Monday, January 16, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#51) -- First Story Inspiration

What inspired you to write your first story?

My first real story? It was inspired by a song recorded by Geoff Moore and the Distance. The song was called "Calling Londontown" and was written Dave Perkins and Rob Frazier. The story of the same name was a sort of post-apocalyptic sci-fi tale about a future society that had banned religious practice. I sent it off to several sci-fi magazines, and I received an equal number of polite rejection letters from those magazines, including Analog and Asimov's Science Fiction. Maybe one day I'll revisit it. Maybe. Hmmm...

My first published story was called "Cherry Hill," and it was inspired by a history class I was taking in college. We were studying the racial history of the U.S. and slavery in particular, and the class discussion prompted a game of "what if..." Always fun for a writer. That story went on to win first prize in the college's writing contest (judged by Judith Ortiz Cofer), and eventually ended up in the anthology O, Georgia: A Collection of Georgia's Newest and Most Promising Writers Volume II and currently has a home in my collection of early writing, Gomer and Other Early Works, available in print and PDF e-book (other e-versions to come).