A well used phrase is that the eyes are the gateway to a persons soul. There are many variations of the saying, and in one form or another they exist in many languages and cultures.

I cannot disagree with the concept behind the idea, but I do have my own variation on it. I believe that much can be gleaned about a person by reading what they write. I have a good friend that indeed does just that. He analyzes the written word for various Law Enforcement agencies. He looks for clues in peoples written statements. I am not nearly so clinical. I am looking for the heart and soul of an author.

I had heard about Steven Mayfield through the internet. His debut book Howling At The Moon caught my attention for a number of reasons, not least of which it was a compilation of short stories. There are readers that ‘poo poo’ this genre, arguing that anyone can write a short story. I actually disagree, the short story is an art form. every single word must count. In the space of just a few scant pages the author must immerse the reader ‘soup to nuts’.

Steven Mayfield ha created a wonderful series of stories within the covers of Howling At The Moon.

It would be presumptuous of me to guess where he will take us next, but I’d bet a dollar to a stale donut we are going to see a full length novel, and some of the themes in Howling At The Moon are going to be reborn.

Steven Mayfield’s economy of words make him stand head and shoulders over many authors that I have read.

Several of the stories involve the intricate dance between life and death.There is one story in particular that caught my attention Mothers. Within a scant 10 pages the author captures a situation that is played out daily in some household. A teen girl finally admits to her parents that she is pregnant. The question becomes one of not if, but when the abortion will take place. A heart wrenching entry in the girls diary reads:

…I want to have him, but I feel like I’m the only one. I’m the only one fighting for my baby

Other stories in Howling At The Moon take us in completely different directions, some are cynical some are amusing, but all come with a great sting. One that the reader may not immediately catch, but I know that every reader will catch the ‘hook’ when they think about it.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when my friendly postal person dropped off Howling At The Moon. It was with anticipation that I opened it up. There was one story listed in the table of contents that caught my eye. It was a simple title ‘Hallway sex’. Could this be a reinvention of a great joke that I first heard in the 1970’s? Indeed it was, but the story itself was deadly serious.

Steven Mayfield was kind enough to sign my copy and add the words “Thanks for fishing my book from the ocean”. I can only reply “Thanks for being the writer that you are”.

Howling At The Moon is without question the first book from an author that has a great future.

I will go out on a limb, my guess is that Steven Mayfield is working on a dark, cynical, and very humorous novel. I do plan on interviewing Steven in the next few days, I will find out!

You can order your copy of Howling At The Wolf by using the Amazon link above.

Great book, great stories! Don’t loan this book to your friends because you will never get it back!

Simon Barrett

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