Miss Alma May Learns To Fight

Cover Art. Miss Alma May Learns To Fight. A line drawing of a tree in green, brown and dark green.

Miss Alma May Learns To Fight
Stuart Rose

Etchings Press at University of Indianapolis
ISBN 978-1955521017
60 pages
Bookshop.org or Amazon

Stuart Rose’s novella, Miss Alma May Learns to Fight, is an empowering story about learning how to be strong and stand up for yourself. The story follows the character Miss Alma May, a woman who carries a lot of anger inside her, but doesn’t know how to stand up to people when faced with confrontation. As she begins learning martial arts and feels more confident and in control of her life she learns to fight back effectively without letting the anger she feels consume her. This wonderful story is a message of strength and perseverance that is well worth the read.

Interview with the Author

Etchings Press: What inspired you to become a writer?

Stuart Rose: I’ve always loved books. I’m more of a natural reader than a writer. Perhaps a part of me just wants to be involved in the process of story-telling. 

EP: What books do you enjoy reading or that have inspired your writing?

SR: I love all the books, from reading all 200+ of the Star Wars novels as a kid to David Foster Wallace to Jane Austen, and everything in between. I’m inspired by everything I read, even the not-so-good stuff. I do feel particularly inspired after delving into Alice in Wonderland, the works of Ernest Hemingway, Alexandre Dumas, Lauren Groff and Jonathan Franzen. I read a surprisingly good zombie novel the other week: Zone One by Colson Whitehead.

EP: What other projects are you working on?

SR: The story you’re publishing, Miss Alma May Learns to Fight, is a part of a novel I’m working on. It’s a weird western, one that reverses a lot of the more tired western genre tropes, similar to what Hernan Diaz did in his fantastic western novel In the Distance.

EP: Your novella Miss Alma May Learns to Fight is such a unique, interesting story that sends the empowering message of a woman learning to defend herself. What inspired you to tell this story? 

SR: Beyond the necessary cultural upheaval our society is going through, I think that stories about women and/or minorities are inherently interesting, and full of adversity to overcome. A white man opens a dance-hall in an 1870’s mining town. OK, there’s some adversity for that character to overcome. But what if it’s a woman who opens this dance-hall? What if it’s a person of color? There’s a lot for these kinds of folks to overcome, conflicts and desires and persistent hardships, and for a writer that is story-telling gold.

EP: What advice can you give young writers who are trying to get published?

SR: Well, I consider myself a new writer as well, so I’ll try to keep this brief. I think it’s unfortunately all too common for a writer with a mite more experience to give oodles of advice to writers who have just a mite less. I will say that it’s important to spend more time actually writing than you do talking about writing or thinking about writing. And do more writing than you did last week.