BETWEEN TWO FLAMES WITH THE SEVENTH TERRACE
Thank you for joining us for another installment of Between Two Flames — where we place authors in our hot seat for what surely must feel like an eternity of environmentally unfriendly gas grilling.
Today we welcome Shane Kroetsch, author of “Attachment” — a thought provoking tale of loss and memory from our latest Purgatorio Tower’s book Terrace V: Penitent’s Gold. Shane, please tell us a little about yourself in exactly thirty-five words.
Shane: I’m a builder of things, real and imagined. My mind rarely stops. I’m always planning, scheming. I write fiction to process the confusing mess that is the human race. I also enjoy word count limitations.
TST: Excellent, nothing better than word count limitations, keeps the bones young. With that out of the way let’s get right to the greedy guts of it. What does Avarice mean to you? Is it inherently a bad thing? How does that play into your story of excessive desire found in this glitzy volume?
Shane: I suppose it boils down to possessions with no purpose to them—acquiring for the sake of acquiring, or having without being able to maintain. Is any of that an inherently bad thing? It can be, but life is built on shades of grey. We are animals with individual values and agency, what is a want to one is a need to another. My opinion is one of many. I took the exploration of avarice in two directions with my story. The idea that greed and love are one and the same, and how far the need for unique possessions can be taken.
TST: It’s an fabulous exploration. And bonus points for setting in the Towers, we loved that. Now tell us about a time you desperately desired something and went to potentially unexpected lengths to acquire it.
Shane: As I move through life, I am heading in the direction of having fewer moving parts, quality takes precedence over quantity, but that hasn’t always been the case. The instance that comes to mind is from the late 2000’s. My year-end bonus was supposed to pay off the loan on my daily driver, instead I used it to buy a fifty-year-old Volkswagen convertible listed on eBay.
TST: Hopefully the VW brought both joy and terror. Or is terror just from old Volvo’s? We can never remember exactly.. Speaking of retreads, can you see any of your characters popping up again in other stories?
Shane: As soon as I say that I’m done with a particular character or story, whether because I think I’ve said what I need to say or I’m simply sick of looking at them, that’s exactly when my mind will wander, and I’ll start building a new story in the same world.
TST: Give us a sentence (or short paragraph) from your story that you feel knocked it out of the park.
Shane: I’m fond of the opening,
Fernen steps around me as he scans the message scratched into the concrete wall. Fixing his attention on the closing, he pauses.
I hope you are well.
I hope you are unafraid.
Good-fucking-luck with that.
TST: Beautiful! Can you tell us a little about how you came up with this story or your creative process?
Shane: I generally begin with an image or a line of dialogue, then I start digging the story out of the dirt. For this piece I knew a few of the elements that I could or wanted to incorporate as the framework for the world it takes place in is already established. I set the protagonist’s motive early on. I liked the idea of souls as possessions, as currency, but how I got from there to the finished product is a story longer than the piece itself.
TST: What’s next for you? Any forthcoming releases, hatchings, or germinations we should be on the lookout for? Or, any recent delights you’d love to flog?
Shane: It’s been a year of drastic change for me. What comes next is to get back into the business of writing. The plan for 2023 is to relaunch my zombie pandemic trilogy with a new edition, and to finish up a paranormal series that’s been sitting half-finished for too long. So many ideas, so little time.
About the Author:
Shane Kroetsch writes stories to explore the inherent darkness that makes us human and the monsters that haunt our dreams. In his spare time, he builds projects out of old junk, paints watercolour blanket ghosts, and shakes his butt while vinyl spins. In addition to publishing a collection of short fiction and a zombie outbreak trilogy, Shane’s work is featured in Lampblack Books’ The Planchette Volume One: Genesis and the Alexandra Writers’ Center Society’s 40th Anniversary Anthology WonderShift.