Lifelong friends battle an illness threatening to disconnect their relationship. A boy scandalously attracted to books comes to terms with his unconventional sexuality. Twin girls, longing to be different, encounter a great white shark. A sheltered country boy runs off to the city and discovers friendship without ever leaving his apartment. Matthew Allard’s fiction debut is filled with obsessive teenagers, scorned women, and unreliable men; but throughout, it brims with characters simply trying to lasso a moment of happiness, sometimes under rather curious conditions.

Printed alongside the 19 Ian Dingman illustrations which inspired them, the stories in To Slow Down The Time come together to provide a charming snapshot of modern storytelling. (2010)

POPS AND CLICKS is Matthew Allard’s second story collection. In “When We Are Giraffes,” a lovable graphic artist, battling mental illness, finds comfort and tests the fragile limits of his marriage after purchasing a giraffe outfit from the Home Shopping Channel. In “Love Machine,” a nameless protagonist constructs an elaborate device in hopes of making his crush feel the same way. And in “Everyone Here Is Happy,” a teenager explores the ripe edge of adulthood while struggling to connect with her astronaut father who lives—quite literally—in another world. Thoughtful, funny, and surreal, these nine stories examine modern relationships, from parents and siblings to strangers and lovers, revealing the complex and mysterious ways our lives intersect. (2013)