Hello everyone! Welcome to Colleen’s Coffee Klatch. Where I grew up, the Kaffeeklatsch was all the rage. Folks (mostly women) would get together, share a cup of coffee, and catch up on their lives. Thanks so much for stopping by to share a cup of coffee and a chat. Every month, I like to reconnect with my favorite authors to catch up and see what’s new in their writing world.

This week, I asked Sarah Brentyn to stop by to talk about her newest endeavor: a flash fiction anthology called, “The Shadows We Breathe.” This is an anthology of short fiction, featuring Volume One, and now, Volume Two. She has compiled and edited the books featuring the work of several authors.

Meet Sarah Brentyn:

Sarah Brentyn is an introvert who believes anything can be made better with soy sauce and wasabi. She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them. When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies. She hopes to build a vacation home in Narnia someday. In the meantime, she lives with her family and a rainbow-colored, wooden cat who is secretly a Guardian.


Here you go, Sarah. I brought you a Grande.

Hi Colleen. Thanks. It’s great to share a cup of coffee with you!

I’m so glad you’re here. I know you’ve just published the second volume of your anthology, “The Shadows We Breathe.” I’ve read and reviewed the first volume. I enjoy short fiction as much as my syllabic poetry. Each story was an impactful read! Here’s my review.

Thanks. I’m so happy you enjoyed the book.

You know, Sarah… I love the book covers for this anthology. Tell us a bit about the artwork.

Line art may sound easy. May even look easy. Squiggle here, curve there, dot there. Done. And, perhaps, for some, that’s how it goes. What do I know? The extent of my artistic abilities is drawing a recognizable stick figure of a cat.

I know what you mean, Sarah. I’m not artistic in the least. Yet, you figured out how to make the covers work.

“I don’t know how art works.” This was my mantra while working with the artist for my flash fiction collections, and it remained that way through the process of working with that same patient, saint-like artist for “The Shadows We Breathe”series.

I had this gorgeous cover in mind—striking, minimalist, and bold. I told her what I was imagining. It went something like this: “I want a face.” Uh… Okay. (Elaboration was needed).

So, I proceeded to make things clear as mud for her.

In my head, it sounded perfectly simple and straight-forward. Out loud, it sounded more like, “A woman’s face. But, like, not all done up with makeup and stuff. Sort of abstract but not like Picasso but not realistic but not a cartoon but…” and so on until she just asked me to show her what I meant.

That went well.

Oh, no! I can only imagine, Sarah.

Moving on. She sketched something out in between bites of her lunch and sent it to me. It was way too, um, er, uh… Too much? Too…? “Too detailed?” she suggested. Yes. That.

She converted it to digital, and we proceeded to cut, remove, cut, remove, cut, remove until… Voilà! Line art.

It probably would have helped if I’d said, “I’d love a minimalistic line art drawing of half a woman’s face on a distressed background,” but alas, I did not.

But, somehow, we eventually got there, and it’s exactly how I imagined it. Striking. Minimalist. Bold. I was unsure how it would be received by readers because of its simplicity, but I loved it, so I went with it.

You might be surprised what the final image looked like in that very first sketch. In case you’re interested, here you go:

Thanks to the amazingly talented Loni Townsend.

Sarah, thanks so much for introducing us to “The Shadows We Breathe,” Volumes one and two.

It was a great pleasure. Thanks for including the links to the books and the authors. Thanks for the coffee, Colleen. ❤️ ☕️

Life promises joy and sorrow. Alongside the light, there will always be traces of darkness. It is the nature of being human. In this anthology of short fiction, we explore relationships—how they sculpt us, hurt us, help us, and reveal our deepest desires. Eight artists, whose words paint worlds, bring you stories of heartache, loss, hope, and forgiveness. They unveil the intimacy and complexity of relationships. Whether family, friend, or lover, connections to others can hold us up or break us down. Within these pages, beautiful words are spun into tales threaded with darkness. Discover the shadows we breathe.

Amazon.com

Volume One Contributors:

Contributors 💕

Georgia Bell is the author of Unbound, a young adult paranormal romance about love, fear, and immortality. She was raised on a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy and began writing the stories she wanted to read over a decade ago.

Author Page | Twitter

Maria Carvalho is a multi-genre writer whose short stories have appeared in a wide variety of magazines and anthologies, including Under the Full Moon’s Light and Cabinet of Curiosities (both by Owl Hollow Press).

Author Page | Twitter

Reena Dobson began pursuing her creative writing with a vengeance when she realised the world was never going to stop and give her time to write. She now writes at the edges, in sunshine and under cover of darkness.

Author Page | Twitter

Ali Isaac is a writer and blogger living in Co. Cavan, Ireland. In 2020, she was awarded a writing mentorship by Words Ireland and the Arts Council of Ireland, working under the guidance of author, Sara Baume. Her writing has been published in The Stinging Fly, Sonder, and Paper Lanterns.

Author Page | Twitter

D. Wallace Peach, best-selling fantasy author, started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked.

Author Page | Twitter

Allie Potts lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband, two children, and spoiled dog. When not finding ways to squeeze in 72 hours into a 24-hour day, Allie consumes and creates science fiction, fantasy, post-apocalyptic quests, cozy mysteries, and contemporary fiction.

Author Page | Twitter

Mary Smith, author and poet, is based in Scotland. Her memoir Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women focusses on her work in Afghanistan, which also provides the setting for her novel No More Mulberries.

Author Page | Twitter

Available NOW in both eBook and Paperback

Life promises joy and sorrow. Alongside the light, there will always be traces of darkness. It is the nature of being human. In this anthology of short fiction, we explore health—how the state of our bodies and minds nurtures us, damages us, and forms our reality. Eight artists, whose words paint worlds bring you stories of pain, confusion, acceptance, and courage. They reveal the conflicting and contrasting nature of health. Whether mental or physical, our state of being can create chaos or bring us peace. Within these pages, beautiful words are spun into tales threaded with darkness. Discover the shadows we breathe.

Amazon.com

Volume Two Contributors:

Georgia Bell is the author of Unbound, a young adult paranormal romance about love, fear, and immortality. She was raised on a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy and began writing the stories she wanted to read over a decade ago.

Author Page | Twitter

Ruth Daly’s poetry, humour, fiction, non-fiction, and contemplative pieces have been published in magazines for children, young adults, and families. She has written 59 children’s books for educational publishers covering such varied topics as musical instruments, endangered animals, rocks and minerals, and explorers.

Blog | Twitter

Ali Isaac is a writer and blogger living in Co. Cavan, Ireland. In 2020, she was awarded a writing mentorship by Words Ireland, and the Arts Council of Ireland, working under the guidance of author, Sara Baume. Her writing has been published in The Stinging Fly, Sonder, and Paper Lanterns.

Author Page | Twitter

R.A. Kerr is a life-long classic film enthusiast and has been blogging about old movies for a decade. She is also a freelance writer and editor, and has facilitated creative writing workshops for kids.

Blog | Twitter

S. Mitchell-Jackson writes prose and poetry. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Queen’s Ferry Press Best Small Fictions award. She won the Channillo Short Story Prize in 2020. 

Author Page | Twitter

D. Wallace Peach, best-selling fantasy author, started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked.

Author Page | Twitter

Allie Potts lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband, two children, and spoiled dog. When not finding ways to squeeze in 72 hours into a 24 day, Allie consumes and creates science fiction, fantasy, post-apocalyptic quests, cozy mysteries, and contemporary fiction.

Author Page | Twitter

Available NOW in both eBook and Paperback

Would you like to stop by for coffee and a chat? Email me at colleenchesebro333@gmail.com, and pitch me your chat idea by December 3, 2021. I only have one opening for December 2021 left. ❤️ ☕️