Pepper's Ghost novel cover

William Auten

Author of the novel Pepper's Ghost

Black Rose Writing | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

William Auten is the author of the novel Pepper's Ghost (Black Rose Writing, 2016), and his work has been featured in District Lit, Notre Dame Review, Origins, Canada's Saturday Night Reader, Sliver of Stone, SunStruck, and other publications. Work is forthcoming in East Bay Review, Red Earth Review, and Sequestrum, and he read at the North American Review Bicentennial Celebration in 2015.

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2016 August 9

"JT looks like the other boys in shorts and t-shirts with skateboards emblazoned on the front; Cousin Dylan is, well, Cousin Dylan, a curly-haired ginger with a speech impediment that sounds like a single-stroke engine missing half its stroke; and there’s Marybeth pushing her way to the front of a bio-diversity panel suspended from the ceiling, telling the other kids that what they don’t understand is how this leaf there, this one, the one she’s pointing to, is different than all the other leaves on display. The colors make it stand out." Read more >

Split Lip has published "Personal Day," a flash-fiction piece. It’s about 500 words; you could read it on your lunch break or in between things on your to-do list or just hanging out. Many thanks to all those involved!

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Pepper's Ghost cover William Auten
Pepper's Ghost (Black Rose Writing, 2016, ISBN 978-1-61296-652-6)
Charlotte Alexandra Long is determined to create her own life, but severe reverberations await her at the crossroads of each decision and always the possibility that the very thing she put in place on her own terms could be wiped away by an uncertain future. As Pepper’s Ghost weaves in and out of her experiences as a teen and young adult, and locations in the South and Midwest, Alex emerges from the remains of young Charlotte, but her evolving identity will never escape being an outsider in society’s eyes. After a series of ill-fitting jobs, Alex joins a traveling amusement company as a sideshow performer, where illusion and reality interplay through the metaphor of an old theater trick. She faces challenges from her troubled but devoted father, her self-absorbed mother, a spectrum of circus employees, and emotional ties to memories and places that give solace in times of ambiguity and loneliness.
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Short Fiction

"Times are gone for honest men, the communists are coming, and there’s another Hitler waiting to rise."
"Ready Made" is now available at Sliver of Stone. The short story explores the Western genre and sprinkles in World War 2, Looney Toons, and Tombstone the movie.

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