Work samples

  • Silver Ghosts
    "Silver Ghosts" - flash fiction published in NELLE Journal, recipient of NELLE Journal's 2022 Three Sisters Award
  • FOURTEEN STONES prologue
    Prologue of my literary fantasy novel FOURTEEN STONES, published in 2022 by The Patchwork Raven (Wellington, NZ)
  • Blue
    "Blue" - flash fiction published in 2022 in Microfiction Monday Magazine, September 2022
  • Tejedora excerpt
    Opening of my short story "Tejedora," published in Typehouse Literary Magazine, March 2022 issue

About Kris

Baltimore County
Kris Faatz (rhymes with skates) is a writer, pianist, and teacher. Her short fiction has appeared in journals including Los Angeles Review, NELLE, and Typehouse Magazine, and has received recognition in competitions run by Tiferet Journal, Philadelphia Stories, Uncharted Magazine, Dzanc Books, and others. Most recently she received NELLE's 2022 Three Sisters Award. Her first novel, TO LOVE A STRANGER (Blue Moon Publishers, 2017) was a finalist for the Schaffner Press Music in Literature Award.… more
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Short Stories

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 in literary journals, as noted in the individual files. While my initial focus as a writer was on literary fiction, I've become increasingly interested in blending fantasy into my work, while still writing character-driven stories.

More information about my short fiction can be found on my website: 
  • Tejedora
    My complete short story "Tejedora." My first draft of this piece was written in 2019, in response to the immigration crisis at the US-Mexico border, and particularly in response to the separation of children from parents. Published in Typehouse Magazine, March 2022.
  • Like Orange Essence and Vanilla
    This flash piece was written in 2021, in response to a prompt in which the word "guard" and the action of baking a pie needed to be included. I had fun playing with the fantastical in it. Published in Black Fox Literary Magazine, March 2021.
  • Coreopsis
    This piece blends historical fiction with magical realism. I enjoyed the World War I era setting, as well as creating a mysterious main character whose magic is hinted at but never exactly defined. Published in Los Angeles Review, July 2022.
  • Silver Ghosts
    (Also included in my work sample above) - This flash piece was originally drafted in 2017 and completed in 2021. It was published in NELLE Journal in 2022, and was the recipient of NELLE's Three Sisters Award, which included a Pushcart Prize nomination.
  • Proofreader (published in Writers Resist, March 2018)
    “'Cinnabar,' the warden said. 'The color of passion. Also poison.' Cinny couldn’t hide her surprise. Nobody else in the legal system had looked twice at her name. 'A gifted thief,' the warden went on. 'Pickpocketing. Cat burglary. Felony misdemeanor sheet considerably longer than the average arm. An amazing career, all told.'"


Fourteen Stones is my second novel, published in 2022 by The Patchwork Raven, Wellington, NZ. (

The tribal people called the Pala Vaia, "First and Lost Ones," have lived in Lassar since ancient times and coexisted with the Lasska people, but they have always been wanderers, seemingly out of place wherever they are. Now Lassar's fanatical new ruler, Impera Shurik, wants to destroy the tribes.

Sixteen -year-old Khari is a Vaia Lamp-Carrier. Her dreams provide guidance for her tribe, if she can interpret the messages they send. Now she must use all her skill, and trust instincts she has only begun to have, in order to save her people from extermination. Her dreams lead her and a small group of Vaia out of their native country and into neighboring Namora, where they must find allies, in particular a Namoran priest with an extraordinary mental gift of his own. The Vaia's search for a safe homeland will change the lives of all the people it touches, as well as the futures of two nations.

Fourteen Stones was my first foray into fantasy. Blending magic with character-driven storytelling proved freeing for my writing, and has changed my professional focus. The novel was first drafted in 2015. After the publication of my first novel, To Love A Stranger, in 2017, I revisited my early draft of Fourteen Stones and created a new version in 2018. Revising this second interation kept me sane during the early months of Covid.

My publisher, Jax Goss at The Patchwork Raven, has championed this book through multiple drafts, and has done an amazing job of bringing it to life. It's been a privilege to work with her and her innovative indie press.
    Cover art for FOURTEEN STONES, designed by Will Thompson, graphic artist for The Patchwork Raven, Wellington, NZ.
  • Map of Namora
    Map of my fictional country Namora, designed by Will Thompson, graphic artist at The Patchwork Raven
  • Map of Lassar
    Map of my fictional country Lassar, designed by Will Thompson, graphic artist at The Patchwork Raven
  • The Lamp-Carrier (FOURTEEN STONES book 1)
    <em>Fourteen Stones&nbsp;</em>is a single novel in two parts:&nbsp;<em>The Lamp-Carrier&nbsp;</em>and&nbsp;<em>The Zhinin.&nbsp;</em>This is a copy of Part 1.


Line Magic is my third novel, currently in progress. It began as a short story written in the summer of 2021. The main character, visual artist Nicky True, fascinated me, and I decided to learn more about him. 

The main story is set in Philadelphia in 1945. Nicky narrates it from the vantage point of some seventy years later (roughly the present day). As an artist, he had an unusual ability that allowed him to change his subjects by drawing them. The story focuses on what he did with this gift, particularly to create change in his community and bring people together during a time of great civil and interracial tension.

Researching this story has sent me down many fascinating rabbit holes. It's also taught me many lessons, as for the first time I'm experimenting with sustained first-person narration. Nicky's voice as a narrator is different from my own voice as a storyteller, so it's taken discipline and creativity to develop his voice and use it consistently.

The attached file contains the prologue and first chapter of the novel. I'm now on my third draft of the book, and it's very much a work in progress, but it's been a delight to play with.
  • Line Magic excerpt
    The prologue and first chapter of my current novel-in-progress, LINE MAGIC.


My first novel, To Love A Stranger, was written, edited, and re-written over a period of ten years. During this time, my career shifted from focusing on music to writing and teaching fiction professionally. The novel draws on my own experiences of the backstage world of classical music; I wanted both to translate the "heard" experience of music to the page, and to engage with issues of social and societal justice relevant to that community and the wider world. 

Praise for 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

  • To Love A Stranger, front cover
    The front cover of my music-inspired debut novel, released May 2017 by Blue Moon Publishers (Toronto).
  • To Love A Stranger chs. 1 and 2, Baker.pdf
    Chapters 1 and 2 of To Love A Stranger
  • Launch party excerpt: TLAS reading and Brahms intermezzi
    From the video taken at TO LOVE A STRANGER's launch party, which included Kris's solo piano recital of music featured in the book. This excerpt includes a reading from STRANGER, two intermezzi (Op. 116 no. 6 and Op. 117 no. 1) by Johannes Brahms, and Kris's comments on the historical background of the music.
  • To Love a Draft_ An Interview with Kris Faatz by Tom Andes _ JMWW.pdf
    My interview at JMWW Journal with writer Tom Andes: "I thought about the shattering loneliness [AIDS] patients must have experienced, and the stigma surrounding them, and wanted to bring the human experience of their love and loss to the page."
  • Kris Faatz _ My Memories of a Future Life.pdf
    My feature at The Undercover Soundtrack: "I was in love with Sam, my primary character. He was clear and alive in my mind, and his story - about love and loss, and isolation and condemnation because of the person he was - felt urgent and real."
  • The Quivering Pen_ My First Time_ Kris Faatz.pdf
    My "My First Time" column at The Quivering Pen: " If you’ve read [Watership Down], you might remember Dandelion, the warren’s own storyteller, the keeper of his people’s history and, often, the source of their courage. I saw what he did inside the story, and I saw what the writer did outside it. Without meaning to, I found myself imitating the way Richard Adams wrote: the gentle voice, the depth of detail, the meditative, immersive tone. I didn’t know anything about him other than the book he had written, but for me, he was a hero."
  • Backstage With To Love a Stranger, Music, and the Writing Life.pdf
    TO LOVE A STRANGER's feature article at The Negatives: "Early on in my musical training, I began thinking of music and instruments as living things....When I practiced, making music felt like talking to the instrument, as if it and I were having a conversation that communicated more than words ever could. Anything I thought or felt, even the most difficult things – especially the most difficult things – had an outlet in what I played. The piano always understood."