Karl El-Koura was born in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 1979 and currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada). He has published more than sixty short stories and articles. Karl holds a second-degree black belt in Okinawan Goju Ryu karate, is an avid commuter-cyclist, and works for the Canadian Federal Public Service.
Ooter’s Place and Other Stories of Fear, Faith, and Love is a collection of 13 of my short stories. Twelve were previously published in magazines between 1998 and 2010, while the bonus story is exclusive to this collection. Organized in three sections—Fear, Faith, and Love—the anthology also contains an introduction and forewords to accompany each story (an afterword in the case of the bonus story).
Q: What will e-readers like about your book?
I think, first and foremost, they’ll be entertained for a few hours, getting to know some interesting characters and the worlds they inhabit.
Second, I hope they discover or rediscover the magic of short stories. Many readers seem to prefer longer fiction, and although novels are great, short stories are wonderful in their own right. Novels are a four-course meal; short stories are appetizers or mains or dessert. There is, of course, nothing wrong with a long, leisurely meal, but I wouldn’t want to have a four-course meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day!
Third, I hope they’re exposed to genres that they may not otherwise read. We typically watch all kinds of movies (no one in my hearing has ever said, “I only watch science fiction movies”) but it sometimes seems that our tastes are more narrow when it comes to picking out books to read. Ooter’s Place spans a wide variety of genres, and I’m hoping some readers at least will think to themselves, “I never thought I’d like a horror story, but I liked this one!” or “I thought science fiction wasn’t my cup of tea, but this story was pretty good.”
Q: Why did you go indie?
Twelve of the stories collected in this book were first bought and published by editors for professional magazines; the thirteenth is a bonus story, exclusive to this collection. The market for single-author short story collections isn’t very big, unfortunately; but going indie allows a writer to collect their stories and publish it themselves. For too long, people would ask me, “Where can I get a copy of your stories?” and I’d have to direct them to different magazines (while the edition where my story appeared was still in print) or to various websites. It’s wonderful to now be able to refer them to a single book. And one where I’ve been involved with every aspect, from writing and editing the book to formatting it and designing the cover. When someone buys the book (paperback or ebook), I know they’re not only getting thirteen great stories, but a beautiful paperback or ebook that’s been put together with a lot of care and attention.
Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre?
In terms of short fiction: Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Stephen King, G.K. Chesterton.
Author's website: http://www.ootersplace.com
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3PqUm_RPmU