Award-winning Encinitas author publishes collection of short stories
Encinitas author Gwen Goodkin recently released a collection of short stories, “A Place Remote,” that center around life in a fictional rural Ohio town.
“The book is about a nostalgia for times past, so the first and the last stories are both told from the point of view of men in their 40s looking back at a pivotal moment in their teen years and how those moments changed their lives,” said Goodkin, who grew up in Ohio and has lived in Encinitas for about 17 years.
Goodkin said she wrote the first of the 10 stories in the collection in 2005, and wrote the rest of them on and off over the years that followed. Most of the stories were previously published in literary journals, some online and others in print only.
She also said the stories are about “the people who make up this place,” referring to her native Ohio, their work ethic and the commonalities that bind them.
“Maybe that’s something that all of us need to focus a little more on,” Goodkin said.
They also portray some of her real experiences growing up in Ohio.
“Some of them are definitely based on real experiences but most of the stories in the book are told from a male point of view, so that definitely changes the experiences,” she said. “When I write, I tend to just kind of mix up situations and characters and then I fill in the cracks with fiction.”
For example, one of her stories about a dairy farm aims to give a new perspective on farming, as well as issues related to animals and food consumption, for someone from a city who has probably never met a farmer or been to a farm.
“Farmers can get vilified in some ways when they’re talking about animals but I think what we need to focus on are the small family farmers who are working really hard just to get food on the table for us,” Goodkin said
In addition to fiction, Goodkin also writes nonfiction, screenplays and other works. She has a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University, a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of British Columbia, attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop three-week summer intensive session, the Tin House Writers’ Workshop, and the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley’s fiction workshop.
Her past accolades include winning a John Steinbeck Award for Fiction and a Silver Prize for a short script in the Beverly Hills Screenplay Contest.
“A Place Remote” is published by West Virginia University Press. For more information, visit wvupressonline.com/node/847.
For more information on Goodkin, visit www.gwengoodkin.com.
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