Interview with Barry Rachin

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy in writing is the creative process itself – never quite knowing how a particular plotline or character will evolve. Frequently, it becomes a process of personal growth and illumination. Writing creative fiction requires a certain degree of humility along with the willingness to ‘fight through’ all the hackneyed prose in order to find just the right metaphor or imagery. Over the years I have enjoyed a number of hobbies - woodworking, jazz cornet, beekeeping, etc. - but creative writing is, far and away, the most demanding.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans offer a small measure of validation that my shorts stories are finding an appreciative home in the reading community. I use the term ‘small measure’ because the sort of writing I favor (literary fiction), presently possesses a much smaller audience than it did back in the psychedelic sixties, when I was a college student. Still, a narrow group of readers seem to appreciate my creative fiction and I am eternally grateful for their support.
Who are your favorite authors?
I seem to be mired in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Chekhov, Sarah Orne Jewett, E.M. Forster, Tolstoy, Flaubert, Turgenev, George Elliot, Hawthorne and Cather are among some of my favorite writers. I frequently try to emulate them, borrowing both from their plotting techniques and traditional literary values. These writes might be old but their prose is are never old-fashioned or out of date.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am presently semi-retired after working in health care for the past thirty years. I still practice my cornet every day and play in a community wind ensemble. I also care for a thriving hive of honey bees and fashion small keepsake and jewelry boxes from hardwoods and imported veneers.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was based on an intriguing vignette my wife told me about a friend she met at work. I remember telling her, “Someone ought to work that into a short story.” Many years later I wrote it down in fictional form, then reworked it over a dozen times until it evolved into its final form. The story, The Janitor’s Helper, is still among one of my favorite bits of writing.
What is your writing process?
I sit down at the computer and pound away at the keys until the four to five thousand words are staring back at me in rough form. Then come the rewrites. I am a merciless revisionist and will sometimes go back years after completing what I thought was the final draft and tear the prose to shreds. No one said writing was easy.
Published 2013-09-16.
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Books by This Author

Collected Short Stories: Volume V
Price: Free! Words: 74,370. Language: English. Published: July 27, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Twenty-eight year-old Jesse Caldwell is painfully shy, lives at home and hates his moronic life. Miranda Huffington suffers from a gimpy leg and equally stunted personality. This is not your standard Harlequin romance.
Collected Short Stories: Volume IV
Price: Free! Words: 74,840. Language: English. Published: July 27, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
* Bethany Glaspell approached the first-ever meeting with Great-uncle Vern, a man who returned from the jungles of Vietnam with a Hmong bride and warped personality, much as a cat burglar might plan his next heist, telling no one, neither friend nor family, her intentions.
Collected Short Stories: Volume III
Price: Free! Words: 78,370. Language: English. Published: July 27, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
* A young boy spends a magical weekend with his sister, a former collegiate track star crippled in a freak accident. During the visit he learns a poignant lesson about the resilience of monarch butterflies and the human heart
Collected Short Stories: Volume II
Price: Free! Words: 84,850. Language: English. Published: July 27, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
* Grace Paulson’s train wreck of a personal life takes a turn for the better when the elementary school teacher meets a gifted artisan whose handmade jewelry boxes are featured at the local museum. Well-versed in nineteenth century Russian literature, Carl Solomon also happens to be the school janitor.
Collected Short Stories volume I
Price: Free! Words: 64,700. Language: English. Published: July 25, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Literature » Literary
 Pearl Singleton, a forest ranger at the Pemberton Wildlife Preserve, is going to show eighteen year old Shawn Mariano her Osborne Smoke Finder, all six varieties of New England ferns, a beaver dam, and something he never bargained for.  A straight-laced ex-nun must decide what to do with a stolen Sony Trinitron TV. The arrival of a Russian Jew in the apartment complex where she lives resolves