Out writer and playwright Kathy Anderson with read from her debut short-story collection, “Bull and Other Stories,” Pride weekend at Giovanni’s Room. Her short stories have appeared in numerous online literary reviews, literary journals and anthologies.
“Basically, I write about real people caught up in the drama of everyday life,” Anderson said about her works. “I have characters like a funeral-home driver, a teenage boy faced with a dad who is transitioning and a corporate couple who is tormenting their Realtor by not buying a house and visiting many, many houses.”
The title story of her collection, “Bull,” centers on a teenage boy who isn’t the most likable character, as he unsuccessfully comes to grips with his the shifting sexual landscape that his parents are going through.
“It’s a great example of my writing,” she said. “It’s not 100-percent a gay story. The teenage boy is a straight kid and he’s just going through puberty, but yet he’s faced with his dad who is transitioning. But the whole story isn’t centered on that. It’s about his attempts to get his parents to agree to let him get a tattoo. He’s a typical teenage boy trying to get what he wants. It’s unexpected. That’s what I try to do, set up situations where surprising things happen. I think people just appreciate unique characters that are real people.”
Anderson said that while her characters aren’t based on actual people, she is inspired by real-life stories.
“I worked for a long time as a librarian in South Jersey so when you talk to the public you hear a lot of amazing life stories, and that’s the source of some of the tiny sparks that then turn into a totally different story,” she said. “Life is full of a lot of wonderful material. It’s not hard to come up with. The hard thing is to make it something that is a moment for you in a short amount of pages that moves you, makes you laugh or makes you cry.”
Kathy Anderson host a reading and signing with Nikka Harmon 6:30-8 p.m. June 11 at Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room, 345 S. 12th St. For more information, call 215-923-2960 or visit www.kathyandersonwriter.com.