As you know, we’ve been visiting with co-authors of Running Wild Press’s Anthology of Stories, Volume 2. Today, I’d like to welcome Elan Barnehama, a New Yorker by location and a tortured Mets fan by default. He wrote “Just Be,” a short story I heartily recommend.
Elan is no stranger to publishing. His first novel, FINDING BLUEFIELD (2012), explores what happens when society’s invisible become visible. His work has appeared in many publications online and in print, and some of his stories have aired on public radio. Elan has taught writing and literature at several colleges, led community-based writing workshops, was a fiction editor, worked with at-risk youth, coached high school varsity baseball, had a gig as a radio news guy, and did a mediocre job as a short-order cook.
Here’s the first paragraph of “Just Be” to get us started:
I returned to school in the new decade, but it felt indistinguishable from the last one. The walk to school, the classes, the teachers, the piles of homework, and the war in the jungles of Vietnam, they were unchanged. Except Samm. Her brother had killed himself on Christmas Day, just four months after returning from Vietnam. She had changed.
Elan, what inspired you to write “Just Be?”
It’s an excerpt from ESCAPE ROUTE, my novel-in-progress. Set in 1969 NYC, ESCAPE ROUTE is narrated by 14 year old Zach who is obsessed with the war in Vietnam, finding an escape route for when the US decides to round up its Jews, and a girl named Samm.
What would you like readers to take away from “Just Be?”
I’m hoping readers connect with the idea that often the best way to deal with tragedy is to focus on the present.
Do you write full-time?
I teach college writing and do some freelance writing and/or editing as well.
What are you currently reading?
I’m in the middle of a couple of novels. The first, on my nightstand, the second, for when I am on the subway: The Gargoyle Hunters, John Freeman Gill, and Things That Happened Before The Earthquake, Chiara Barzini.
Other than this spectacular anthology, do you have any recent or upcoming releases you’d like to tell us about?
I was one of three editors that worked on a collection of stories from eleven global women. The book, A Mile In Our Shoes: Personal Stories of Global Journeys, will be published this fall by Whyte Tracks Publisher, Denmark. https://amios.y2yinitiative.org
Where can readers learn more about you and your works?
Thank you for joining us today, Elan. I hope for your sake the Mets have a good year. 😉
Check out My Interviews for more opening paragraphs from great Running Wild Press authors like Elan Barnehama.