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). Recent work has been featured in District Lit, Origins, Oxford Magazine, Red Earth Review, Canada's Saturday Night Reader, Sequestrum, Sliver of Stone, Split Lip, and SunStruck. Work is forthcoming in East Bay Review, and he read at the North American Review Bicentennial Celebration in 2015.

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2016 August 25

"She has claimed that the bear followed her to Iraq and to the military hospital after she was injured on her second tour. Sometimes she saw it smoking a cigarette under the desert moon glowing just outside the rubble and the loops of razor wire. Once, she saw it hand out rounds of ammunition after a man walked too close to the perimeter. The bear was on watch that night, positioned on a rooftop fortified with sandbags and protective glass. It shot the shit with her fellow troops, many of the jokes making her blush." Read more >

Sequestrum has published “Confluence,” a short story in which a brother tries reconciling his relationship with his sister after she returns from deployment in Iraq. 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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