Author interview: Joel Arnold

How did you become interested in short stories?
I've always enjoyed short stories. I've subscribed to various magazines featuring short stories for most of my life; magazines like Weird Tales, Twilight Zone Magazine, The Magazine of Science Fiction & Fantasy, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine...While I also read a lot of novels, short stories pack their own particular kind of punch as well as convey ideas in ways a novel can't.

As an author, do you think writing short stories is worthwhile?  Why?
Definitely. Writing short stories is a great way to explore different ideas, themes, styles and characters without committing to writing an entire novel. For beginning writers, it's a great way to see if you really enjoy writing; a way to accomplish something with a shorter time commitment. And a short story from an experienced writer can be something sublime.

What types of short story promotion have worked for you?
I've announced the solo short stories that I have for sale in ebook form on places like Kindle Boards, Nook Boards, Mobile Reads, the Amazon message boards, etc. I think it all works in a cumulative way.

What types of short story promotion have not worked for you?
I sincerely regret drawing the names of my stories on my chest with Sharpie markers and running naked down the highways yelling 'Buy! Buy! Buy!' Not recommended. Also, did you know that the ink from Sharpies is permanent?

Do you consider 99 cents to be a fair price for a standalone short story?  Why or why not?
Yes, I do. 99 cents for between 10 minutes to an hour of reading pleasure? Compare that to a $2 cup of regular coffee, or a Snickers, or a Coke. Plus, that short story is (at least it should be!) much more mentally stimulating, and it's still pretty darn cheap entertainment. Just last week I spent $18 to see a movie at a theater alone + get a soda and candy. And that doesn't count the gas it took me to drive there.

Check out Joel's short story:
On Amazon
On Smashwords


  1. Damn!
    I was gonna try that Sharpie method...
    Thanks for this Joel!

    Shana Hammaker
    Twelve Terrifying Tales for 2011

  2. Lol. I enjoyed that as well. Keep reading! There's lots of excellent tips to come.


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