Edward Ahern

Tell us who you are, a little about your work and what you enjoy other than writing.

My only remaining quasi-addiction is coffee. The writing has taken over my life, and my prior dissipations- fly fishing and sporting clays shooting- have suffered greatly. I also have a masochistic weakness for the operas of Wagner.

What is your story about in On loss (don’t give us any spoilers)!

It’s actually a poem, designed to let us smile about something inevitable.

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 write and submit quite a lot.  two hundred-fifty stories and poems, and five books so far.) I lurk on several submission sites- Duotrope, Submittable, the Submissions Grinder, and Poets and Writers, and can’t recall which of them brought me to you. There is a lot of overlap between the sites, but also a lot of unique submission possibilities that I might have otherwise missed.

What else have you written or are you most proud of?

Wow, How can I pick out one or two without annoying all the others. My favorite short story, although it’s only been published a few times so far, is “Listen to the Def Man Sing.” My favorite poem maybe, published several times, is “The Fortune Teller” It’s also won some awards and been published in the Walt Whitman centennial anthology Poets to Come. I use it fairly often at readings.

What is your current work in progress?

I write about two stories and two poems a month, and am in the middle of a novel, so something is always unfinished. I’m an ex-newspaper reporter, so composing at a keyboard is painless for me.

What’s your specialty: short stories, novels, poetry?

Yup. (all three) I started to write poetry to try and improve my fiction, and it worked, but the poetry has taken over at least a third of my writing time.

Do you self-publish, traditionally publish or both?

Yup. My two story collections, Capricious visions and The Witch Made Me Do It,” were small press published. My poetry collection, Irregular Images” was published by the Fairfield Scribes, a small press that’s also my writing group, so it’s not self-published but it’s probably incestuous. My Poetry Chapbook, Dirty Handed Graspings, was published by Prolific Press. My novella, The Witches’ Bane, was published three times, first by a small indie press, then when they returned the rights to me as a serial in Bewildering Stories, and then republished by the Fairfield Scribes.

What’s your favorite genre of books to read

I read and rate about 20k words/week of fiction and poetry for Bewildering Stories, but it’s often not my favorite reading. I skim successful thrillers so I can steal ideas from them, but again, not my favorite. My leisure reading is often haphazard-I go to the new books section at our local library, and first scan non-fiction. If nothing appeals I move on to new fiction, and then to poetry. The book I check out I usally the result of a whim.

What advice would you offer new writers

Publication is vindication. For your first efforts, find undemanding or fledgling magazines. As things get published, elevate your sights to more demanding publications. And after five rejections, consider revision.

Leave us with a favorite quote! 

My own of course: Publicly talking about writing is dangerous for me. I sometimes delude myself that I’m in charge of my creative process.

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