Each piece, no matter the length, is a story well-told.


Long Gone & Lost: True Fictions and Other Lies

Bobby Horecka  

Madville Publishing  

June 2, 2020 

ISBN 1948692287/978-1948692281; 218 Pages 


Long Gone & Lost: True Fictions and Other Lies by Bobby Horecka is a collection of short stories and poems, based on the author's life, that may elicit from readers bittersweet memories from their own lives, heartbreaking realizations, bouts of laughter, and actual gasps of shock as the tales twist and take unforeseen turns no one could predict.  


The stories, branded as fiction, are in part autobiographical and therefore, built on a foundation of fact. Together, they paint an exceptional picture of the life of the author, a man who, as a young child, was subjected to vile, unimaginable abuses and who later discovers he has a talent for writing, which led to a career in journalism. However, he entered the field when print media was at its apogee and was, unfortunately and ultimately, laid off. After starting over in the construction industry and with writing in his blood, he entered a graduate school program to hone his already impressive skills. This compilation of short stories and poems represents some of the results of his studies. 


Mostly, the stories are set in Texas, with some depicting a childhood growing up in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s in the Czech community around Lavaca County in the southern part of the state. The opening story, however, is set in Lubbock, where the young boy has been placed in a foster situation that proves to be one continual waking nightmare. The toddler, forced to rely on basic survival instincts to stay as safe as he can, cannot make himself understood by a neighbor he approaches for help. The assumption at the time is he suffers from a lack of age-appropriate language development; however, in reading the later connected stories, that assumption is questionable, and his unintelligible (to the neighbor) speech may be rooted in a much simpler explanation: he just wasn't speaking English. 


Adept at humor, Horecka has several pieces that elicit genuine, heartfelt laughter. Even simple descriptions of characters' features will bring a smile. 


"While the other fellow had a nice head of hair, this fellow looked like 70 percent of his hair just up and moved one day, leaving no forwarding address." 


Interspersed with the autobiographical tales are other character-driven stories where some of the most surprising twists await readers. The author develops gripping backstories for the characters involved, taking the reader down familiar pathways before suddenly throwing the expected right out the window. The result is a compelling need for more. 


Horecka’s storytelling is mesmerizing, with captivating descriptions that evoke emotional responses and clear pictures of the characters and settings. No matter the length, each piece is a story well-told, and the prose will send readers’ thoughts and hearts in unexpected directions. 

Texas writer Bobby Horecka has spent more than three decades chasing stories on deadline as an award-winning print journalist, a calling that's sent him coast to coast across these United States and more than a dozen foreign nations, always on assignment. He's also a writer of short fictions, prose and poetry. His journalism work has been seen on every continent, and his more literary writings have appeared in dozens of magazines, journals, and anthologies, including The Ocotillo Review, Amarillo Bay, Down in the Dirt and Bluestem Magazine, to name a few. Bobby holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Houston-Victoria and a BA in English from Texas State University in San Marcos, and he's taught writing at Victoria College, Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, and Texas State University in San Marcos. A fourth generation Texan, he lives with his wife, Jennifer, on their Lavaca County farm, that has been in their family for more than 100 years, where Bobby continues to write daily, serving as the editor of five Texas community weeklies, including the Hallettsville Tribune-Herald, Luling Newsboy & Signal, The Moulton Eagle, The Shiner Gazette and Yoakum Herald-Times.