Sioux Falls author R.H. Swaney's debut short story has made it onto Barnes & Nobles and Target shelves.

His first short story A Way to Leave, is featured in the new book [DIS]CONNECTED.

I asked R.H. what it was like having this project make it on major shelves around the country:

"Working on this project with Michelle Halket from Central Avenue Publishing has been such a great experience. To see my name alongside some of my favorite authors like Iain Thomas and Nikita Gill on the cover of a book is a dream come true. And seeing it land on the shelves of stores like Target is just icing on the cake."

You can pick up [DIS]CONNECTED in stores, from the Barnes & Noble website, or grab a copy on Amazon.

I also asked Swaney some questions about his other project Lovely Seeds.

For anyone who is not familiar with you or your work how would you describe you?

I am a quiet, small town boy who has used poetry as a creative outlet and a way to express my thoughts concerning this world. I try to hold true the words my grandpa taught me, “leave this place better than you found it.” So, it is my hope that my writing reflects that ideology.

When and why did you start writing this book?

Some of the older pieces in this book were written 3-4 years ago. I started putting this poetry collection together in book form about a year ago.

Who did you have in mind when you wrote it, and who would benefit from reading it?

I wrote this book for people who want to find a light in this dark world. Whether it means loving and accepting ourselves for who we are, or learning how to love others, it’s my hope that my words can be that light for people. I included only shorter poetry pieces, with the hope that they can be like seeds for people that they can take with them and eventually let them grow in their heart as something good and positive for themselves and the people around them.

Where did you find most of your inspiration for writing this?

I find my inspiration in people. I wrote almost every single piece in this book with someone in mind that I have interacted with personally.

If you could have lunch with 3 authors living or dead who are you eating with, and what’s on the menu?

I would have lunch with Mary Oliver, Iain S. Thomas, and Rupi Kaur. These three poets have been very influential to me, but all three have a very different writing style and story to tell this world, so I feel the conversations that we’d have would be so intriguing. I would take them to M. B. Haskett, because I love showing off our local cuisine.

Do you have any advice for anyone who has a book inside them they would like to write?

Just start writing. It’ll seem messy and even incoherent at times, but once it is out of your mind and on paper, you’ll be able to really see the potential it has, which was my main motivation to continue to self-publish.

Is there anything else you would like people to know about you or your work?

The only thing I hope people get out of my work is that we all hold a beauty inside of ourselves, and that there is light in this dark world, even if it is hard to find at times.

You can follow Swaney on Instagram here, and to get a copy of Lovely Seeds from  Amazon click here or the Barnes & Nobles site.

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