Rusty W. Spell wrote the stories in this collection from
1999-2001 -- ages 24 to 26 -- while a PhD student at The
University of Southern Mississippi. The eleven
stories and author's introduction made up his Doctoral
As opposed to Nothing But
Gas, Rusty Spell's Master's Thesis, which included
stories from various levels of his development as a
writer, this collection consists of stories written
during a particularly strong three year period.
All of the stories are mature and worthwhile, and many
written during this time -- though themselves pretty
good -- were not included here because Spell wanted the
best of the best.
placing these stories in chronological order, Spell
chose instead to arrange the stories in such a way as to
tell a complete story, providing an overall narrative
arc for the collection even as though it deals with
different characters in each story.
The stories deal
with characters similar to those in the previous
collection, but here they are adult and wise, and some
of the preoccupations that had weighed them (and the
author) down are thrown off now, leaving them wide open
to explore brand new lifestyles dictated by no one but
The modern world
that these "boys and girls" live in contains all the
color and joy of hard candy blended with the true
emotion and pain found in only the most examined of
lives. The stories and characters Rusty W. Spell
creates will not be forgotten.
About Rusty W. Spell