Tag Archives: Faith Cotter

Featured New Non-Fiction: Paper Dragons by Faith Cotter


It’s a two-fer! Something we don’t see her often is an author with two back-to-back weeks in the spotlight. That’s probably because most of you don’t have such close release dates. But my buddy Faith Cotter does, and I’m eager to tell you about this one. It’s an essay, a work of non-fiction, and it’s called Paper Dragons.


Paper Dragons_New

Before I tell you much more about it, let’s pique all our interests — mine included — with the important stuff: What song makes Faith think of her essay?

“Blue,” by Mai Yamane for the Cowboy Bebop OST

You’re gonna carry that weight. The Beatles lyric appears in the bottom of the television screen. Blue has just hit its final note, and the story has ended. John turns to me and says, “Did you like it?”

There are tears in his eyes. It is one of the only times I have seen him cry. Yes, I tell him. I loved it.

Blue marked the end of a show that built its story around exploring how we carry the past and make sense of a chaotic world. In a scene that eloquently speaks to why people create narrative, cartographers race against time and nature to map out rapidly changing land, all in a futile effort to creature structure and logic.

You’re gonna carry that weight. It’s why I wrote Paper Dragons. It’s why John and I share stories, and why he will write someday, too: to make sense of it all. To carry the past as best we can.


Wow. Powerful stuff, huh? So… need to know more? I do.

What would you do with time that you didn’t think you’d have? In the wake of an illness that rocked the lives of their family for nearly a decade, Faith and her brother John don’t speak to each other that much anymore. He no longer needs her to help take care of him, and he’s too old for their favorite book, The Velveteen Rabbit. With John staring down the sudden possibility of time, Faith tries to pick up pieces of the past in an attempt to make life whole for both of them again–but she can’t find these relics, pictures of dragons drawn by John’s hands in the early days of his childhood. Paper Dragons examines the kind of grief that is created by lost years, and the stories that break relationships apart–and puts them back together.


Sounds like powerful stuff, huh? (And can I repeat myself any more??? Sheesh. But really. What other word would you use?)

Pick up your copy. Since it’s not available at the wider retailers yet, remember that Smashwords can give you any format you need, and the author (in this case, Faith) gets the highest royalties around. Win-win for everyone, so it’s always worth opening an account and keeping your eyes peeled for the periodic promotions.







Featured New Story: Clara by Faith Cotter


What was it? Last week that I put out a call for reviewers for my buddy Faith Cotter’s new short works. As I said then, Faith is a buddy from the Boy Scouts, a woman I bonded with over writing, archery, and the difficulties of being a female Boy Scout.  She’s good people, and I’m proud to know her.


And as I said, I’m pleased as anything that she’s joining us in the publishing world. Be good to her. Buy her stuff. Read it, leave a few words of review. Or contact her for a review copy.

Remember, reviews help sell books.

So… off the soapbox and onto the important stuff.

Faith, what song makes you think of your story?

Blinding by Florence and the Machine

I first heard Blinding three years ago and the minute I heard it and really dug into the lyrics, I knew that there was something about this song that was very strongly connected to what I write about—the ghost that haunts all my stories, if you will.

Though Clara is a fictional, it is inspired by the first elementary school I attended, with its dark hallways and ornate staircases and nuns in old-fashioned habits. Writing this story was the first time I realized that my memory, as tangible as those years are even now, could play tricks on me. (I was utterly convinced we had a series of taxidermied animals on the way to the principal’s office and I was fascinated by them: a bit of decay amongst people with so much time ahead of them. Old classmates, now grown up, say otherwise.)

As for the story itself, and how it connects with this song: Yes, this is a story about two young girls. But I know that if I am going to write a story that centers around children, there needs to be something else there, something that children can see and something that old folk like me (aka adults) can see as well. I wrote Clara as a story heavy with familiar and unfamiliar motifs and themes in the hope that different readers will interpret those themes differently, based on their lived experiences. For some, it will be political; for others, maybe they will feel nostalgic. For me, this story is really about waking up. It’s about shaking off sleep and standing up and taking off. And through the use of the song’s motifs and archetypes as familiar to us as our childhood school days, Blinding encapsulates Clara so well. And that’s all I want to say about it.

The rest, reader, is up to you.

So… if Faith is old, what does that make me? Decrepit?

Ahh… well, on to the book description:

Catholic school kid Clara Cooper wants to go home. She has some unfinished business to attend to, and really needs God to give her attempt at truancy a bit of heavenly aid. When she fails to convince the nurses, the principal, and her mama that she is sick enough to leave school, she decides to take matters into her own hands. Over the course of her small adventure, she makes friends with an old bear and fellow truant Nhi Nguyen, and discovers that there are lessons that can never be taught within the confines of the towering school that makes up her world.


It reminds me of my own Mannequin… a young girl, learning lessons of life. Pick both stories up and see what you think. Do they compare?

Here’s the buy links:



(more retailers to follow!)


Personal Links:

Author website



Amazon Author Page







Call for Reviewers: Short Stuff


No, I am NOT asking for you to review me. Sheesh. I haven’t been called Short Stuff in years. Guess people got tired of having their kneecaps boxed ’cause that was as high as I could reach.

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West of Mars friend Faith Cotter is about to release two short pieces — one a short story and the other a short narrative essay — and would like to enlist the help of friendly people who’d be interested in leaving some reviews to help her launch these properly.

I’ve read some of Faith’s earlier works. She wrote wonderful essays about life at Scout Camp — the same Scout Camp I used to take my son to until he wasn’t a Cub Scout anymore. But while there’s a hint of nostalgia about those earlier works for me, the fact that she also holds a Journalism degree from Point Park  University and has won awards for her writing ought to help bolster the cause.

Grab a hold of this chance to help a new-to-the-scene writer, why don’tcha? No, I didn’t edit them (sadly) and I haven’t read them. But Faith sure wishes you would.

Drop her an e-mail if you’re interested.