1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
That is difficult for me. I don't like talking about any personal accomplishments or myself. Perhaps it is because I really do not have any credentials. I do not have a college degree. I have not published a short story in a major magazine. I do not have an agent. I am precisely like the 99% of independent writers. Aside from that, I have 10 wonderful grandchildren.
2. Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Family. Always family. I consider myself deeply religious but with a strong liberal bent and I harbor a few, very significant questions. At one time, I was a voracious reader, especially of the classics, but I no longer read for fun. When I do read now, and I usually have a book with me every day, I read to learn how other writers write. I can't help it. It is rare that I read for pleasure, unless I am reading one of my top five books. I do enjoy college sports football and basketball on occasion.
3. What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story?
I do not have a daily routine. I have heard that good writers do, that an author needs to write as if writing were a daily exercise. I do not have a daily routine and I don't exercise either. However, when I am into a story, I become obsessed with it. At that stage, I write daily until I am finished with it and that doesn't take long. Almost a decade ago, I wrote the first draft of my novel in less than two weeks. It was about 70,000 words. Then I put on my editing hat, which is an entirely different skill set.
4. Where do you get your ideas from?
Orson Scott Card once stated that stories are everywhere. I totally agree with him. I see them all around me, underfoot, in the trash bin. Everywhere. Effectively writing them is a different skill however.
5. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?
Hard to say. I only published one novel out, but I do have four shorts, with another two shorts coming out in early 2013. And I admit I have written three to four other stories over the last decade. Each has their appeal to me, otherwise I would never have written them. Now, if you were to ask me about which character is my favorite that would be different.
6. Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
Tough one. Not sure about funny. Odd or unusual would be easier. For example, I met and became engaged to my wife in three days. That was thirty eight years and five children ago. Funny, how does one define what is funny? One time when I was 8 years old, my father owned a farm. My older brother got me to follow behind the manure spreader, when I didn't know what it did. I was just learning that particular farm implement. I was told to follow about 3 feet behind and yell if anything went wrong. My father was leaning on his shovel about thirty feet away, shaking his head. I am a quick learner.
7. Does any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
The stories no, but many of the stories within the story are from personal experience, adapted to move the story along.
8. Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?
Oh heavens yes. Ida. After my high school English teacher. My novel is dedicated to her. And I do believe in my muse. I have noticed that when I try to come up with a story, I struggle with it, almost forcing it into existence. Not when Ida drops in for a moment, which is all she ever does. When she does, the entire story is delivered in a flash. I see it like a movie, from beginning to end. When that happens, I know the story must be written and I find writing much easier.
9. What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
Possibly fantasy. I do not like YA vampire, paranormal, teenage angst tripe. That genre is overcrowded, so I do not even read it. I prefer serious fiction, where lessons about life are learned. The reason I may go into fantasy is because I can create a world where I can make my points. For example, I am currently writing a novel called "The Togs". It is on a planet, prehistoric, no fire, no wheels, etc. The humans worship the sun, which they believe is dying. Within that context, I can examine and explore all the angst I have with religion, all the unanswered questions I have.
10. Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
What do you mean by 'now'? Every author is out there, living or dead. If you mean by now you mean the living, then without a doubt, Harper Lee and John Irving. Their writing resonates with me.
11. Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
Both are in my novel, The Sin of Certainty. The male is John Pound. The female is Rose Henn. I wrote the book because of what they are. He is a coward, she is not. The crux is when John decides, late in his life, that he must face his demon.
12. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Consistency. This goes back to how often I write. I should write more, but like so many independent authors, I have a day job which gets in the way of my personal life, which gets in the way of my writing. Second hardest is editing. Editing will make or break your writing. I learned this from Matt Stover.
13. What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
Start young, be serious and learn your craft. If you start late in life, as I did, be serious and learn your craft.
14. If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?
What I am doing, day jobs, as I can get them.
Well now that we got the question and answer out of the way…..why don’t you tell us about your latest story you have out now?
I just published a short called "Six Sisters". It is a story about six women, unrelated, all terrorists living in America. Unbeknownst to each other, they each board a plane at the same time, three on the east coast, and three on the west. Each of the planes crosses paths over Nebraska simultaneously. One of them lands in a friend farm as he is plowing. I will be publishing another short in the next month or two, titled "Phobia". Ida flew by the other day and dropped a little ditty on me, called "The Mulligan Circumcision of Christopher Webb". Not sure if I will write it or not. I have never written comedy before.
From my novel, The Sin of Certainty:
“I was still on my hands and knees, when I felt something splashing on my arm. I looked around to see Charley had his fly open. He was relieving himself on the girl, his piss splattering onto her face, mingling with her tears as he sprayed up and down on her naked body.
"‘Look at me, I’m greater than Christ!’ he said. ‘I can change wine into water!’
"Ron was laughing. When Charley was finished and had buttoned up his pants, he suddenly did something I'll never forget as long as I live. Something I didn’t see coming. He cursed as he raised his foot in the air, then he stomped down hard between her legs. I could hear bone breaking. The girl just blinked.
"‘Just want to make sure you keep what we gave you inside, you nigger bitch!’ he said. He spat on her, then walked away with Ron.
"I knelt there for a very long moment, not knowing what to do. I looked at Charley’s spit on the girl’s face as it mixed with her tears and his piss.
"Then I followed.”
Next book is at least 2 years out.