but Tristan was still sound asleep.  He twitched a couple times as the night’s last dream overtook him.  He saw a man standing at the edge of a grassy meadow.  At his side, stood a large gray wolf.  Birds flew around and about him.  Rabbits, squirrels, and mice ventured out of the shadows of the trees to join the smiling man who was dressed in a simple robe with a cord around his waist and sandals on his feet...

Toupee Mice  (Rafka Press)

(Opening excerpt)

The name is Ian Svenson, and I am a red-haired Irish mouse with a dash of Swedish charm and humor.  If there are two things you need to know about me, they are that I am a talking mouse, and that I love to sing.  In fact, many of the animals around my town of Mousehaven can talk, but they usually don’t like going to the trouble.  As for why I am a talking mouse, I credit my dear mother, because she read stories or sang mouse songs to me nearly every night.  Perhaps the singing is on account of my mother being a mouse who just loved to sing and dance at every opportunity; she was indeed a happy mouse.  Papa, on the other hand, was a seafaring field mouse from Sweden who could only sing sea shanties and wasn’t even very good at that.  But I digress from my short tale.  I was a happy church mouse here in Mousehaven until just a few months ago...

Blinded by the Darkness, Three Short Fantasy Stories (Amazon)

(Opening excerpt)

Shadows deepened as the fluorescent lights began to flicker on around the university campus, and the warmer lights shown down from the dormitory windows above.  A soft November rain began to fall as students and visitors headed indoors.  A lone campus security guard walked briskly down the sidewalk, jingling keys and a heavy flashlight hanging from his belt and a radio gripped in his hand.  Suddenly, a young man raced by, nearly knocking the guard off his feet.  The runner barely paused, then bolted towards the eastern edge of the university campus.  Before the guard could make pursuit, he tripped over a hidden sprinkler head.  The young man was already fading into the dusk.  The radio lay shattered and quiet along the path...

What I Learned from Samwise, My Interview with Sean Astin (Amazon)

(Opening Excerpt)

1.  After reading There and Back Again, An Actor’s Tale, it seems to that you have a healthy caution or ambivalence towards success.  What does true success mean to you?

I love success absolutely, in all of its myriad definitions, applications and relative doses. I think the ambivalence you infer, comes from my antipathy for the anxiety laden stress that comes from depending on other people’s decisions. In large measure, it is that anxiety that pushes success further away. I also think that it is unhelpful for actors to organize their thoughts along ‘success’ paradigms... While being inspired by others and studying their careers is critical to success, there is a languid quality that runs throughout ‘the actor’ tradition, a pointless but familiar wallowing, that actors, heck everybody has to some greater or lesser extent... It’s natural but should be kept in it’s rightful place...

This will be available for free on Amazon between May 24 and the 27th!

A personal favorite of mine is this article which appeared some years ago in America Magazine.  I hope you enjoy reading "Mysterious Tools."

(Opening excerpt)

One night a few months ago, my 8-year-old son was very sick in bed. He lay there moaning and crying because of terrible pain in his ears. While my wife was on the phone attempting to get hold of a doctor, I did what I could to comfort him. We tried the usual things, but nothing worked. The choices seemed to be either to wait in an emergency room for hours late at night or try to wait it out at home. Neither option seemed like a good choice. We could not let him go on like that, so something told me to pray over him. I took the holy water we were given at a recent church event. It felt a little strange to me, as a new Catholic, but I proceeded to make the Sign of the Cross over my son with the holy water. Then I prayed for healing. I framed my prayer along the lines that we know that children hold a special place in God’s heart, and that it cannot be God’s will that my son would be in pain. Something seemed different about the prayer, but I could not immediately identify what it was. Since nothing dramatic took place after I finished the prayer, I returned to our room...

You can find me on Facebook (Author page), Facebook (Book Page), and even Twitter!

What's next on the literary horizon, you ask?  Well, my next book is The Blood Cries Out.  This mystery novel is aimed at an older audience, and I'm currently looking for a good literary agent for my entry into this new genre.  Stay tuned!

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