GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ An exceptional short story talent: K. M. Herkes | I Smell Sheep

Friday, April 10, 2015

An exceptional short story talent: K. M. Herkes

I invited author K. M. Herkes to talk about her amazing series. I've read a lot of books and when I run across an exceptional talent, I like to share. Herkes short story telling abilities are off the charts. This is how it is done. Right now each short story is only $.99  (free for prime members) and I promise you will be blown away by her work. Then you can check out her Restoration series set in the same world.

Continue reading to find out what this series is about...

Rough Passages Series

Rough Passages started with a what if?

What if the fantasy superpowers that seemed so wondrous when I was a child finally arrived now that I’m closer to retirement than adolescence?

Growing up, I spent hours dreaming that I would save the world like Wonder Woman or Isis, or Superman even. Superhero comics speak to a human need for attention and acceptance. Who among us didn’t once dream of being told, “You don’t know it yet, but you are special. You have powers beyond human understanding. Come with me, and learn your destiny.”

I turned around one day, and I had a job, a family, bills to pay and schedules to keep. No kindly old mentor ever showed up on my doorstep to tell me I was born with amazing powers. I was never bitten by a radioactive spider or bombarded by gamma rays, and I never learned to read minds (although my husband sometimes thinks I can.) All the conflicts in my life are bureaucratic, financial or personal. I can’t outrun them with super-speed or teleport them into a black hole. So I wondered: what good would those powers be?

That's the premise for Rough Passages. Each short work explores a different answer to that simple question: would gaining superpowers at middle-age feel like opportunity knocking, or would it be more like a terminal diagnosis?

Think of the human costs and the cultural complications:

What if gaining telepathy or growing wings meant losing your job and the income your family needs to survive?

What if crushing muscle power or voltage-charged skin meant your could never again embrace a lifelong lover—or hold an ailing parent, or rock your baby to sleep?

What kind of prejudice would those with horns or claws face in a world so accustomed to their presence that the sight of them no longer shocks anyone?

How would it change history, if people all over the world began to sprout tails and wings overnight? What havoc would it wreak when they raised volcanoes from the seabeds or melted the icecaps?

What institutions would develop to identify and assist the people going through those changes? What bureaucracies would arise around the need to control outbreaks of destruction?

History is a tapestry of stories, and right now I’m crafting small works – exploring these ideas one life, one story at a time. Tackling some of the bigger questions will require a larger loom, so in due time there will be novels in this setting.

The first story in the collection is Extraordinary.

Partially-constructed machinery rose against the sunlit Santa Rosa Mountains like dinosaur skeletons as she drove to the DMV. The rides were running by the time she passed on the way back. Piles of canvas and wood became a colorful lane of gaming booths and exhibits between her trip to the gynecologist and the one to the Public Safety Clinic where she took her R-factor test. The sight of the midway coming together made her so happy that she barely felt the usual twinge of nervousness as her blood was drawn. Only one in every few thousand came up positive for rollover these days. She was more likely to get hit by a truck than end up turning into a monster.

A trip to the traveling carnival with two toddlers and a mobility-challenged parent isn't most people's definition of fun, but it's closer than Valerie Wade usually gets. A few hours kicking sawdust and revisiting favorite childhood memories, that's all she asks.

It's her annual treat, a visit back in time to the carefree years before she learned that her blood carries a potential death sentence, before life beat her down and broke her spirit. It's the one place where she can forget about secrets, debts and obligations for a few hours and remember what hope feels like.

Everything changes that night, under the bright lights and the striped awnings. The monsters and freaks aren't in the sideshow tents. They're walking the aisles, and before the carnival is done, Valerie will be taking her place among them.

About the Author:
I am mostly quiet with a thirty-percent chance of loud, and the rest is subject to change without warning. Professional development has included classroom teaching, animal training, aquaculture, horticulture, retail management, inventory operations, and customer service. Personal development is ongoing.

What do I do when I’m not writing? I grow things, I camp and hike, and I pacify cats. I do a lot of research online and off. I also work in a library, which is a delight and a challenge/ Vegetable gardening and butterfly chasing feature prominently in my current leisure pursuits.


  1. this is piquing my interest! Thx..heading off to Amazon..!

    1. I promise you won't be disappointed. And if you do love it spread the word. This author deserves recognition for what she writes.

  2. Thank for sharing. The excerpt is tight and I want to read more. I'll definitely check these out! :D