Today author Travis West takes over my page with a discussion about his short story, "It's Not Okay, If It's Not the End," appearing in the anthology A Haunting of Words (which also includes my brand new short story, "Anesthetize or A Dream Played in Reverse on Piano Keys"):
Synopsis: With the help of a late music icon, a newly deceased rock band embarks on a cross-country trip to help their drummer deliver a message to his ex-girlfriend.
What inspired you to write this story?:The punk band Rancid has a great song called “Ghost Band.” I heard it one day and knew that I should write about a phantom music group. Originally the band wasn't going to meet anyone famous, they were just going to discuss the possibilities of meeting their late heroes. As a matter of fact, the original title was going to be, “Do You Think We'll Meet Keith Moon?” Then I happened upon a quote attributed to the rock star in question and the entire story unfolded in my mind within minutes. Funny how that works. I feel this is my deepest story yet, even if the premise isn't entirely original. In hindsight I realize it's about regrets. Regret over loved ones left behind to achieve fame, and those used as stepping stones for the same purpose.
How long have you been writing?:Seriously writing, only three years. With a story published at the end of each year.
What genres do you most associate with in your writing:The majority of my short stories are speculative fiction, but I don't think any of them fit into a Sci-fi/Horror/Fantasy box. I've only in the last few months discovered Slipstream. All ideas I have for possible novels are more contemporary or literary fiction.
What are you working on right now?:Right now I'm working on my own project. I'm writing a series of short stories involving a government shadow group who over the past century and a half attempt to infiltrate an alien race for their own nefarious purposes. Each story takes place in a different period in time from the 1800’s until now. It's very “pulp” and heavily influenced by old comic books and magazines, such as Weird Tales and Planet Comics. The stories will be strange, violent, funny, and hopefully readers will find it to be entertaining.
What else do you have available/published: My story “The Most Beautiful Boy” is available in A Matter of Words, and my story “The Errandsman’s Folly” is in A Journey of Words. Both are from Scout Media.
What advice do you give to new writers?Keep writing, of course, and always hire a professional editor. A great editor is an invaluable asset. If you use beta readers, which I do recommend, use a balance of men and women. Even if you don't use a beta reader’s suggestions, at least give those suggestions ample consideration. Don't assume your story is perfect simply because you think so. A wise person once said, Your ego is not your amigo.
List links where people can find your work:
You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at: www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Nobles, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.