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Work Samples

Excerpt from To Love A Stranger, Chapter 1

The opening six pages of my first novel, To Love A Stranger, which will be released in May by Blue Moon Publishers (Toronto). Longer excerpt appears under "Projects."
PDF icon Excerpt from To Love A Stranger, Chapter 1

Sonatas in B flat Maj and D Maj, by Domenico Scarlatti

From my "Zen for Ten: Storytelling and Sound" blog (featured more under "Projects"), my performance of two short sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, and commentary on the music and the composer. Video is taken from my blog post: https://krisfaatz.com/2016/11/17/zen-for-ten-7-a-dose-of-sun/

Fly Away Home

My short story "Fly Away Home" was inspired by the life and music of jazz legend Charlie Parker. As with much of my fiction, this story explores a relationship between two people, and the larger societal and cultural issues that affect that relationship. This piece was published online in November 2016 by the Bookends Review, received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train's January/February 2016 Short Story Award for New Writers competition, and was selected for inclusion in the Bookends Review's "Best of 2016" print anthology. More of my short fiction appears under "Projects."
PDF icon Fly Away Home

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About Kris

Baltimore County

Kris Faatz (rhymes with skates) is a writer and musician. In both sides of her work, she explores the connections between musical and verbal storytelling, and the power of stories to change minds and foster connections between people. Her short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Potomac Review, Kenyon Review Online, Glassworks, Reed, Digging Through the Fat, and Woven Tale Press, among other literary journals, and has been recognized in contests run by Glimmer Train Magazine, Woven Tale Press,... more

To Love A Stranger

"How well do we know the people we love? This question is at the heart of Kris Faatz's beautifully written first novel. With Sam and Jeannette, Faatz has created two sympathetic, deeply flawed characters, driven by loneliness and a desire to belong. Set in the 1980s, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, their story unfolds with tragic inevitability. Compassionate and emotionally engaging, To Love A Stranger is a page-turner, a story that will resonate with the reader for a long time to come." - Geeta Kothari, author of I Brake For Moose and Other Stories

"Readers are safe in this author's thoughtful hands, amidst these gorgeous words, in this world rich with the heady sounds of darkness, honesty, forgiveness. To Love A Stranger is written with the harmony of humanity in mind. To Love A Stranger is a song." - Leesa Cross-Smith, author of Whiskey and Ribbons

"Artfully plotted, elegant and sharply observed, the book has the effect of holding you in proximity to two deeply flawed characters as they advance grudgingly and by degrees toward acceptance of who they are and where they come from. The novel has the grace to allow its characters to come to terms with what they're trying to escape, and it accomplishes this without sentimentality." - Tom Andes, interviewer, JMWW Magazine

Multimedia Blog: "Zen for Ten: Storytelling and Sound"

2016 was my year to get serious about blogging. It's still a work in progress, but I launched my "Storytelling and Sound" blog in October and have been building it over the past few months.

As a musician, I love performing, and especially talking with the audience about the music and the people who wrote it. Classical music can sometimes seem distant, even inaccessible, to people who aren't familiar with it, and I think we classical musicians have a responsibility to change that. When you talk face-to-face with your audience, make a connection with them, share your own feelings about the music and your experiences with it, and introduce the composers as people, you can help bring audiences into the art.

On my blog, I share my own performances, talk about the music, and also often link the individual pieces I perform with some kind of verbal storytelling. Some of my entries include writing prompts or thought exercises about the music. I'm also interested in how classical music specifically can help us communicate and connect with each other: that's one of the areas I want to explore more on the blog.

I'm also hoping to get more people interested in classical music. There's so much beautiful work out there that deserves to be shared and heard.

  • Intermezzo Op. 117 no. 1, by Johannes Brahms

    My performance and commentary about one of my favorite solo piano pieces by Johannes Brahms. Video is taken from my blog post: https://krisfaatz.com/2016/10/27/zen-for-ten-post-4-brahms-for-your-heart/
  • Beethoven Pathetique mvt. 2, Gershwin Prelude no. 2

    I made this video the day after the 2016 presidential election, in response to the divisions in the country and the tension and fear so many of us were feeling. Video is taken from my blog post: https://krisfaatz.com/2016/11/09/zen-for-ten-6-the-world-needs-each-one-of-us/
  • Maurice Ravel, Ma Mere L'Oye, mvts. 1 and 2

    In this video, I talk about and perform some of the music that inspired my novel To Love A Stranger. At the time I made this post, I was waiting for the arrival of my novel's advance reader copies. I decided to celebrate the coming event with music. :) Video is taken from my blog post: https://krisfaatz.com/2016/12/01/zen-for-ten-8-telling-the-story/
  • Ludwig van Beethoven, Sonata Op. 7, mvt 1

    This video is piano performance only, of a piece relatively new in my rep: Beethoven's Sonata Op. 7 (first movement). Beethoven is my single favorite composer, if I could only pick one. In my blog post about this piece, I talk about his struggle with deafness, the reality of the impact it had on his life, and how music in general can help those of us who deal with depression. Video is taken from my blog post: https://krisfaatz.com/2016/12/16/zen-for-ten-10-finding-hope/
  • Sinfonia no. 13 in A minor, Johann Sebastian Bach

    Performance and commentary on one of my favorite short pieces by J. S. Bach. Video is taken from my blog post: https://krisfaatz.com/2016/10/20/zen-for-ten-post-3-bach-for-your-brain/

Short Stories

Over the past several years, I've built up a small collection of short stories. Working on them has taught me that I'll be learning about the writing craft, and growing as a writer, for the rest of my life. (And that's a good thing!)

Many of my stories are inspired or informed by music or art. Many of them also deal with relationships between people, and the underlying deeper societal and/or cultural issues that can emerge in such relationships, or inform them.

This project contains a cross-section of my short fiction. All of these pieces have been published or are forthcoming in literary journals, as noted in the files.

In early January, I also put together a chapbook of six of my stories and published it for Kindle. This collection, Unraveled Souls, releases on 1/19/17, and is my response to the inauguration and my concern for what is ahead for our country. Half of all proceeds benefit 826 National (826national.org), an organization which supports literacy and creativity for young under-served students.

Unraveled Souls is available for pre-order/order here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZ8IT2W?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660.
You can also learn more about the collection on my website, here: https://krisfaatz.com/books/unraveled-souls/
and my blog, here: https://krisfaatz.com/2017/01/12/zen-for-ten-12-jazz-stories-and-resista...
(Titles included in the collection: Fly Away Home, Ivory-Bill Sighting, A Funnel of Time, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, Great Blue Heron, Unraveled Souls)

  • Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

    Goodbye Pork Pie Hat: This story is one of my music-inspired pieces, and might be the easiest story I've ever written. One night a few years ago, my husband played a recording for me of Charles Mingus's "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," a tune Mingus wrote in memory of saxophonist Lester Young. The music was so evocative that the story grew out of it immediately, more or less in its final form. This piece was first published in the Monarch Review in January 2014.
    PDF icon Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
  • Portrait in Limbo-Land

    Portrait in Limbo-Land: This story came out of the riots in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray. It was one of the toughest stories I've written and went through many, many iterations before settling in its current form. It will be published in Reed Magazine in May 2017.
    PDF icon Portrait in Limbo-Land
  • A Funnel of Time

    A Funnel of Time: This story is one of my first forays into magical realism. The inspiration for it came from a biography of Zelda Fitzgerald. I knew she had been a patient at Sheppard Pratt Hospital, undergoing treatment for what was then diagnosed as schizophrenia, and that she had experienced electroshock therapy during a time when its full effects were poorly understood. Her story shook me, because of what she suffered under the treatment, because her original diagnosis (which led to the treatment) was later found to be wrong, and because she was considered "crazy" in large part because she refused to submit to the traditional housewife role expected of women in the 1930s. I wanted to write about her, but also to connect her story to the present day, by allowing her to communicate with and support a young woman undergoing similar therapy in 2005. The story was originally published in Luna Station Quarterly in December 2015.
    PDF icon A Funnel of Time
  • Ivory-Bill Sighting

    Ivory-Bill Sighting: This story deals with the connection between a lost bird and a lost soul. I wrote it in 2015, and it was first published in Helen: A Literary Magazine.
    PDF icon Ivory-Bill Sighting
  • Unraveled Souls

    Unraveled Souls: I wrote this story in the fall of 2014. The inspiration for it came out of a small incident: my husband deciding to throw away an old electric keyboard that he'd had for a long time and didn't work right anymore. The night that he put it out with the trash, it happened to be raining. My husband and I are both musicians, and both of us feel the "aliveness" of instruments, even though they're inanimate objects. We both felt sad as he left the keyboard by the curb, in the dark and the wet, and he said goodbye to it. This story went through several iterations before I found the right "hook" to get into it. It was published in Reed in May 2015.
    PDF icon Unraveled Souls
  • Night Roses

    Night Roses: This piece, also inspired by Zelda (and Scott) Fitzgerald, compliments "A Funnel of Time." Scott Fitzgerald is one of my favorite writers, but I'm also fascinated by Zelda. In this very short piece, I enjoyed exploring imagery, especially getting as much power and story-content as possible out of every object I described. This piece was first published in Peacock Journal, August 2016.
    PDF icon Night Roses
  • Unraveled Souls fiction chapbook: cover

    My fiction chapbook "Unraveled Souls" includes six of my favorite/best stories. Each of them deals in some way with issues of social justice and with the importance of listening to one another's experiences and building connections between people. Publishing this collection and donating half the proceeds from it to 826 National (826national.org) is my first act of response to the new presidential administration and my concern for the well-being of our country's most vulnerable people. The book will be released for Kindle on 1/19/17.

Kris's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.