Author Page: Chad Brian Henry

Chad Brian Henry lives in Pittsburgh, PA. His work can be found in Outercast‘s 6th issue. His story Distractions appears in the Spring 2008 issue of Shimmer. Drop him an email here.


Where did the idea come from? The story started out with the first line. It just popped in my head one day and the story came from trying to find a reason to use it.

How did the story change as you developed it? It got a lot shorter. It started out as a longer story, but as I cut out all the stuff that didn’t matter, I was left with just a few paragraphs.

You know the advice “Sometimes you have to kill your darlings.” Was there a scene or line that it really hurt to cut, but cutting it made the story stronger? I don’t have any old versions, but I remember that I thought I was being really clever when I did the first draft and repeatedly used the word “leg” since the woman loses hers. I thought I was foreshadowing. Luckily someone pointed it out to me that I was just being stupid.

How is this story like your other work? How is it different? Most of my stories are about people who are somehow deficient (socially, morally, intellectually, etc.) and are unable to cope with it. In this story, a man can travel through time, but can’t help anyone because he can’t remember what happened long enough to do something about it.

This story is a little different from my others, because usually I tend to be very scene oriented. Time periods are usually very self-contained. Flashbacks are always separate scenes. In this story, because of the loose way the narrator travels through time, I tried to blend the past, present, and future into one scene without using breaks or concrete borders between the time periods. I don’t know how successful that was, but it was fun to try.

Questions About Writing:

What writing projects are you presently working on? Just short stories. I don’t have any long term plans or goals for my writing.

Are you satisfied with traditional labels for genre fiction? Do words like “speculative,” “slipstream,” and, for that matter, “genre” cover it? What would you suggest? I think they’re fine. Labels are just general guides and to put to much importance on them misses the point. I use them to point me in the right direction in the book store and after that I couldn’t care less.

Do you work with a critique or writers group? I use I’ve met some people on that site that have really helped me out and it would have taken me years to get where I am now without the help I got there.

Does your work tend to explore any particular themes? I like messed up people. People who are normal and can cope easily with life are boring.

Random Questions:

Fast food: Yea or Nay? Yea, but only when I’m drinking.

All-time favorite movie? Cube

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Speculative fiction for a miscreant world

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