Today we meet another contributor to the Fairfield Scribes anthology When to Now, Eddie Cantrell as we find out his story.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Well, I have a fool-time job, hehehehe. When I’m not writing I’m usually thinking about what I should be writing next, or researching a story which gives me an excuse to be on the internet.
I call myself an Atlantean! Hahaha! No, no, my family is from Europe and I live in Germany at the moment, but I‘d call myself a South African. I know that‘s crazy. But I grew up there and identify with the culture, the humour and idiosyncrasies. So, I’m South African.
My childhood was pretty normal. I played sports like cricket and soccer. My aunt once told me a story about when she saw a UFO. I think that was the day when I realised I wanted to write. I wanted people to feel the way I felt when she was telling about that UFO.
When to Now is not the first anthology you’ve contributed to. Can you tell me about the other collections and how you get your stories published?
It’s really just about submitting short stories to whatever or whoever I thought would be a good fit. I enjoy anthologies. I don’t know why, but it’s like you get to discover hidden gems. Ink Stains, a subsidiary of Vagabondage Press, published two of my stories respectively in a running printed horror anthology series called Dark Alley Press. Each volume deals with a certain theme, usually quite dark in tone. A Grave Tale, which was my homage to Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King, is about a grave digger who robs a grave in order to get a recently deceased man’s watch. And things don’t quite go according to plan. Teeth will be published in Volume 10 of the anthology. It’s a crazy story about a serial killer obsessed with the teeth of his victims and we follow him on his most recent prowl.
However Blue Sandman, published in When to Now, is one of my personal faves because its different to what anything else I’ve written and it’s probably one of the more personal stories I’ve written. So if you like to jig to some folk rock and feel like a cold beer and a cigar, maybe, then be sure to catch us at The Blue Sandman.
Can you tell us about your writing process?
I write in my man-cave at home. Most cozy room in the house. The setting must be right. No clutter in the room and my music playlist must be ready. Music blocks out all the other distractions. I use Libre Office. I love the research, as I mentioned before but I also love the discovery of the story as it is being written. The best part is the coming up with the idea. When it is first born and starts to swell in the mind – ooooooh, that is yummy. What I hate is when what I have in my head -the tone, the character, the length – ends up going in the wrong direction. That happens often. I wish I was a panster full-on, but I tend to be a bit of both. Planning can also be tough, because you can be lead astray by the wrong kind of planning.
My first reader is Dave Cushing, who is on Scribophile is maybe not always the first reader but he is like an ideal reader. A piece never feels quite finished unless he’s waded through. He’s a bit of a writing mentor and an all-round good voice of reason.
What does it mean to you to be published in When to Now?
It’s a really special anthology by Fairview Scribes. I’m so proud to be a part of this one. It deals with the theme of time-travel. But it’s lovely to see how creative the contributing authors have been with the idea. My story’s particular time-travel mechanism is music. I love music and this story is about how music can take one back…in this case, however, its literal.
Its about a young cab driver who picks up an old man suffering from Parkinson’s and drives him to a derelict part of town where they arrive at a deserted night-club, something out of the 50’s. The visit ends up being a slow ride back in a time when music was magical and cigar smoke drifted through clubs like ghosts.
What was the inspiration for the story?
Well, the story was inspired by Chet Atkins, the legendary guitarist who pioneered country and rockabilly. I listened to a lot of that type of music and read up about that scene during the 40s and 50s. Loved the research for this story.
What was the biggest challenge?
How much to show and how much to leave to the imagination. Also trying to capture the music through words was interesting. The tone, that smoky kind of warm and nostalgic feel, was vital to this piece and it took a bit to get that element right.
How did you come to be published in When to Now?
Myself and Alison McBain are both members of the writing site, Scribophile and we started reading each others work. She is a wonderful writer and an intelligent woman whose advice I always appreciate. She read Blue Sandman and was interested in including it in this very special anthology dealing with time-travel. I never saw the story as a ‘time travel’ story actually, but when she explained how she saw it, it made complete sense. Instead of a futuristic car, or rocket that bullets you back in time, in this story’s case, it’s music that’s the vehicle. That’s what I love about this anthology. Some of the stories take a traditional handle on time travel, while others turn it on its head a bit. So there’s something for everyone.
It just leaves me to thank Eddie for taking the time to talk to me and to wish him well for the future. When to Now is available now from Amazon, along with the other anthologies Eddie has contributed to.
If you enjoyed this interview then why not follow my blog where I’ll be posting more interviews soon. I regularly provide an insight into my own experiences as I work towards publishing my debut novel, In The End. If you’re an author, or work in the industry and you’ve got an interesting story to tell, drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org