Fishing guide, writer publishes short stories

 

By Jasmine Hall

Enterprise Staff Writer

 

You might have seen him floating down the Yellowstone River guiding anglers through the currents, but now Park County residents can see another side of Callan Wink — as an author of a new collection of short stories, “Dog Run Moon.”

“Dog Run Moon” will be released Feb. 9 and Wink, 31, hopes it will entertain readers with its tales, the majority of which are set in the West in Montana and Wyoming.

“As the setting, Montana plays a pretty integral part in the story itself,” Wink said in a phone interview Monday. “The characters are confronting the various Montana landscapes in various ways.”

One Montana story in “Dog Moon Run” is titled “Crow Country Moses,” which was published in Playboy Magazine, about a father and son fishing trip on the Bighorn River.

“They’re are planning to go to the Little Bighorn Battle Field but never quite make it for various reasons,” Wink said. “So, that (story’s) very much set in that part of Montana.”

Wink said he chose the setting for “Crow Country Moses” along the Montana River because he had worked along the Bighorn River guiding summer fishing trips when the Yellowstone River is too muddy for fishing.

“It’s an area that I’ve spent a fair amount of time for the past years,” he said. “So it’s interesting to me. It’s a little different then the Yellowstone Park, post card, tourist Montana.” 

A Livingston resident who is in California completing a Stanford University fellowship, Wink said he does not specifically name Park County locations in “Dog Run Moon” but said locals might be able to identify some familiar places.

“Someone who’s familiar with the area would probably be able to pick up a few landmarks that they recognize,” he said. “I don’t explicitly name Livingston in the book, but some local places people would recognize for sure.”

With some of the stories set in real Montanan places, Wink said they do have a fraction of truth to their backgrounds, but not all of them are 100 percent fiction.   

“Some of them have basis in things that I’ve experienced myself; others are just things that are completely made up,” he said. “It’s a little of both.”

“Dog Run Moon” was chosen for the collection’s title since Wink said it is the title for one of his short stories that appeared in the New Yorker.

“It’s about a guy who steals another man’s dog and runs across the desert with it,” Wink laughed. “… So it’s a very literal title.”

The publication was a long time coming for Wink — writing the stories over the last six years, with the newest story written when the original manuscript was submitted a year ago — and he said there is more to come, as he is now working on finishing a novel.

“It’s good to be able to stop thinking about this one and have it on the shelf out there,” he chuckled, “as opposed to something I still have to work on — it feels good.”

Wink is also the recipient of an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship. His work has appeared in publications such as the Granta, Men’s Journal and The Best American Short Stories.

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Jasmine Hall may be reached at jhall@livent.net.