By: Cari Zahn – Staff Writer
Calling all bookworms: It’s the beginning of the end! Christmas break is well on its way, and as life get more stressful, it is likely that every student is looking for a way to relax. Close your textbooks, because it’s finally time to read for pleasure.
“Safe Inside the Violence,” a collection of 13 crime and literary fiction stories by 2006 University of Dayton alumnus, Christopher Irvin, was released earlier this month, on Nov. 10. It was published by 280Steps, a publishing house that specializes in crime fiction.
Irvin studied Business and Entrepreneurship during his time at UD. He spent some of his free time in high school and college writing and outlining stories, but never really focused on learning to write.
Though he didn’t put a lot of time into writing when he was young, Irvin said he was always a reader. As a young adult, he read a lot of fantasy and science fiction books. He recalled one English class that he took at UD: “Literature of the Occult,” taught by professor James Farrelly. Irvin said this was one of his favorite courses at UD.
In 2009, Irvin took classes at a creative writing center in Boston called GrubStreet, where he was able to sharpen and hone his writing skills and develop his talents at his own pace.
“It wasn’t a formal program, but it had a lot of really good writing classes,” Irvin said of the program.
He has been writing seriously since 2012. Though writing is not how he makes his living, Irvin is inspired by his job in law enforcement.
As what Irvin considers his most personal work to date, “Safe Inside the Violence” was hugely inspired by his family and his home in Boston, Massachusetts. Among the most special stories to Irvin are “Union Man,” written after his first son was born and “Digging Deep,” which mirrors the setting in which he lives and is based off of his own family.
“Safe Inside the Violence” will please readers looking for darker literature and crime fiction. Irvin’s stories focus on everyday people who are impacted by crime. Readers can expect to be put in the shoes of people on the fringes of society and learn what they see or feel.
Irvin’s debut collection has an underlying theme of family and highlights life in big cities. Though Irvin has written and published other works including his novella, “Burn Cards,” he says this collection of short stories is his favorite published work to date.
“I have such a soft spot for short stories and short story collections,” said Irvin. “There’s a lot you can get out of a short story.”
Irvin has had short stories published in different publications, but “Safe Inside the Violence” features four new short stories that have never been published before. Irvin is excited about the release of his short story collection because it gives readers different perspectives of a single theme or genre all within one book.
Christopher Irvin will give a reading of his work “Noir at the Bar” at Kafe Kerouac, 2250 N. High St., in Columbus. The reading will take place on Dec. 21.