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 September 1

"...for those of us who are regulars or are turning over a rock of curiosity that life has exposed, listening in the car or listening on the Internet to the broadcast from the studio of WHOO in Charlottesville, Virginia, it’s never too late to jump in with what she started, because she’s always available to us in one of three forms: strictly facts, stories that belong to someone else, and poetic tensions that pull in and let out, like a winch, things that seem certain once they emerge from under a lyrical veneer." Read more >

Oxford Magazine has published "From the Top," a short story uncovering the life of an astrologist. 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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