Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood

Michael’s new short-short story collection, Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood, is now available to order from Bamboo Dart Press. If you’d like to buy a signed copy from the author, please use the link underneath the cover image below.  

Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood is a 40-page collection of 18 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, grieving schoolboy is tricked by a more streetwise young man; a child tries to impress her village by breaking the world record for stepping in and out of a doorway. This collection 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 supernatural tales about strange encounters.

Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood (Bamboo Dart Press, 2022)

Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood

A copy of Do What the Boss Says, signed by the author. For postage within the United Kingdom only. For U.S./Rest of the World distribution please purchase via the publisher using the link at the bottom of this page.


Advance Praise for Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood:

“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

Here are two example stories from the chapbook:
This Be the Curse – The Journal of Radical Wonder
Silver and Blood – Fictive Dream

And a short film created by Dennis Callaci for the story The Glass House:
“Do What the Boss Says: Stories of Family and Childhood” – short film – YouTube

Reviews: “These are the crazy moments of childhood drama… It is not just good writing. It is instructions about how to live. The whole collection could be viewed as a kind of practicum about that… Again, I wouldn’t want to suggest that all the moments are joyful. They are simply lived, and we the reader are present and alive to them. I love his work for this, his ability to find what is special in the everyday. These are as often vignettes as they are stories. It is his ability to see that gives them life.” (John Brantingham, The Journal of Radical Wonder, January 2023)

“Each piece stabs into the heart of family dynamics: precise, playful, painful. Surprising and moving. Holds far more depth than its slim volume. Recommended.” (Stephanie Hutton, 5-star review on Goodreads)

“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, 5-star review on Goodreads)

“Thoroughly recommend this latest collection of Michael Loveday’s excellently observed stories. Once again he offers up a combination of humorous and disturbing scenes from individual lives, often through the slanted and distorted perspective of the protagonist. Each of these short pieces is a gem, revealing enough to intrigue but not spoon-feed the reader. A wonderful assortment of miniature sketches that will stay with you.” (John, 5-star review on Goodreads)

“Each story is a finely tuned delight: featherweight sized but packing a heavyweight left hook. Absurd, uncanny, and beguiling, they are as daring as they are deft, as inviting as they are sinister, as friendly as they are heart-holding. Every corner, every line, reveals an unexpected surprise and collectively these beautifully crafted stories dance a jangling tightrope of family relationships.” (Stuart Bird, 5-star review on Amazon)

Available to order now from Bamboo Dart Press.