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BOOKS

A Consternation of Monsters– 

consternation, as you should remember from grade school, is the collective noun for monsters.  I thought it a fitting title for a collection of short stories that each contain monsters of various sorts and shades.  In these tales, a creature of make-believe proves difficult to disbelieve, a trickster-god takes an unkindly interest in witnesses, eldritch horrors can be summoned with a quilt, frustrated wolves face dangerous prey, the angel of death wears a plaid sport coat, wise old women are to be feared and heeded, Elvis remains king, the corpses of legends can be perilous to have around, and where one of the most powerful objects in the world is a fork.

The settings for the stories span from rural Mississippi, Appalachia, the desert southwest, Alaska, and on to Memphis, Tennessee.

Readers who enjoy the work of Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Douglas Adams, Robert Anton Wilson, Mario Puzo, TV’s Brian Fuller, (with a bit of Patrick McManus thrown in for good measure), should find these stories to be a satisfying meal.

Writer Belinda Anderson has described Eric’s short story “Wolves Among Stones at Dusk” as Quentin Tarantino fighting Jack London. (The author would amend this to read: Quentin Tarantino fighting Jack London while Walter M. Miller, Jr. watches, but he digresses…)

A Consternation of Monsters is also being adapted into audio podcast form by the author himself.  Episodes of the Consternation of Monsters podcast can be found at its page on this very site.


 

REVIEWS FOR A CONSTERNATION OF MONSTERS


 

PLAYS

A playwright as well, Eric’s short plays have been produced in a variety of theatres and outdoor locales.  Check out more information about them at the Plays Page.

 

BIO

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Photo courtesy Aaron Christensen

Eric Fritzius writes things, edits them, and occasionally acts.  Sometimes he teaches others how to write, and/or directs them how to act.

His plays …to a Flame, …and Tigers and Bears, Honey Do, A Game of Twenty…, and Fargo 3D, have been produced at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, W.Va..   …to a Flame and …and Tigers and Bears were also produced by the Independent Theatre Collective in Wheeling, W.Va.   Fargo 3D has also been produced by the Lewis Theater in Lewisburg.  You can read some of them via his page at the New Play Exchange.

A frequent actor at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre, he has appeared in numerous productions since 2003.  Among his favorites are: Ain’t Nonthin’ Quick N’ Easy, Y-Mains, Oliver!, Variations on the Death of Trotsky, Degas C’est Moi, Phillip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread, Floyd Collins, The Crucible, A Christmas Carol, Occupy My Mind, The Greenbrier Ghost, Dracula: A Rock Opera, The Drive-In, Man of La Mancha, Babes in Toyland, as Announcer/Judge Moses/Broadcast Official in Skin of Our Teeth, and as the Gravedigger and Marcellus, and a Player in The Tragedy of Hamlet.  He has directed the short plays FISH SCHTICKS (2014), PROPERTY RIGHTS (2015), and FOREVER (2016) for GVT’s New Voices Play Festival.  For two years he appeared as Duncan Mall in the Ronceverte amphitheater outdoor drama Riders of the Flood (2005-2006).  In 2007 he co-directed the sequel to Riders… called Big Dreams, Restless Spirit.  This summer he directed all of the plays for the first Opera House PlayFest, at the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton, W.Va.

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From left Jordan Kaplan (AEA), Eric Fritzius, and Courtney Susman, in the Tragedy of Hamlet, 2015, Greenbrier Valley Theatre. Photo by Valerie Pritt courtesy of Greenbrier Valley Theatre.

For the past eight years he has served as the script coordinator for the writers’ camp portion of Summer Scholars Onstage, an annual three week camp for gifted and talented junior high and high school students, at Mississippi State University.  A former camper himself, Eric enjoys returning each year to help the writers campers craft a three act musical comedy in the space of a week.  It’s one of the more stressful and enjoyable weeks of his year and has produced some of his favorite theatre experiences.

A former president of West Virginia Writers, Inc., he currently serves as the organization’s secretary and webmaster and as the producer and host of the West Virginia Writers Podcast.

 

In 2014, Eric was invited to give a TEDx talk for the TEDx Lewisburg event.  His talk “Awaiting My Nobel Peace Prize” can be found on YouTube. While it has the feel of a tongue-in-cheek speech, he truly believes the world would be a better place if people would follow the simple advice he dispenses within.

Eric teaches creative writing for the Federal Correctional Institute Beckley, W.Va., though he often believes he is learning more from his students than they are from him.

He and his wife live in Greenbrier County, W.Va, along with an inadvisable number of dogs.

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