1. Can you tell us a little what your story, "Across the Styx of Norway," is about?
The story's about a Native American wanting to see the Aurora Borealis. And the journey takes him through an emotional gauntlet, one filled with voices--and memories--of the past.
2. How did you come up with the idea?
I remember saying to myself, "I want to see the Northern Lights before I die." And in that statement was the story. The other stuff--mostly the whole beginning and middle--came out of nowhere, actually. I started writing, and the story, after much pruning (and my wife telling me to cut things), wrote itself. However, reading various mythologies--Native American and Greek--really brought the "theme" together, giving it meaning.
3. What is your inspiration for writing as a whole?
I'm obsessed, really. . . The characters--and their journeys--drive me. At heart, I'm a traveler, and when I sit down to write, I travel. To sum it up, I imagine I write to get away from the norm.
4. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm from Anderson, Indiana. I moved to Alabama when I was very young--because my father was in the Air Force. Eventually, I served in the U.S. Army before going to college, where I graduated with a B.A. in English. I'm now teaching composition and, very soon, will receive my M.A.
5. Where can listeners find more of your work?
Midnight Echo Magazine published my story, "Stinson Way: A Southern Gothic," in their tenth issue. It's a good horror story, and perfect for Halloween. Readers can find a copy through ME's website.
6. Any new work we should keep an eye out for?
Yes--I have a short story titled "The Julius Directive" out in Flame Tree Publishing's Science Fiction Short Stories, an anthology full of wonderful authors. This story placed as honorable mention in the Writers of the Future Award, second quarter, 2015.
7. (And just for Juli's curiosity: What are you reading now?)
I'm reading the Jack Reacher series, written by Lee Child. I love the action, intelligence of the protagonist, and pacing of the novels.
Editor's Note: If you enjoyed this story, you might be interested in reading the whole anthology, Ain't Superstitious, with many more great stories. It's available on Amazon and Smashwords.
Copyright Third Flatiron Publishing 2015