"Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood" by Michael Loveday

  • "Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood" by Michael Loveday

Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood is a collection of short-short stories exploring the adult-child dynamic. A daughter nervously visits her father who has now become a stranger; a young Irish girl substitutes a cardboard cut-out for her presence within her own family; a naive schoolboy is tricked by a more streetwise passer-by; a child tries to impress her village by breaking the world record for stepping in and out of a doorway. This chapbook offers you a kaleidoscopic view of the pressures, conflicts and joys of childhood and family life: from surreal fables to memoir, to idiosyncratic realism, to ghost stories about weird encounters.


Such a perfect balance between free-wheeling imagination and absolute control of tone and character, shot through with sublime tragi-comic timing. A joy.
—Luke Kennard, author of Notes on the Sonnets
Michael Loveday seamlessly straddles the line between reality and the absurd. The stories in his latest book are a juxtaposition of love and lunacy, a boundary where the logical meets the illogical, a balance of hope and dread as all the mothers and fathers and daughters and sons and all their doppelgangers stand banging, banging on the door, waiting to be let in.
—Nancy Stohlman, author of After the Rapture and Going Short: An Invitation to Flash Fiction
Step through the magic mirror to discover a version of family, but not quite as you know it. From the parents’ regular pillaging of pieces of their daughter’s silver heart to a child’s doomed quest for striped paint, a series of potent metaphors sheds light on a network of relationships and expectations. Expect some darkly hilarious but surprisingly intimate and moving moments in this delicious cornucopia of freshly minted tales and fables.
—Jacqueline Saphra, author of All My Mad Mothers and One Hundred Lockdown Sonnets
Immerse in your characters’ lives and spend more time getting to know these people than you would for a one-off flash fiction. Let yourself fall in love with them more. And then be patient and see what unfolds!

Literary Spotlight. Grandmaster in Flash! Michael Loveday in conversation with Sue Burge (WordCityLit)

September 27, 2022

This is a rare treat. A piercing collection of flash fiction around very familiar dynamics of family life, yet each warped and stretched to intensity as though Angela Carter does kitchen sink. It gets quite uncomfortable in places but is always strangely moving and often funny. And the writing! So natural and seemingly free-flowing, yet quite exceptionally precise. A joy!

Sharon (Goodreads)

November 20, 2022

Michael Loveday


Michael Loveday is a fiction writer and poet, and has been an editor and tutor of creative writing for more than a decade. His other publications are: the craft guide Unlocking the Novella-in-Flash: from Blank Page to Finished Manuscript (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2022); the hybrid novella-in-flash Three Men on the Edge (V. Press, 2018); and the poetry chapbook He Said / She Said (HappenStance Press, 2011). Michael lives in Bath, England, and mentors novella-in-flash writers through his online programme at www.novella-in-flash.com.

Twitter: @pagechatter

Facebook: MichaelLoveday001

Website: michaelloveday.com

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