I came to write “Credentials” when I wanted to expand on a secondary character I had created for an earlier story, because I was trying to write a book (Luminous Mysteries).  The character had the name Belly Man.  I had given myself that name one morning when, looking in the mirror, I was surprised to see that my physique had changed.  That led to my feeling some affinity with the big guys.  Belly Man in the earlier story was an ex-con, an entrepreneur without the big resources and status that usually come with that title, and of course heavy.   But he had a mystery about him for his criminal past and his sense of entitlement.   “Credentials” allowed me to go a little deeper into who Belly Man is, explore his power and his vulnerability.  I grew up noticing men who had grand senses of style and confidence.  Their style I understood, but their confidence I didn’t.    When I started playing with the nicknames in the story, “Credentials” let me ask questions about identity, such as who do people think they are?  Why?

Line Breaks is a regular feature in which accomplished authors introduce and share their first published stories with the Fictionaut community. Line Breaks is edited by Gary Percesepe. You can read “Credentials” on Fictionaut.

  1. Gary Percesepe

    John Holman is one of the finest writers working in America.

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