Tag Archives: Debut Collection

FUTURE PERFECT, A Collection by Matt Babcock, Coming to Queen’s Ferry Press October 2016

Queen’s Ferry Press adds 12th title to 2016 new releases.

Plano, TX—April 1, 2015 Queen’s Ferry Press, an independent publisher providing a venue for fine literary fiction, announced it will publish Matt Babcock’s Future Perfect.

“I feel giddy bordering on euphoric to be making my fiction debut in the early days of my dotage (younger than Defoe but older than Katherine Anne Porter).  And to be doing it among the literary luminaries at Queen’s Ferry Press serves up some seriously savory gravy,” Babcock said.

Future Perfect is the result of twenty years of lunch-hour writing spurts, and it’s immensely gratifying for it to be selected by such a classy, high-quality press as Queen’s Ferry, where stories—sunburned, and brawny, and two-fisted—can bang elbows with readers outside the stuffy cubicles of big-house marketing.”

Future Perfect will release in October, 2016.

About the Author:

Matt Babcock
Matt Babcock

Professor by day and by night a man who goes to bed early, Matthew James Babcock has traipsed around the globe only to return home to Idaho, where he goes owling before sunrise, walks and bikes compulsively, and battles suburbia with his wife, Missy, and their five children.  His fiction has appeared in Dialogue, Wild Violet, Construct, Ampersand Review, The Battered Suitcase, The Rejected Quarterly, Starry Night Review, and White Whale Review.  Press 53 awarded his novella, “He Wanted to Be a Cartoonist for The New Yorker,” first prize in its annual competition.  He holds degrees from Utah State, Binghamton University, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and his scholarship on New England writer, Robert Francis, can be found in The Journal of Ecocriticism and Private Fire: The Ecopoetry and Prose of Robert Francis (University of Delaware Press).  He teaches writing and literature at BYU-Idaho.

Founded in 2011 as an independent publisher, Queen’s Ferry Press specializes in literary fiction. The press currently releases 6–12 titles a year, many from debut authors, and is the publisher of Shadows of Men, the 2013 recipient of the TIL Steven Turner Award for Best Work of First Fiction. For book updates please contact Kevin Wehmueller, Marketing & Publicity of Queen’s Ferry Press, or visit www.queensferrypress.com.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Kevin Wehmueller, Marketing & Publicity

kwehmueller@queensferrypress.com

Marc Watkins’ MIDDLE WEST to be Published in June, 2016

Queen’s Ferry Press will publish a debut collection by Marc Watkins, guest fiction editor for the 2012 Pushcart Prize Anthology.

Plano, TX—March 16, 2015 Queen’s Ferry Press, an independent publisher providing a venue for fine literary fiction, announced it will publish Marc Watkins’ debut collection, Middle West.

“I’m delighted that my collection of stories found a home at QFP,” Watkins said. “I am impressed by the quality of work that QFP has produced, and look forward to joining an energetic independent press.”

Middle West will release in June, 2016.

About the Author:

Marc Watkins
Marc Watkins

Marc Watkins has published work in Boulevard, Foxing Quarterly, Slice Magazine, Story Quarterly, Third Coast, Texas Review, and elsewhere. He has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, Boulevard’s “Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers”, The David Baker Short Story Award, and received special mentions in the Pushcart Prize and New Stories from the Midwest.

A native of the Midwest, he dropped out of high school and worked as a handyman, janitor, and car washer before entering college. He received his MFA at Texas State University-San Marcos, where he was awarded the W. Morgan and Lou Claire Rose Fellowship in Fiction. He is currently a contributing editor at Boulevard and was a guest fiction editor for the 2012 Pushcart Prize. He lives in Oxford, MS and teaches writing at the University of Mississippi. Middle West is his first book.

Founded in 2011 as an independent publisher, Queen’s Ferry Press specializes in literary fiction. The press currently releases 6–12 titles a year, many from debut authors, and is the publisher of Shadows of Men, the 2013 recipient of the TIL Steven Turner Award for Best Work of First Fiction. For book updates please contact Kevin Wehmueller, Marketing & Publicity of Queen’s Ferry Press, or visit www.queensferrypress.com.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Kevin Wehmueller, Marketing & Publicity

kwehmueller@queensferrypress.com

CRUDE SKETCHES DONE IN QUICK SUCCESSION: Now Available (with more snakes)!

We’re thrilled to announce the official pre-release of Andrew Brininstool’s debut collection, Crude Sketches Done In Quick Succession. To celebrate, we’ve asked Andrew to tell two truths and a lie a lie about the stories, the book, and apparently some of his questionable choices involving tequila:

Two Truths and a Lie

  1. Gordon’s invention came to me in a dream.

I don’t put much stock in dreams, but Gordon and his invention came to me in the minutes before I awoke. He spoke to me of Daily Constitutionals, a technologically advanced potty-training seat that teaches little ones the Bill of Rights. I want to say Gordon spoke to me about this without sounding like I am a psychopath. That afternoon, I sat down and began “Young Arsonists in Love.”

  1. I got on the wrong side of a shaman once.

If you know anything about me, you know I have two enormous passions: travel, and rock climbing. For my sixty-eighth birthday, a colleague, M___ and I climbed the Andes Mountains. What with M___ and I having years of experience beneath our belts, we chose to forego guides. And didn’t we both have egg on our faces when, on the fourth day of our climb, an enormous blizzard wrapped all of the highlands of Ecuador in snow! With some luck, we captured and cleaned a tapir, and feasted on its haunches for three days, burrowed inside a cave while the storm refused to pass. Once it did pass and the sun came out, silly me, I slipped on a rock and severely tweaked my knee. Not so bad, perhaps, except that we were dangerously low on supplies and tapir, come to find out, does not agree with me. With grace and much compassion, M___ carried me to Illuman, a town known for the curandero. Even as the doctor asked me to strip to my boxers—even as he smoked what May Have Been Weed But Did Not Smell Like Weed At All and played with a little bell—I knew I was on a spiritual journey. I was changing.

And then the dude started spitting tequila in my face.

  1. Among all the lovely people who have helped me or encouraged me or loved me or the like, I’ve also added a major shout-out to KTCK 1310 AM The Ticket in Dallas, for when I am not writing I am keeping my ears listening.

Ragonk.

***Make sure you message @abrininstool with your order confirmation to receive a personalized bad poem! Use it to your heart’s content, but make sure you tweet your photo back at us.***

Now, behold, as Queen’s Ferry Press’ Marketing & Publicity, Kevin Wehmueller, turns a bad poem into an even worse origami snake:

You ordered Crude Sketches Done In Quick Succession. You got a bad poem in the mail. What should you do with it, you ask? You should probably frame it, but making an origami snake out of “What’s At Stake” comes in at a close second.

First, take your poem:

My god, this is awful.
My god, this is awful.

You’ll need a square sheet of paper, so cut that bad boy down to size:

Maybe I should have torn along the poem.
Maybe I should have torn along the poem.

Flip it over and fold diagonally:

Out of sight, out of mind.
Out of sight, out of mind.

Fold the other corners to the center line:

Answer: your dignity.
Answer: your dignity.

Repeat:

Blergh. It's back.
Blergh. It’s back.

Repeat one more time:

Much better.
Much better.

By now, you shouldn’t be able to read the poem, which is a huge improvement. Fold your progress in half:

This could pass as a snake, I guess.
This could pass as a snake, I guess.

From the wide end, fold up enough to make the head of your snake:

Ceci n'est pas une pipe.
Ceci n’est pas une pipe.

Next, do a reverse inside fold:

Not entirely sure what that means, but this is what it ended up looking like.
Not entirely sure what that means, but this is what it ended up looking like.

Fold the head down on one side:

This is starting to look pretty bad.
This is starting to look pretty bad.

And again, reverse inside fold:

Seriously, I have no idea what reverse inside fold means.
Seriously, I have no idea what reverse inside fold means.

Theoretically you now have a snake. If it looks anything like mine at this point, congratulations. You also have the dexterity of a six year-old. But we’re not done, because we’re going to make this baby slither. Repeat the process of fold, reverse inside fold (seriously what the hell does this mean?) three to four times along the spine:

I should really clean this desk.
I should really clean this desk.
Crude pictures posted in quick succession (because I got tired of writing directions).
Crude pictures posted in quick succession (because I got tired of writing directions).
Just one more and...
Just one more and…
Finished!
Finished!

Well, well, well, look at that. Is it a snake, or a stake? Are they really so different? Not when I make them. Congratulations! Now go read Crude Sketches Done In Quick Succession.

Snake or stake? Or steak? Or Keats? "Knowing within myself the manner in which this Poem has been produced, it is not without a feeling of regret that I make it public."
Snake or stake? Or steak? Or Keats? “Knowing within myself the manner in which this Poem has been produced, it is not without a feeling of regret that I make it public.”

(Painfully) Giving a Collection its Wings

Crude Sketches Done in Quick Succession is set to release on January 20th, 2015; here Andrew Brininstool talks about putting the stories of his debut collection into place:

Midday at Highland Village Elementary and all us little tykes are seated in Ms. Gilmore’s art classroom. It must be nearing Halloween, because on the tables before us sit the materials to make bats: black construction paper, tongue depressors (how has Ms. Gilmore gotten her hands on so many tongue depressors?), string, glue. Our instructions are to arrange the pieces so that, once completed, the bat will come to life—will flap its wings and become animated—with the pull of the string.

The problem is that I can’t complete the task. No matter my efforts, there is something missing in my development that can make meaning of these items. I’m not exactly sure how to arrange them.

All around me, comrades are hammering out perfect little bats. The girls seem especially adept. Yet here is my final yield: a bat that cannot flap its wings; a bat with plagiocephaly, jismic strands of Elmer’s on its torso. My bat might’ve been missing a wing. Perhaps it is true, as Hebrews 12:7 would have it, that malady is intended to produce discipline. Looking at my deformed little bat, however, I feel nothing close to a just creator.

There’s no other correlating feeling of failure in AdultLand that I’ve experienced save for the arrangement of a short story collection.

The process is perhaps easier if your project is a novel-in-stories or a linked collection or whatever we’re calling that thing these days. Mine was not.

The earliest story in Crude Sketches Done in Quick Succession was first written when I was a senior in college. It took four years to publish. (I’d rather not say which, though I’d be curious to watch people guess.) So technically, the stories in my collection span six years of work; most of the stories were written in a burst between 2010 and 2012.

I went about writing these pieces without much thought about placing them together. When it came time to arrange them into a unit, I read David Jauss’s essay “Stacking Stones,” in which Jauss writes: “If the collection is well constructed, reading the stories out of sequence is like listening to the movements of a symphony out of order-we do violence both to the parts and the whole.”

Whoops.

Only when I began structuring the collection did I start to see the connective tissue—the themes shared between the stories. This is a somewhat horrifying experience. It’s a kind of self-analysis done too late. I found, for instance, that on some level I have a deeply imbedded interest in fatherhood. This was not something I would have copped to or even known about myself until the stories rubbed up against one another. I’d assumed my material was that of people who have made good on the American Dream (professional athletes, inventors, beauty queens, Yard of the Month types) only to be sorely disappointed in the reward(s). As it turned out, this takes very much a backseat to a subject far simpler: family.
Jauss is right in his equating arrangements of stories to music.

This is going to sound donnish. But, well. I don’t care.

One of my favorite arrangements by Charles Mingus is “II B.S.” (or “Haitian Fight Song”) from Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus. There’s a consistency to the heart of the piece, held down particularly by Mingus’s bass playing; the other musicians are allowed to wander a bit—though not much—but they always return back to the pattern created early.

Okay, so I don’t know shit about jazz (like you do?) but I think the analogy still holds.

Once I saw that the heart of the collection was children and parents, arrangement became a pattern game. Where do I want to hit a theme or an image immediately after it has been presented by the previous story? Where do I want a theme or an image to linger? In what ways should I arrange the following: a duck, a commercial airliner, a space shuttle? Should I follow the natural order of things, the way the Graduate Records Examination might ask you to? Should I fuck around with it?

I’d like to say this was a fun task. It was not.