Authors You Should Check Out: Derek Alan Elkins

We’re coming up on a year since we published our collection of Quarantine-Themed short fiction: The Covid Quarantine Cantina. And I thought it would be a good idea to take a moment with each of the authors from that book so we can see what they’ve been up to since last we spoke.

Today’s author hails from Kansas City, I believe, and has what looks like an MS Paint-themed icon for his Facebook Profile. It’s Derek Alan Elkins.

How was your experience writing your stories for the Covid Quarantine Cantina?

I’m not much of a self-motivator, so I enjoyed the forced motivation that the writing provided.  I love the act of creating new stories, but I get distracted easily with movies and video games.  Plus, I really enjoyed the camaraderie with the other authors. 

Of all the stories you wrote, which was your favorite?

I’m a big fan of fantasy in all its forms: horror, science fiction, sword and sorcery, etc.  I love stories that cram a ton of creativity into the story.  The story of mine which I think was most creative was “The Farmer, The Demon, and the Canyon of the Four Winds.” 

If you can…can you name your favorite story from each of the other authors?

Joseph Courtemanche – “God’s Rules”  Got to love a twisted and depraved mind.  Courtemanche leaves it all out on display in this story.

Jamie Greening – “Academia” It was tough picking one of Jamie’s stories, because I am fond of science fiction.  But this one comes with enough twists and turns to shove it into first place.

Joe Shaw – “The New Family on Beecher Street” I love a good analogy and this story is one big, beautiful analogy.

Kathy Kexel – “Secrets, part one through three”  Janelle…that’s all I need to say.

Rob Cely – “The Unessential” Rob’s got a big heart for the outcasts and this story puts his big heart on full display.

Paul Bennett – “An Acre of Peace, parts one and two” It’s a simple story with layers underneath.  Paul is awesome at those bean dip kind of stories.

How has the Covid Pandemic affected your life?

I’m an introvert, so I have seriously enjoyed working from home.  I could get used to this kind of life.

What are you working on right now and in the near future?

I’ve got the iron in a few fires these days.  Up front and close to the chest, I am working on a stage play about a girl that falls in love with a superhero, only to find out that the superhero was all in her mind.  The story revolves around reality and if our beliefs mirror reality or if they reveal something else.  I’m also working on several movie scripts, the most prominent is called “A Steamworx War”.  The movie is set in a steampunk world and concerns a Steampunk version of Charles Dickens investigating the kidnapping of scientists by a mastermind to start a war.  I’m also about 60 pages into a novel I’m writing called “Shadow Apprentice”, a follow up to “An Introduction to Shadow”.  The sequel is set in a world where people called Awakened fight monsters, called Fallen, hiding within the bodies of normal people.  I’m also starting a podcast this weekend called “Creative Diarrhea” with my son and a friend. Each week, we’ll be brainstorming something slightly weird like craft projects involving a dead hamster and how many weasels would it take to kill a T-Rex?  Should be mildly diverting. 

Where can readers reach you if they want to read more of your stuff?

I have a website, where I occasionally blog and stuff:, also, I have books and short stories on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

See more of Derek’s work, as well as each of the Fondue Writers, in our now-almost-a-year-in-publication book, The Covid Quarantine Cantina:

Them Old Pandemic Apocalypse Blues – A Free Story from Derek Elkins

Today’s story has an apocalyptic Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. That is all you need to know. Click on the wienermobile to read “Them Old Pandemic Apocalyptic Blues” by Derek Elkins.

If you’re not caught up with all of the Covid Chronicles, worry not! Scroll on down the page for the latest and greatest from all our Quarantined-and-slowly-going-more-insane-than-they-already-were. While you’re at it, check out pages for Joseph CourtemancheJamie GreeningKathy KexelDerek ElkinsRob Cely, and Dr. Paul J Bennett . There is a strong, non-zero chance you will come away happy.

The Problem of Pain and COVID-19 – A Free Story from Derek Elkins

Do you have questions? Sure, we all do.

If you’re anything like me, it’s common to ask big questions in times like these. For example: Why does everything suck all of a sudden? When will things stop sucking? And, of course: What happens if the Burger King down the street goes out of business? I really like Whoppers and I don’t know how I can go on if I have to drive all the way to Winter Garden – a full 25 minutes away from Shaw Manor – to get a Whopper. Why me, God? Why?

Let’s hope you’re not a shallow and self-absorbed as I am. Let’s hope you’re more like Derek Elkins, who dealt with some of the more transcendental questions that crop up when things fall down. Head on over to the shawblog at josepheshaw (dot) com (slash) blog to see a much deeper conversation Derek Elkins recently had with his daughter with his story, The Problem of Pain and Covid 19

Our band of merry misfits is rounded out with Joseph Courtemanche, Jamie Greening, Kathy Kexel, Derek Elkins, Rob Cely, and Dr Paul Bennett. But, just because we’re well-rounded NOW doesn’t mean we’re stopping here. There are plenty of other geometric shapes to try out. Watch THIS SPACE for future additions, subtractions, multiplications, and maybe even some differential equations to your Fantabulous Free Fiction Explode-A-Ganza.

Jamie Greening is on deck for tomorrow. We’ll catch you on the flip. Until then, don’t break anything.

Virus by Derek Elkins – A Free Free Free Free Free Free (Free) Short Story from the Covid Pocalypse Explode-A-Ganza

In celebration of Derek Elkins’ second entry into the CovidPocalyse Explode-A-Granza Completely Free Fiction Blowout Spectacular, I wanted to write an allegory of an allegory (because Derek’s story from today is an allegory, which I looked up on Google and then pretended I knew all along), and none of the rest of our band of misfits has attempted such high-brow stuff.

So I sat down to write an allegory of an allegory, but I kept getting distracted by the Shaw Kids (aka #theSKs) in their efforts to complete an never-ending stream of homework assignments. I then threw the quest to write my allegory of an allegory onto the never-ending pile of stuff I intended to complete today and proceeded to work on some app dev tasks for my job.

Then, I got distracted by the SKs again. Then, I had to fix the network, which keeps going down. Then, my priorities at work got shifted. Then, I had to stop the SKs from beating each other with empty plastic bins. Then, I had to yell at them for throwing the toys that used ot be in the now-empty plastic bins all over the floor while I was in a meeting at work where my priorities were shifting again. Then, I ahd to help someone with a homework assignment AND crash a database all at the same time.

So I gave up on my allegory of an allegory. Because life, it seems is often about throwing a never-ending stream of tasks on top of tasks so that the important tasks you hope to accomplish never see the light of day until you read a story that is an allegory and it reminds you of your failings, so you write a blog post about your failure and hope people who have a tenuous grasp of the meaning of allegory THINK you’re actually doing your allegory of an allegory when all you’re doing is taking up space.

Click on the picture of Sisyphus to read Derek’s story, Virus. He’s a lot smarter than the rest of us. It’s really good. You’ll like it.

A Night Out – A FREE FREE FREE Short Story by Derek Elkins

Rejoice, Friends! Week three of the Free Free Free Abosulutely Free Covid Chronicles Shorty Story Explode-A-Ganza is upon us! All of these stories are free to you with absolutely no obligation to purchase anything, sign up for a mailing list, or jump through a number of annoying hoops.

Just some fun fiction for your face. How d’you like that?

We’ve got an entirely new lineup for you, your faces, and you this week.

Going back to front, we’ve got Rob Cely, author of Beyond the Steel Wall and many other books on Saturday; Kathy Kexel, who’s just getting started and who’s stories have thus far intrigued and made us cry, goes Thursday; Joe Shaw (aka “me”) author of the aggressively mediocre play, Light and Song, as well as a recent TEDx Speaker, is Thursday; Jamie Greening, author of The Butch Gregory series and other stories, goes Wednesday; and “Doctor” Joe Courtemanche, author of Nicholas of Haiti and Assault on St Agnes, hits you on Tuesday.

But, today, we start it off strong with newcomer, Derek Elkins. Like most of the rest of us, Derek writes for Athanatos Publishing (as well as himself). He’s the author of the book Life Unworthy of Life as well as many other books and stories.

Today, Derek brings you a new short story about a Romantic Dinner, Interrupted, with his story “A Night Out.” Click on the happy couple to read more.