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Writer David Armstrong Follows Black Mountain Institute With Short Story Collection

David Armstrong

Author David Armstrong is celebrating a year of success.

Describing the past year in David Armstrong’s life as successful would be an understatement.

Armstrong graduated last year with a Ph.D. in creative writing from UNLV, then took a teaching position at Gonzaga University.

He also won story of the week for his work “Declarations” in Narrative Magazine, and published his first collection of short stories, titled “Going Anywhere.”

Armstrong told KNPR's State of Nevada that have a published collection of stories is like breaking a barrier. He is currently working on a novel and likes the idea of getting deeper into a character, which is something the short story form does not allow.

The writer does say the short story form allows for execution and exploration. 

"A short story allows for a level of scrutiny that novels don't," he said. Armstrong said he had written novels prior to taking up short story writing, but with a short form he could polish the stories like he couldn't with previous novels.

The move from his home in Ohio to Las Vegas has influenced Armstrong's look at family. 

"I ultimately come back to the idea of family," he said.

One story in his collection focuses on the relationship between a father and his disabled son. Armstrong said he wrote the story before he became a father, but he wanted to explore the idea of what a parent tells himself about he's going to do for his child and what the true response to situations really is. 

Armstrong believes UNLV and the Black Mountain Institute were a turning point for him as a writer because they really validated him as a writer.

Now, that he no longer lives in the Las Vegas valley he is using his experience, perspective and ideas developed here to influence his newest projects. 

Editor's Note: This story originally ran January 2015

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David Armstrong, author and lecturer in creative writing and literature, Gonzaga University

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