Darren DeFrain

Darren DeFrain is the author of the novel The Salt Palace (New Issues & Dzanc Books) and the story collection Inside & Out (MSR & Dzanc Books). Along with Fran Connor, he is currently at work on a book about the postpunk history of Kansas. He directs the Writing Program at Wichita State University. Hackers are encouraged to friend him on Facebook.


In spite of my better judgment, I remain on Facebook for that awkward blurring of my professional, personal, and public lives. In that domain, I recently received a friend request from an older relative. Just a glance at this request and I knew it was the same advance-fee scam I’ve encountered a hundred times over; someone had acquired my relative’s likeness, name, and a few scant details. I decided to take the opportunity to create a reply with two primary goals in mind: 1) wasting the offender’s time and 2) creating a sustained and satisfying narrative arc out of the encounter. What resulted was a mixture of fiction writing and Improv. Aside from changing the format to be more “reader friendly”—the dialogue soon involved a third character on a different platform—I made no changes whatsoever to the text.

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