From the moment I first heard about the new Amazon Shorts program, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. As a writer who’s frequently interviewed other authors, what could possibly be better than getting to read non-fiction articles and essays by some of my favorite novelists, or an author’s account of why he or she decided to write a particular book?
I not only wanted to read these shorts, I wanted to write some myself. My mind went wild with all the possibilities — expanding on my cold case series of unsolved Iowa homicides, or being able to write longer pieces than what the newsweekly that normally publishes my work could possibly allow?
My Amazon Short, Pull, is the first in this writer’s latest journey, and though I’ve published hundreds of articles over the years I couldn’t be more excited if this was my very first.
It’s actually an excerpt from my novel, which began as a memoir and slowly transformed into a work of fiction. I’m not quite sure if I molded my characters and their actions into other people or events I personally preferred, or if they spoke to me and said this is who I am, so let me tell you the way it could have been or how I wish things could have been different.
Like any piece of fiction, there’s kernels of truth sprinkled throughout Pull. Yes, the Clydesdale horse was real. Yes, the abandoned schoolhouse did exist, and my father really told us we’d be walking home if we crossed that gravel road. And yes, my brother and sister did cross that road in the summer of ‘69 and my father did run out of cigarettes.
He always said to us, “Let’s set ‘em on sick’em.” I am, Dad. Still.