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. Recent work has appeared in District Lit, Origins, Oxford Magazine, Sequestrum, Sliver of Stone, and elsewhere; he read at the 2015 bicentennial celebration for North American Review. Having lived up and down the Midwest and in Virginia, he now calls California home with his wife.
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2017 March 2

"A Tree in the Woods" available at The Hungry Chimera

Sucked in and suckered in—that’s what she realized, when she realized it had happened. A sucker, Marion called herself seconds later, correcting herself as the target and the trigger of emotional buckshot. All me, she thought, all me. PR trick, click-bait, curated image stuck on the end of hashtag carrot sticks. Down a rabbit hole. Into a black hole.

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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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