By Jenna Bagcal
Glendale writer Craig Schwab is back with his latest work, “Glendale NY – USA,” which gives readers his take on life, death and everything in between.
In the same vein as his third collection of short stories, “Glendale NY,” Schwab was inspired to pay homage to the neighborhood that he has called home for the last 55 years. But for this body of work, the author explained that he wanted to communicate how Glendale is “like every other town in America.”
“The collection brings to life the human element of what we’re going through in this country,” said Schwab, who began writing the short stories soon after “Glendale NY” was published in 2016.
Schwab, who describes himself as “observant to a fault,” drew inspiration from people in his own life when writing the short stories. He explained that the first and last stories were based on the birth of his second grandchild and the death of his dear friend, which both happened in November 2018.
Sandwiched between those stories are other “tidbits of Americana” including a story called “Linda Laurel Lee,” a tribute to his friend who collects rocks in her spare time, as well as “Smile,” which takes a humorous look at Facebook and its effects.
His eldest son Kevin is featured on the cover of the book standing in front of an Edward Hopper Mural. The author manipulated the original image on the computer to give it a painted effect.
“He could be standing on any small street in the world,” said Schwab about the reasoning behind his cover choice.
The author shared that a goal when writing this collection was to bring levity and positivity to his readers who may be oversaturated with criticism-filled writing. He said that he tried to stay away from stories that were too politically charged, but added “comical insight” to the stories he did include.
Growing up, Schwab always wanted to become a writer. When the Vietnam-era veteran joined the army, he had plans to become a journalist but said that it never panned out.
After Vietnam, he jumped into the workforce as the head of informations systems for several companies, though he knew he wanted to write for a living.
In 1997, the author wrote his first collection of short stories called “In the Forest by the Light of Day,” which were from the times he was a “member of an online music appreciation digest.” To date, Schwab has written four short story collections, five plays and two novels among many other works.
Despite just having released “Glendale NY – USA”, Schwab is already working on his next novel, “Queens Buddha,” about a 12-year-old girl who is reincarnated as Buddha.
“Glendale NY – USA” is available for purchase on Amazon both as a paperback and for Kindle e-book readers.