June 3, 2021

“Bicycling with Butterflies,” A New Book by Sara Dykman

“Bicycling with Butterflies,” A New Book by Sara Dykman

Editor’s note: Most of us are likely curious about the person who writes a book — in particular, one who rode her bicycle 10,201 miles to follow the monarch butterfly migration from Mexico across the United States to Canada and back again. So we’re introducing a new feature to our book excerpts: a Zoom interview with the author. If you like what you’re about to listen to, watch, read, please leave a note in the Comments—and treat yourself to a copy of Sara’s book. This is the best book about adventure cycling I’ve ever read, and it’s available on Amazon in hardcover, Kindle and Audible. ~ Jack Bicycling with Butterflies excerpt: “A Million-Winged Sendoff” DAYS 1 AND 2 / MARCH 12 AND 13 MILES 1–118 The sun’s warmth began to pour steadily through the branches,…

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December 6, 2020

“Brevity,” A Flash Nonfiction Anthology Book Review

“Brevity,” A Flash Nonfiction Anthology Book Review

When Rose Metal Press asked if I would consider writing a review of a forthcoming book entitled The Best of Brevity, I thought, Why not? I favor brevity. After all, that famous line, “Forgive me for writing you such a long letter, for I didn’t have the time to write a short one,” is one of my favorite [mis]quotations, even if we’re not exactly sure who first wrote it. Was it Montaigne? Cicero? Machiavelli? Pascal? Wilde? Twain? Mencken? Does it matter? So the book arrived and I noted the cover read, “Twenty groundbreaking years of flash nonfiction.” I was intrigued; having written flash fiction for years and years, I was embarrassed to admit I knew little about this genre. But flash nonfiction? Now I wondered, Hmmm, this might be boring. Then I began flipping pages,…

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October 29, 2020

Free Writing and Publishing Conference Next Week!

Free Writing and Publishing Conference Next Week!

Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE) is hosting a virtual conference for all writers next week. Free and open to everyone! Check out the details below. FREE WRITING AND PUBLISHING CONFERENCE! Please Join Us for IPNE’s 9th Annual Independent Publishers & Authors Virtual Online Conference, Nov. 6-7, “Publishing During the Pandemic!” Conference Details and Registration at IPNE.org Are you planning on writing a book? Already working on one? Are you interested in learning more about the publishing process, from manuscript to published work? How to build an audience? “Publishing During a Pandemic” is the theme of the 2020 Conference, presented for you on Zoom over two days, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6 and 7. There’s no charge to attend and you don’t need to be a publisher, published author, an IPNE member, or even a…

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September 8, 2020

“Danger in Plain Sight,” a Novel by Burt Weissbourd

“Danger in Plain Sight,” a Novel by Burt Weissbourd

Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to be publishing an excerpt from Burt Weissbourd’s fifth novel here at the Café. Burt is a strong writer with a background in Hollywood movies, and it shows in Danger in Plain Sight. It’s tough, it’s suspenseful and it has strong forward movement like a good Mickey Spillane novel. This is Burt’s first Callie James thriller, which climbs aboard the Weissbourd novel train behind three Corey Logan works and one non-serial novel set in Wyoming’s Yellowstone Park. In this opening scene, we find Callie James working in her restaurant when her ex-husband Daniel shows up unexpectedly. If you like Danger in Plain Sight, you’ll probably be clicking away to get some more on Amazon. The following excerpt is drawn from the first two chapters, so let’s get to it! Chapter One…

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August 11, 2020

A New Call for Submissions

A New Call for Submissions

Fiction writers, rejoice! Our fellow writer and Barista Jason Brick, after struggling through the Portland riots to get back to his computer, is launching a new publishing project, Flash in a Flash. It’s a twice-weekly email that delivers a single flash fiction directly to subscriber inboxes. Although you can write about anything, Jason asks that you keep it to 1,000 words or fewer. When you go to his submissions page, be sure to sign up for his list so you’ll be the first to see your story when it’s published. Jason is our most active barista in terms of publishing the works of other writers. He has published three flash-fiction anthologies, each featuring 100 different writers’ stories (think about that!), and is planning a fourth with the works from Flash in a Flash. He also publishes…

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April 28, 2020

The Jack & Phil Show Returns! A Book Marketing Strategy That Really Works

The Jack & Phil Show Returns! A Book Marketing Strategy That Really Works

UPDATE April 28: Our apologies for the snafu last week! Technical difficulties, which have now been addressed and corrected. We hope you’ll come back tomorrow, April 29, to enjoy our presentation. Please make sure to register at the link below if you have not re-registered since the presentation’s postponement. If you aren’t sure whether you are registered or not, you can click on the link below to make sure. Are you the author of a book, self- or indie-published, fiction or non-fiction? If you’ve tried any of the latest (usually costly and relatively unsuccessful) schemes and strategies to publicize and market your book, you may have given up hope. Here’s a free webinar that will help you do just that, and have fun doing it! Take heart. Fictional Café founder and author Jack B. Rochester and…

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January 17, 2020

A Podcast Curtain Call for Decoder Ring Theater!

A Podcast Curtain Call for Decoder Ring Theater!

You love these audio adventures from Gregg Taylor and his crew at Decoder Ring Theater, and so do we! So here’s another for you this week. It isn’t part of any series, but rather one of Gregg’s special works: a science-fiction detective story. We hope you like it. We did! Please click the arrow below to listen to “ID0” – that’s Eye Dee Zero.

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January 11, 2020

Decoder Ring Theater is Back!

Decoder Ring Theater is Back!

Hello! The name’s Fink, Ruby Fink, Fictional Café’s Audio Arts Barista. Every 365 days there’s a strange tradition – for Earth’s population to cozy up with friends, watch a ball drop in New York City from the comfort of their homes, and make enough toasts to ensure the previous year is a hazy blur of memories. It’s human nature I suppose, to try and wipe out the worst of the old, in order to replace that with hope for the new. New diet and exercise plans, the promotion you’ve been hoping for, maybe dreams of a romance or two for those who are single and available . . . or at least aren’t attached enough to their current partner to remain exclusive. At this time of the New Year, change is not only accepted but…

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January 8, 2020

Amanda Grafe: The Enlightened Paintbrush

Amanda Grafe: The Enlightened Paintbrush

We’re very pleased to introduce Amanda Grafe, an artist, illustrator and author of four books. A Rhode Island native, she holds a M.S. from Johnson & Wales University. We met Amanda at the Rhode Island Author’s Expo in December and were immediately impressed with her creative work. We hope you will be, too. Artist’s Statement (1): Abstract painting allow rules to be bent in ways other art forms cannot. Sticking mainly with oils, but occasionally incorporating other mediums, has given me a chance to selfishly explore, emotionally mend, deconstruct enigmas, and fight against both societal and personal constructs I feel do not serve humanity.  Generally, I prefer not to title my work. Although titles are useful, I believe they can in some instances confine the viewer’s mind, instructing them as to what they should be…

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December 27, 2019

Chapter III of Dan Coleman’s “Professor of Death”

Chapter III of Dan Coleman’s “Professor of Death”

Editor’s Note: We’ve been honored to publish Dan Coleman’s “Professor of Death” short story which, due to its length, has appeared in three parts this month: Part I, Part II, and herewith, the final chapter of the author’s triptych. Please read them in order for full appreciation. **      Robert dressed in dark clothes and arrived at the banker’s estate in the East Hamptons just after 2:00 a.m., Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. The site was secluded off a main road and down a winding lane. He surveyed the area with night vision field glasses. Except for a subtle breeze and ruffling leaves, all was calm, the sky moonless, overcast, therefore pitch black. Very good conditions. He exited the car near the gate and blew the dog whistle several times. No dogs on the estate at least….

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