Central Authors: Tom Hazuka

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Central Authors: Tom Hazuka

Tom Hazuka posed with latest book

Tom Hazuka posed with latest book " Flash Nonfiction Funny."

Tom Hazuka posed with latest book " Flash Nonfiction Funny."

Tom Hazuka posed with latest book " Flash Nonfiction Funny."

Tyra McClung, Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor

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Tom Hazuka posed with latest book ” Flash Nonfiction Funny.”

“Central Authors” featured English Professor Tom Hazuka who read stories ranging from professional anecdotes to semi-violent open letters to future ex-boyfriends and tales of our tail-wagging K-9 companions. One particular account details demolition of an unsuspecting squirrel.

Hazuka read excerpts from his latest book, “Flash Nonfiction Funny,” a collection of 71 short stories on Feb. 13. The collection was assembled and edited by both he and Dinty W. Moore, editor of Gravity Magazine.

“Central Authors,” hosted by the Central Connecticut bookstore, is a reoccurring opportunity for faculty and staff to showcase and sell their published works to the student body.

During the question and answer portion of the event, Hazuka admitted that he had trouble deciphering fact from fiction when it came to the more “cheeky” submissions such as “Intro to Creative Writing,” and he relied heavily on his co-editor Moore.

“He is Mr. Nonfiction and I’m far from Mr. Nonfiction so he was the arbiter,” Hazuka said. “A number of times [I asked] ‘Can this be called nonfiction?’ If he said it was okay then I went with it.”

The small audience sat engaged during the 30-minute reading lightly chuckling here and there, while other times erupting with laughter. The guests were provided a sectioned off area, as well as complimentary popcorn curiosity of the bookstore.

The nonfiction piece of work included submissions from students, faculty and online submitters. One contributor of the flash stories, Kathryn Fitzpatrick, attended the reading and to her surprise had her “Angry Letter to Starbucks” read aloud.

“I wasn’t expecting it I thought it was kind of like a dumb story,” Fitzpatrick said as she laughed. “I’ve published before, but this is my first book publication. It’s cool, as a student it doesn’t really happen.”

Hazuka on the other hand has published other works including two flash fiction novels, two other collections of short stories, a novel entitled, “Last Chance for First” and several other works.

The reason Hazuka chose to do a nonfiction flash series was to appeal to the idea that nonfiction sells better. For example, Hazuka posited that movies based on true events sell better than those that are not, or at least that is marketed to the public with that belief.

“Its always in general, sold better than fiction. If I knew the answer I’d be writing the ones that sold well,” Hazuka said jokingly answering a question from the audience.

Another audience member asked: “When did short stories become too long?” He wanted to know why Hazuka sought out flash stories and if he should be to blame for the contribution of decline in longer form reading.

“I would never suggest that people read only flash fiction or micro-fiction, or anything like that. Keep those novels coming, read them read the long short stories read all kinds of different stuff,” Hazuka said.

All of Hazuka’s books mentioned in this article can be purchased on Amazon. The next Central Authors event will be held on Feb. 27, and will feature alumni author Melvin Douglas.

According to the CCSU website, the ” Central Author’s” events serve as a televised series for Connecticut’s cable television stations.