Author Profile: TJ Rivard

TJ Rivard

How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

The first story that I ever remember writing was in second or third grade.  It was about me and my best friend, saving a city from a flood by unplugging the drain in the center of town.  I had such fun writing it that, in school, I began to relish any assignment that allowed me to be creative.  But, it was really Wade Hall, a professor I had in college, who really encouraged me to pursue writing, and it was his influence that helped me make the decision to keep writing as a central part of my life.  At the time, he was the editor of the Kentucky Poetry Review, and he published my first piece of writing there. Continue reading

Three Yellow Bikes and the Blues

By TJ Rivard

A woman rode a yellow bike down the middle of a country road between cornfields.   Tall, summer corn.  Two riderless bikes flanked her. She held the handle bars—one on her right, one to her left.  She rode the middle bike no-handed, staying balanced, her thighs twitching to keep the front wheel straight.  It took precision.  A “V” of sweat chilled her back.  The tires popped tar. Heat danced over the pavement in her wake.  The corn converged in the distance, parting in front of her like opening hands.  She kept a steady speed, a smooth pedaling.  Deer flies bit her neck.  She squeezed past the pain toward a shaky balance. Continue reading

Author Profile: Konstantina Sozou-Kyrkou


How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I actually came up with some rants, when I was a teenager, which were published in some Greek magazines. I didn’t do any writing since then until I did Creative Writing as part of my BA(Hons) in Literature with The Open University, which gave me a distinction. That was it! I fell in love with writing in a foreign language (Greek is my native one), totally engrossed in a continuous, exciting struggle to explore its nuances and create imaginary (or maybe not) microcosms with it. Since then I never stopped writing. I moved on to doing an MA in Creative Writing with Lancaster University, focusing on writing short stories, the final product being my first short story collection entitled ‘Black Greek Coffee.’ The inspiration for most of the stories in the book was my native village in Western Greece, the prejudices and sufferings of the people there in the 20th century mainly. Continue reading


By Konstantina Sozou-Kyrkou

Mum says I’ve got a vivid imagination. I’m the only child in the family that sees faces and figures in the clouded sky, whole scenes of people wrangling, waving. I don’t tell them that these people’s hole-dark eyes are spying on me.

When I tell Mum clutters of spiders swarm my bed and snakes coil under my pillow, she forbids me to watch any more of these Japanese cartoons on the internet. A “Pollyanna Grows Up” book is on my bedside table, leaves crisp, sharp like knives.

I ask my parents to throw away all the icons of creepy Jesus and the Madonna in my room. Their eyes change colour and shape. They pin me down with their stern stare, like a trapped squirrel. Continue reading

Lights Out

By Robert Lackey

Henrietta and Mark darted along in the shadow. The light bounced along the walls of the corridors, illuminating the few remaining trails where it was still safe. The light outside got brighter with each cycle, and the cycles were getting shorter. Even a well-planned dash for food left the scouts nearly blind for long periods, some permanently.

Hunger distracted them. Families in the colony were starving. The air outside had become painfully dry, and even the contaminated air in the safe zones held barely enough moisture for survival. Too many ways to die. Too many bodies of old friends littered abandoned corridors.

“Should never have resettled up here,” she thought. Continue reading

Author Profile: Jack Somers


How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?

I’ve always been a storyteller.  In grade school, I used to tell ghost stories to my classmates during recess.  All of the kids would gather around me in a circle on the playground, and I would entertain them with the most terrifying tales I could conjure.  Doing that gave me a thrill, and I still get a charge out of telling a story and engaging a reader or a listener.  Writing is the most efficient and effective way for me to communicate a story I want to tell—a story I think needs to be told—to a larger public. Continue reading

The King of Exit 5

By Jack Somers

I’m a king.  My kingdom is called Exit 5.  It stretches from Interstate 490 all the way to East 55th, 300 meters of gorgeous black asphalt divided into four wide lanes.

I’ve ruled here for three years — long enough to get to know my subjects well.  There’s Sandy in the red Corolla.  She’s a nurse at Metro Health, a divorced mother of three grown sons who all moved out west.  She comes by each weekday afternoon between 5:00 and 5:30, and if she gets stopped at the light, she always rolls down her window and pays me tribute.  I know I can count on her for at least a dollar. Continue reading