Tell us who you are, a little about your work and what you enjoy other than writing.
I am Chad V. Broughman, a twenty year veteran English teacher (actually, it’s a bit longer, but I’m taken aback right now, realizing what an old fogy I am) in the public schools of Harbor Springs, Michigan, a resort town on the pristine shores of Lake Michigan. I am a husband and the proud father of two rambunctious but fun-loving young sons. Besides writing, I enjoy reading, kayaking, hiking and anything that keeps my mind away from today’s worldly issues.
What is your story about in On loss (don’t give us any spoilers)!
“Check Mate” is the tale of a young man, Michael, suffering from bulimia and the complications of conditional love. Though he comes home with the hopes of confronting his illness head-on, bridging a gap between himself and his dogged, hard-lined father looms much larger.
Where did you learn of the On Loss anthology. Did you have a story in mind or write your story specifically for the anthology?
I heard about On Loss at a wine tasting, writerly type function in Leelanau Peninsula and thought, “What a gripping concept. An anthology that will resonate with so many.” To be honest, I forgot about it soon after… until the submission requests showed up on Duotropes a month later… then I figured, it’s a sign. In an instant, I knew that “Check Mate” had finally found its rightful home.
What else have you written or are you most proud of?
I am most proud of being a father… my sons bring me more joy than I ever thought this life could offer. That said, the following published pieces hopefully generate the most sentiment and relatability:
“the softest hour” and “undelivered” and “The Proud Serpent” in Café Aphra, 2013
“Into the Light of Things” in Wild Violet Literary Magazine
“a tree, a rabbit, and naiveté” in Burningword Literary Journal Issue 71
“undelivered” in River Poet’s Journal Spring/Summer 2014
” a bicycle for Madeline” winner of the 2016 Scythe Prize for short fiction
“Unfolded” in Flash 405, June 2016
“hanged” and “the yellow sash” and “creed in the afterlight” in Carrier Pigeon 16
“Runt of the Brood” in Fixional, Inc. 2017
“the forsaken…” Etchings Press Chap Book Prize 2018
“Homecoming, and Going” in Faith, Hope & Fiction, November 2018
“Mother of a Hanged Girl” winner of the First Chapter Contest in Arch Street Press, 2018
“From Under a Porch” in Sky Island Journal, Issue 7, Winter 2019
“The Kill” in 101 Words, February 2019
“Tiny Mirrors” – The Darling Axe, 2019
“Featherweight” – forthcoming in Pulp Literature, winter
What is your current work in progress?
I just finished the first draft of my historical, literary novel––a fourteen year endeavor so far––which I don’t share as a plea for pity or kudos, but more so as an inspiration to all those parents out there who are raising children and working full time. Or anyone who is pursuing a dream full bore… Do it! You may be struggling to catch up to the snails, but the timing is out of your control. No matter when it all transpires, you’ve got this!
The novel follows the tumultuous lives of those who hail from Beaumont, an isolated pocket in northern Michigan, haunted by an original sin––the botched hanging of Ada Williams. Ada was the wife of a misguided preacher and rather than confront the truth about their unbendable doctrine, the hypocrites of Beaumont sacrifice one of their own.
I have a love-loathing relationship with this decade-plus novel-in-progress as it has constantly commanded me to ponder my own worth, forced me to recognize the blind eyes I’ve turned, and prodded my restless journey of faith and influence (or lack thereof). I can only hope that, upon completion, the characters who derive from this cursèd village will call on readers to do the same…
What’s your specialty: short stories, novels, poetry?
Truth be told, I enjoy the short story form, by far. I was somewhat peer-pressured into writing a novel and have no regrets for embarking up on such a magnanimous project, but through the entire drafting process, my heart and brain kept wandering off to ideas for shorter prose (please see the fourteen year confession above).
Do you self-publish, traditionally publish or both?
Though there are many benefits of self-publishing––namely autonomy––the traditional route is personally more appealing. Perhaps it’s an ego thing––an outside organization offering affirmation that my fiction is worthy––as well as a practicality thing––the notion that the marketing and financial aspects of such an endeavor (completely out of my comfort zone) will not rest solely on my sagging shoulders.
What’s your favorite genre of books to read?
Literary fiction pulls at my soul. Though I often read other genres, I am usually wondering while I’m in the midst of that work, “What would John Steinbeck think of this? Or Alice Walker? Or Margaret Atwood? Or… oh my, I can’t stop… (you get the point).
What advice would you offer new writers
At the risk of appearing haughty––trust me, that’s the opposite of me––I wanted to share a link to a piece I wrote for “The Story Prize” author blog in 2018. Though the title, “On Being a Writer and a Parent,” is seemingly limiting, it is not. The message is for anyone trying to dream bigger. Yes, there are random references to a “wad of lint” and a “drunken fruit bat,” once you get beyond the tomfoolery, the purport is about ambition, legacy and contribution.
Leave us with a favorite quote!
I tried to think of something pithy to add here, but in the end, I was unable––perhaps it’s because the quotes and their connection need no introduction and my babble would only take from their power…
“There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion.”
––Edgar Allan Poe
“Don’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.”