New Meridian Arts is a creative community dedicated to giving voice to original writers of talent and scope. As my collection “Creek Bait” nears publication with New Meridian Arts I will be starting up my blog to follow the journey of the collection to final publication and beyond. The galleys have been sent and edited with only minor fixes. The cover is complete and a five star review from Readers Favorite has been sent to the publisher. As with my novel “Patch of Dirt” I have used Red City, Mid-West and Readers Favorite for reviews. I will also be sending the collection to Kirkus as soon as the cover is complete and I know the publication date.
“Creek Bait” is a collection of fourteen stories, each story portraying a world of characters who escape from life. Some succeed, others face heartbreak, and the lucky ones find redemption. From the isolation of a husband and wife on a train trip with their son to a magician who offers a ray of hope to a saloon girl, their stories are a journey that is passionate, surprising, and sometimes tragic.
The Review By Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite
“Creek Bait” by Richard Lutman is a collection of very interesting stories, covering a variety of themes and featuring intriguing and well developed characters. I was pulled in from the first story, “The Butterfly Lovers.” There is a lightness in tone, a playfulness of words that reflects the fleeting nature of a sexual relationship between the characters. Then follow stories that are deeply reflective of the human condition, of the enduring quest for a happiness that is elusive, of loss, of pain, and redemption. The world building is impeccable, the writing perceptive and deceptively simple, with words that convey hidden import. One notices the author’s sense of setting and how he brings it alive in each story, creating images like the quiet sea below the rough gray and granite cliffs, and the sounds of the surroundings.
Richard Lutman knows how to get the reader’s attention, thanks to the ability to be concise, to penetrate the hearts of the characters and allow them to speak to readers. The dialogues are witty and real, and tell a lot about the characters and elements of the plot. It also situates the reader with regards to the conflicts that drive the stories. I found “Creek Bait” to be exciting; the kind of book you read over a cup of coffee. Each story is well crafted with a powerful conflict, each fast paced, moving swiftly towards a satisfying climax. I enjoyed the way the author captures the worlds of the characters through dialogue and narrative. These stories reflect the author’s gift for word economy and the art of storytelling. One of those books one reads and revisits just to spend more time with the characters. The quirkiness of the characters, the beauty of the prose, and the strength of the plot points will keep readers absorbed in these pages.
For me the short story has been the hardest and most satisfying writing I’ve ever done. Far more than just the universe in 2,500 words it is closer to poetry, can be remembered for a lifetime and re-read over and over.
I used both ProWriting Aid for Word and Grammarly for editing my manuscript. Both programs are about as good as you can get for editing tools. Recommended.