Dr. John Wegner, interim dean of the Freshman College at Angelo State University, has published his first book of short fiction, titled “Love is Not a Dirty Word,” through Lamar University Press.

Set for release on Jan. 30, “Love is Not a Dirty Word” features a cast of memorable characters as they struggle to make connections in meaningful ways while fighting memories of violent childhoods or struggling to understand their own sexuality.          At the heart of the collection is a sense that love is less about romance and more about surviving everyday trials and problems. In each story, Wegner gives an original voice to characters as they search for their place in the world.

In his review of Wegner’s book, Jim Sanderson, award-winning author of “Nothing to Lose” and “El Camino Del Rio,” said, “Despite John Wegner’s title, for most of his characters, love is dirty. For Wegner’s adolescents, love is wrapped in confusions and misdirection with just a kernel of hope inside. For Wegner’s adults, love demands compromise, negation, addiction or self-arbitration. All of the stories in this collection bite with poignancy and truth.”

A 17-year ASU faculty member, Wegner is also a professor of English and director of undergraduate research. He has previously published short fiction stories in New Texas, Journal of the American Studies Association and ASU’s Concho River Review literary journal. He has also published articles on Cormac McCarthy, Juan Felipe Herrera and other American writers.

“Love is Not a Dirty Word” will be available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other book stores, as well as through Lamar University Press at www.lamaruniversitypress.org.

Another ASU English professor, Dr. Terry Dalrymple, also will soon be publishing a collection of short fiction through Lamar University Press, titled “Love Stories (Sort Of).”