It is official.
It is here.
Yes, it’s true: today is the official release date for Ryan Werner’s brilliant little collection of flash fiction, Shake Away These Constant Days. And you need to buy a copy. Right. Now.
Seriously. I know the word “brilliant” gets thrown around a lot, and I’m one of the worst offenders. So let me back off that word for just a moment and use some other words: “a fist to the ribs.” “a beautiful pummeling.” That’s what Sarah Rose Etter says in her blurb for the book.
Or, “Each story is short and powerful, complete with terse and refined prose that are quick like a boxer’s jab. […] Werner’s collection still manages to maintain a cohesive unity throughout, like that one song you play on repeat and can’t seem to get out of your head.” That’s from Joey Pizzolato’s review of the book in Curbside Splendor.
Or, “This shining, diamond-hard little gem of a story is a perfect piece of flash fiction.” That’s what I wrote about his story “Back and to the Left,” which is in this book. I called that story “brilliant,” too, and I meant it.
Folks, here’s the deal: I’m biased. Ryan and I work together pretty closely on most of each other’s fiction, and I’ve had a hand in almost all the stories in this book from their inception. I have seen them in their infancy, I helped change their shitty diapers, I’ve watched them grow up, I’ve seen Ryan take them from awkward adolescence into glorious maturity.
So yeah, of course I would think these stories are great.
And yes, I work for the people who published this book, so you’d think I have a vested interest in promoting it.
But let me tell you something: none of us is making any money on this thing. I work for free to begin with, and the publishers had to raise the money just to print it. We didn’t publish this book to get rich. We published it because we have been fans of Ryan’s work from the very beginning and we NEEDED to see this book out there in the world, and we love that we’re the ones who get to bring it to you. This is not a labor of love — it’s a labor of fandom. We are Ryan Werner fans.
So when I tell you that you need to get a copy of this book, I say it as a fan. I say it as a reader of fiction, as a teacher of writing, as someone who loves great prose.
Don’t believe me? Buy the book and judge for yourself.
But if you do buy the book and love it, do me a personal favor and review it? On Amazon, on Goodreads, on your blog, in a lit magazine, on Facebook, on Twitter…. Wherever. I suppose you could review it if you hated it, too, but honestly, I don’t see that happening.
You are going to like this book.