Dissenting Opinion from the Committee for the Beatitudes
“As an editing team we unanimously decided to publish this work. Our team couldn’t stop reading, and we loved every second of working with this story.”
—Etchings Press Student Team for Dissenting Opinion from the Committee for the Beatitudes
Interview with the Author
Etchings Press: Where do your ideas for stories come from?
Marc J. Sheehan: I wish I knew. If I did, I would be a lot more productive! Actually, it varies. Sometimes I have a little detail I want to fit into a piece. For example, in the story “Sins of Contrition,” the character’s mother is named Elvis, like the singer. My mother’s name really was Elvis. It took me years to finally work that into a piece of writing. Another story, “The Dauphin,” I wrote in response to a writing prompt. I usually don’t care for that, but I had wanted to write something based upon the time my father was dying, and the prompt (the story had to include a president in some way) allowed me to come at the experience kind of sideways. Still other times I’ll look at a story and simply wonder where it came from. The title story of the collection is like that.
EP: How do each of these stories relate in this collection?
MJS: There’s an arc to the collection. For example, the characters tend to age from one story to the next and in some of the later stories, including “Elegy for the Corded Phone,” the characters reflect upon the aging process and the failures they have experienced. Then the last couple of stories take place in a kind of dreamscape – almost having the sense of an afterlife. I consciously structured the book in such a way that, I hope, one story has the feeling of leading to the next.