Literary fiction stands the test of time because it touches on the deepest parts of what makes us human. It sparks tears, arguments and yes, even revolutions. We began with a simple premise. Every week we have a rowdy old time discussing a wide diversity of short literary fiction on Literary Roadhouse: One short story, once a week. As we moved into 2016, we added two new podcasts. The Literary Roadhouse Bookclub and The Bradbury Challenge. If you love literary fiction, welcome home. If the last time you read literary fiction was for a boring class, we have a treat for you.
Meet Your Hosts
Anais grew up in Hudson County, New Jersey where she was enriched by its ethnically diverse neighborhoods and (sometimes) hip urban vibe. She left HudCo to study at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and shortly after graduating with a degree in Economics moved to Costa Rica. Seven years later, she moved back to her hometown and joined the tech startup word as a wearer of many hats, most of them digital.
Her interest in reading and writing began baby teeth young. Her parents encouraged her reading at a young age. She was raised with values and beliefs distinctly American and Cuban – often complementary, sometimes conflicting. That upbringing influences the way she writes and digests fiction. For example, she is easily seduced by the paranormal, like her grandmothers, but has the American academic tendency to pretend she totally isn’t because science. When faced with spooky noises in the night her instinct is to explain it with quasi-metaphysical jargon as she stumbles over herself in a panicked flight to the bedroom light switch.
Follow her on twitter @anaisconce
Gerald is an author and generally fascinating man, learn more about him at Gerald-Hornsby.com
Gerald was born many years ago, in a sleepy suburban backwater, near to a big city in the middle of England. After many years of study and work, he ‘downsized’ his work commitments, and began his final job. And found time to finally take up writing. Many hours were spent, staring at a blank wall, writing flash fiction and short stories and taking part in online writing communities and entering writing competitions.
He enjoyed challenges – the challenge of paring down a short story to meet restrictive word count limits; the challenge of writing large numbers of words in a short time.
Eventually, self-publishing became a viable option for those writing outside the acceptable genres for traditional publishing, and he edited and published two works for a charity before publishing his own collections of short and short-short fiction which had sat, dormant and unloved on various hard disks for several years.
2014 saw two significant milestones reached – he had three, completed, novel-length works ready for editing, and he had over a million words of works-in-progress. 2015 is going to be the year for publishing. Follow him on twitter @authorgerald
Colette Sartor grew up a nice, New Jersey Italian girl looking to escape the trajectory expected from nice, New Jersey Italian girls: marriage, three-kid minimum, Sunday mass followed by a sit-down dinner for the entire extended family that she alone would cook, clear, and clean up. After fleeing to Los Angeles to be an entertainment lawyer, she found herself disappointed by the Southern California beaches (not nearly as pretty as the Jersey shore) and by lawyering (which sucked), so she quit her job after a few years (okay, eight) and started writing fiction.
Colette’s short story collection Once Removed and Other Stories (upcoming, University of Georgia Press) won the 2018 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including The Chicago Tribune, Kenyon Review Online, Carve, Slice, and Colorado Review. She teaches at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program as well as privately and is an Executive Director of The CineStory Foundation, a mentoring organization for screenwriters and TV writers. In addition, she curates a variety of resources concerning craft, submission, publication, community, mentoring, and other writing-related topics on her Writers’ Resources page and on her Facebook page, Colette Sartor’s Writing Resources.
She still lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, and very large German Shepherd dog, and she never wants to practice law again. For more information, visit her at colettesartor.com, and follow her on Twitter at @colettesartor.
Andy Kopczynski was born and raised in a suburb of Chicago that he just tells most people is part of Chicago, because honestly it basically is and takes far too much trouble to explain, and also “The Greater Metropolitan Chicagoland Area” is a cumbersome and unwieldy phrase. After dedicating much of his young adulthood to study at Loyola University Chicago, he made the startling realization that there are not very many job openings for Philosopher. He spent more of his young adulthood learning to be a lawyer, which is also a mistake, don’t do that. As a minimally young adult he gave up the practice of law and returned to his first loves: Reading about wizards, and cracking wise on the internet. This brought him to the attention of the sage team at Literary Roadhouse, who do not read about very many wizards, but do allow the opportunity to crack wise.
Andy also infrequently makes jokes for which he himself is the target audience on YouTube at youtube.com/jellydonut3
People Who Make It Possible
Andrew Vander Pallen, Sound Editor
Andrew grew up in Accra, Ghana with a religious family who found him something to do in the church very early on. Andrew was the church “sound guy,” initially assisting with mic setup and then tuning and mixing. Although he might have been nudged into it, Andrew enjoyed being the sound guy, so when he moved to the United States in 2017, he was immediately ushered into his new church’s sound team where he continues to apply and develop his technical skills.
Andrew is currently studying Computer Engineering at Lehigh University, and continues to explore his interest in sound design through sound design classes and theatre sound production.
Maya was a co-founding host and producer of Literary Roadhouse. Hers was the original vision for a short story discussion podcast, and her energy and passion for literature made this show possible.
Maya was a writer, mother and podcast producer. Her original bio, as she wrote it, follows:
Born in Las Vegas and living on the streets, Maya was gifted to a woman at 3 1/2 years old. The woman was older and her adult children proclaimed.
“But Ma, you already raised your kids.”
And, “Did you notice she’s black!”
Yet all the woman saw was an afro with bald spots and a child who thought crackers were a vegetable. Thus began a long journey that took Maya through foster care, several states and many adventures until she became a test case for the question, “do black children need black parents.”
In the midst of court cases and Farrakhan’s attorneys, Maya discovered books of all kinds, music, painting, and method acting. She truly lived in a dreamland that made teachers concerned for her sanity. Speaking patois to her teddy bears, she channeled her New Orleans ancestors and called them her friends. She played with bees and danced in fields, and as she grew up, she tested her identity. What is black? What is reality? And the biggest question of all, “Which mother’s daughter am I?”
Straddling race, culture and class, Maya has a thirst for experience and understanding. After years of writing poetry, fiction and doing many other arts, she stopped it all. For a decade she read only a handful of books. She wanted to be normal… but there is nothing more insane than an artist without a media. So of course the art came back; it always does and after a long adventurous life Maya is working on her first two novels and enjoying a new found love of short literary fiction. She reads as a writer exploring art and emotion, but she writes as a painter.