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Author's short stories full of authentic Appalachian humor and cultural detail

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Larry Thacker

Larry Thacker’s new collection, “Labor Days, Labor Nights: More Stories,” continues the story of life in Labortown, the fictional town he introduced in “Working It Off in Labor County.”

Larry Thacker never tires of telling stories and writing books.

Thacker, 52, is a full-time writer from Johnson City, Tennessee.

He creates worlds with “the people, characters,” he said.

“Who else but writers and other creatives get to do this daily? Second, to spotlight the humor, challenges and fabulous everyday oddness of where I’m from,” he said. “Hopefully readers find a little of themselves and the world they’re in within these characters’ interesting challenges,” he said.

“Fiction’s a great way to tell about struggles in life, through a mix of real and imagined experiences,” Thacker added.

His latest book is called “Labor Days, Labor Nights, More Stories.”

“It’s a continuation of life in Labortown and Labor County but from some different perspectives, though some continue our looking in on how people like Uncle Archie and the family are holding up,” Thacker said.

This book goes back to his earlier projects.

“I’d like people to read these books and want to know what happens next in the saga of their lives,” he said. “I’m continually excited about all of these writing projects.”

Books are Thacker’s ongoing projects.

“I’ve written most of these stories and collections to be pretty timeless. Anyone can relate their own experiences to the place in time of these stories,” he said.

“Fiction is a departure from my first love of poetry, of course, but now they lend influence to each other,” he said.

“I write both poetry and fiction and some non-fic at the same time,” Thacker said.

The latest book was a long time coming.

“I was writing ‘Labor Days, Labor Nights’ alongside the first collection, ‘Working It Off in Labor County,’ so it was like a continued thought,” he said.

“I’d like to think I’ve got a unique sense of humor, the way I see the world turning every day, so that mixed with my Southeast Kentucky-Appalachian upbringing and sensibilities creates what I hope is a unique book,” he said.

“It’s not all humor, so you’ve got to pace the stories, humorous, serious, philosophical, frightening, then the occasional weird check-in with the Uncle Archie bunch,” he said.

Why the success?

“Paying better and better attention to the moving world around me in order to not miss anything that should be material,” he said. “That process of filtering the true into fiction is a fascinating process.”

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