I met Arthur at the Writers’ Digest Conference in New York last summer. We chatted, exchanged business cards and when I checked his website: Tales of Our Time (R)… Uncommon Fiction, I wanted to find out more about his work as a writer. We agreed to meet and over a pot of tea, he told me about his fascinating journey, his muse, the Armed Forces Anthology…and more.
E: Arthur, I am curious, what is uncommon fiction?
A: I write mystery, crime, horror, fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, magical realism, epic adventure as well as literary/mainstream fiction. Those different genres make it difficult to classify… hence uncommon fiction.
E: Is writing a full-time activity?
A: No, I work as a management consultant. Corporate Planning and Reorganization. When I’m working on a story, I write 2,000 words a day, about 2 hours a day.
E: Why do you write?
A: Writing is my therapy, a way to get in touch with myself and with others. I listen to my characters and follow where they take me. I visualize the story before committing anything to the page. If I don’t ‘see it first’ I don’t write it.
E: Do you ever have writer’s block?
A: No. And hopefully I never will.
E: Do you ever go back and change your story?
A: Not usually.
E: When did you start writing?
A: I started around the age of 10, but it was decades after graduate school that I began seriously and wrote 9 novels and almost 90 short stories. Currently I’ve written 143 stories.
E: And when were you first published?
A: I started submitting stories in 2012 and since then, over 92 original tales have been published in print and online with another two-dozen published as reprints. I have been published in a single author anthology and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. And, twice nominated for The Best American Mystery Stories, I am very grateful for an Honorable Mention in The Best American Mystery Stories 2017.
E: I love the title “Do Vampires Get Tooth Decay”, tell us about it.
A: It was selected as one of the winning stories of the 2018 Write Well Award, http://www.aaward.silverpen.org which recognizes excellence in short fiction. The winning stories were published in an e-book print anthology on Amazon.com.
E: That’s impressive, congratulations! What is the Armed Forces Anthology?
A: I created The Armed Forces Anthology so that any current member of our military or a veteran can sign up for a free mini-volume of my published stores. It’s a give back program, my way to say ‘thanks’ to those who have sacrificed so much for our country.
E: Tell me about your muse.
A: When the muse speaks, I write. When the muse whispers, a story rarely finds its ending and remains incomplete and wanting. When the muse is strident, the imagery is overpowering, and I record what unfolds, never knowing how the tale will end until the last paragraph reveals itself to me. I do not choose what I see, the plot or narrative arc that drives the story to its ending. I embrace the gift given, without question or judgment. My journey has been finding out who I am, and I welcome whoever wants to walk with me.
E: That’s beautiful! Thank you, Arthur.
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