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J.R. Hamantaschen “With A Voice that is Often Still Confused But is Becoming Ever Louder and Clearer”

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What is the name of the book and when was it published?

The name of the collection is With A Voice that is Often Still Confused But is Becoming Ever Louder and Clearer.  It was published October 1, 2015.

What’s the book’s first line? 

Depends on what you count as the first line.   There’s the dedications page, which reads: Dedications: None.  (I found it funny).  The first line of the first story is “Julia never remembered her dreams.”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch.”

The follow-up to his critically acclaimed collection, You Shall Never Know Security, J.R. Hamantaschen returns with another collection of his inimitable brand of weird, dark fiction.  At turns despairing, resonant, macabre and insightful, these nine stories intend to stay with you.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

Well, it is a collection of short stories, written over about three years.  There are a couple of ideas that I return to again and again.  Whether life is worth living, and how that could be ascertained without knowing what it feels like to die.  Assuming abortion to be morally defensible, would it be morally defensible to have a gratuitous abortion?  Why do Lovecraftians / believers in the tenets of cosmic horror still seem to have children?  Bizarre questions, I know, but things I think about.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

The stories are resonant and compelling (I hope).  I never really identified with most horror fiction, which seemed to indebted to rehashed genre exercises.  So whenever I write a story, I really try to make an effort to write fully-drawn, memorable characters and a compelling story, usually one that deals with or resolves some kind of moral, emotional or philosophical question.  I know that sounds unbelievably pretentious, but that’s what I’m going for, at least.

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