Short Story Anthology King of the Lake: and Other Stories Explores Diverse Themes of Fatherhood, Growing Old, and Quirky Characters
Author Kira Marie McCullough is celebrating the unveiling of King of the Lake: and Other Stories, her debut short story anthology which officially releases this week from WordCrafts Press. This eclectic collection of stories explores diverse themes ranging from restored fatherhood, to spunky old gals living life on their own terms, to quirky satire involving haute cuisine, the perfect cup of coffee, and a jazz loving tuba player.
Several stories included in the anthology have earned praise and awards from industry insiders and acclaimed authors. “Buffet to Die For” was a finalist in the 2020 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival Contest. “Her Best Kiss” was performed before a live audience in New York City as part of the 2019 Liar’s League NYC “Short & Sweet Flash Fiction” event. In 2014, she received the “Creative Writing Award for Fiction” from Texas A&M University-Central Texas.
“King of the Lake: and Other Stories will tug you to read them over and over, not just because of Kira Marie McCullough’s wonderfully descriptive and talented writing style, but because these timeless stories are about the stuff of life and relationships; heartfelt tales where fathers and daughters can become kings and princesses,” declared Jim Sano, award-winning author of the Father Tom Series.
“Through elegant use of language, beautiful description, fully-fleshed characters, and story lines that encompass heartache, loss, restoration, forgiveness, and at times quirky humor, Kira Marie McCullough’s anthology, King of the Lake: and Other Stories, weaves a rich tapestry of tales at once hauntingly familiar, yet somehow manage to remain fresh and dewy,” adds internationally acclaimed playwright and author Paula K. Parker.
“Beyond simply enjoying the tales in King of the Lake: and Other Stories, I found myself looking more deeply at others around me as more than just people passing by,” mused Bill Vanderbush, best selling author of Unveiled Horizon—Reflections on the Nature of God. “Good writing does that. It opens your eyes wider at the wonder in the world around you. Don’t be surprised if this book has the same effect on you too.”
The anthology is divided into three distinct sections, each showcasing McCullough’s intuitive use of language, voice, and style. The first section, “Super Dads,” includes stories about fathers—the flawed, the fallen, and the redeemed.
“My Dad and I argued for 25 years,” McCullough explains. “Then, something changed. We both went through some really trying times, with personal sickness, financial woes, and other troubles. These trials chipped away at the armor of our pride. We understood, now that we were fragile, we needed to be gentler in our approach to one another. I think it was humility—his and mine—that opened our conversations and hearts. This noble change in my father sparked a creative desire in me to write stories of restored fatherhood.”
In the second section, “Dreamers & Schemers,” McCullough celebrates spunky ole’ gals, and the joys and trials of growing old.
In the final section, appropriately titled, “Silly Satire,” McCullough unleashes her inner quirky child, generating tales that will make you smile, force you to giggle, and might even result in a belly laugh or two.
“I love satire and irony,” she says with a sly grin. “Writing these stories was cathartic, and I believe reading them could be a cure for too much navel-gazing. And it’s a great way to spend an hour on the train, in the rain, or just plain anyplace. By the way, if you’re ever in Bliss, Texas, don’t eat the meatloaf at Duke’s Diner.”
About the Author
Kira Marie McCullough was born in Kansas, the daughter of a pastor and his wife, a teacher. She remembers a happy life growing up with a little sister, in the time of black-and-white television, telephones connected to the wall by a cord, and mom-and-pop grocery stores that carried bubblegum two for a penny. She is currently hard at work on her next fiction project, a novel about a farm community in Kansas, set in the 1940s and ’50s.
“It’s a love story about an unlikely romance between a farmboy, Gabe, and a towngirl, Clare, whose father is deadset against his daughter marrying a farmer. It’s a story of hardships and faith; about one man’s love for the land, and his search for God, who finds him and guides him in mysterious ways,” McCullough say.
For more information about Kira Marie McCullough visit her online at: