Contributor Spotlight: Jim Ruland

“Fǎng,” a short story by Jim Ruland, appeared in Issue 24 and can be read here.

Author photo credit: Clair McAllister

We’d love to hear more about this story. 

I have a friend who has two dogs, Charlie and Annabelle, that he found on the streets of Shanghai. I love going on walks with them and sometimes I wonder what their lives were like in China. As for Fang’s story of how he acquires two names, that’s all based on a true story about Gibbles/Fred, our family pet, who came into our lives (or we into his) in the 1990s. I think most of my siblings and some of my friends have used that story in essays they had to write for college, and why not? It’s quality material. 

What was the most difficult part in writing this story?

The ending. I knew how I wanted the story to end; I just couldn’t hit the right note. 

Recommend a book for us that was published within the last decade.

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran. A few pages into the book I felt like I was reading something that had been written just for me. 

If you could have a drink with any living author, who would it be? Why?

Sara Gran even though it will be devastating to discover she did not write Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead just for me. 

What are you working on now? 

Excuses, mostly. 

Our thanks to Jim for taking the time to answer a few questions and share his work. Read Ruland’s story, “Fǎng,” here:


Jim Ruland is the co-author of Do What You Want with Bad Religion (DaCapo August, 2020) and My Damage with Keith Morris, the founding vocalist of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and OFF! He wrote the novel Forest of Fortune and the short story collection Big Lonesome. His work has recently appeared in Barrelhouse, Mississippi Review, and Zyzzyva. Jim lives and works in Southern California. 

Author photo credit: Clair McAllister