L. Vera: Ben Sobieck, It’s nice to have you here. If you haven’t been keeping up, I’ve been interviewing non stop for over a week, and I’m pretty much on a roll here. So I’m happy I tracked you down.
Ben Sobieck: I wear a lot of camo, so it’s understandable. I’m happy to be back here in reality, virtually.
Ben Sobieck: Anywhere but the office. I rarely come out of my hole.
L. Vera: Hopefully no thieves are reading this.
I really enjoyed your story “The Last Injustice”. I think any story with a grandfather and their grandson causing trouble, is always a fun read? Please don’t tell me this is based on a true story.
Ben Sobieck: No, it’s not a true story. It involves a terminally ill grandpa going nuts one night. He brings along his grandson/daughter (I never make it real clear so as to allow the reader to insert him/herself). The grandkid tries to figure out what’s making grandpa be so crazy, outside of the illness. It’s a rhetorical question that isn’t completely answered. I want the reader to take a bird’s eye view of life and create their own meaning.
L. Vera: So why have this piece in Burning Bridges? Was it something written especially for the anthology?
Ben Sobieck: First off, “Burning Bridges” is one helluva anthology. It has this punk rock/indie spirit running through it. A bunch of authors, disgruntled with how they were treated by a particular individual, got together to make a statement. It wasn’t anything vengeful. More like, “We got hosed, but we’re not slowing down. We’re burning a bridge and we’re never looking back.”
The grandpa character in my story feels the same way, but with life overall. His only purpose left in life is to die, and he can’t stand to go through with it. He can’t look in the past, either, since it’s too painful. He’s stuck, full of guilt, and he just goes nuts. On the other side of things, the grandkid has an entire life to anticipate. Using this contrast, I wanted to show the two options you can take in life: You can let the past eat you alive or you can look forward. I thought that matched the theme of the anthology perfectly. I hope readers agree.
L. Vera: Why should other readers download it? And what piece should they start reading first?
Ben Sobieck: They should download it because it’s full of great writing. We put this thing together out of want. We’re not making a red cent off it. This is pure passion for writing. Start from the beginning and enjoy yourself.
L. Vera: What other craziness should we expect from you in the future?
Ben Sobieck: I have these two sides to my writing. One is serious, the other is humorous. On the serious side, I’m chipping away at my next crime novel. On the lighter side, there’s always another Maynard Soloman stories on the way.
L. Vera: Ben Sobieck, a fun writer. I plan on reading on reading Cleansing Eden and maybe later I’ll grab one of your humorous detective collections. Everyone should keep up with Ben by visiting his blog and facebook page . Thanks Ben.
L. Vera: I would like to start off by saying how much of an honor it is to have you on my blog and you would be the first person I have ever interviewed.
K. A. Laity: I will be gentle with you. I am pleased to be your first interview. I hope I do not scar you for life.
L. Vera: One thing I had noticed about you was that, besides being published in a plethora of outlets, is that you have your own Wiki page. How awesome is that?
K. A. Laity: LOL, I think one of my friends started that. I suspect no one else has looked at it. I should make my students update it. I make them change the college’s page.
L. Vera: So obviously you have been a part of other collections, and anthologies. I know Burning Bridges is coming out on May 1st, and you have a short story called “Horse Clock” within its pages. What makes being involved with this collection different then the others?
K. A. Laity: The primary appeal of this anthology is joining the gang who had the good taste to drop a publisher who showed himself to be a reprobate without morals. We’re known by the company we keep — and the company rocks.
L. Vera: That was definitely a learning experience for us all. So what will we find inside the story, “Horse Clock”?
K. A. Laity: We will find that the world is much more elastic than we have been taught to believe. Everything is alive. Sometimes you can find a god on your mantelpiece.
L. Vera: I’m already excited to read it. What kind of thinking went behind its creation?
K. A. Laity: Actually the first thing to come was the picture (located on the right). I rented the townhouse I live in sight unseen, so inherited many interesting things including the clock on the mantelpiece. I took this picture and wrote the opening lines for the story when I posted it. A friend asked if there would be more to the story. I hadn’t really thought about it, but then the idea for BURNING BRIDGES developed and I thought, ah ha!
L. Vera: And the title, is very intriguing. So which came first, the title or the story?
K. A. Laity: The story came before the title, the clock came first of all. No idea where the other horse went, but i had fun thinking about it.
L. Vera: What should we expect from you in the future?
K. A. Laity: I just turned in the final (I hope) edits for my next novel OWL STRETCHING which will be out later in 2012. I have a story “It’s a Curse” in Mr B’s DRUNK ON THE MOON anthology and “Chickens” in Matt Hilton’s ACTION anthology. I have a couple of non-fiction collections coming soon, too. My website (www.kalaity.com) will list things as they come out.
L. Vera: Thanks for the quick interview. I can already see Burning Bridges hitting the #1 free spot on Amazon on May 1st. I look forward to reading “Horse Clock” and I’m sure so is the rest of the Amazonian readers out there. Also, check out K. A. Laity at her blog.
“Burning Bridges” is a new free anthology, out on May 1st, featuring these great writers (along with myself):
Julia Madeleine, Paul D. Brazill, Heath Lowrance, B. R. Stateham, K. A. Laity, Benjamin Sobieck, Edith Maxwell, Joshua J. Mark, McDroll, Allen Leverone, Darren Sant
I’m fortunate to have, “Killing Deities”, in it. The story had gone through a number of different titles from “How To Kill A God” to “Killing Gods”. It’s a short story where manifestations, deities, created by people’s prayers and devotions, exist and interfere with people’s lives. In the center of a large lake of old electronics lives one – the god of media.
He stands taller than any man, wrapped in wire and rods. A monitor stands on its neck with a tiny tie that swings and he wants to know what business Sawyer has with him. The truth is Sawyer is killing all of them. And with the help of the old man who lives high above the clouds, he’s prepared.
I have plans to write more of his journey depending on the response of this first one. Initially I wanted to write a journey that delved into different genres. This one would be a science fiction / fantasy piece, the next a romance and so on. I also cut it down from 2700 words to 1900 and left less fat and more meat. I hope it leaves a nice taste in your mouth.
Author’s Notes: One of my first stories, and by far the most popular. It was a look at helping write dialogue. I placed third in a contest with a previous story and the biggest complaint was the flat dialogue. This story is almost all dialogue and it also helps to understand that there are two boys being interviewed before you start reading.
An excerpt from a tape recording of Martin Stevens’ interview with Dr. Henry Wurzbach.
1/20/89 9:00 A.M.”How are you doing today, Martin?” Doctor Wurzbach’s voice entered through the static.
“Good,” Martin replied.
“If you do not mind Martin, I would like to go ahead and ask about the first time you discovered your ability,” Doctor Wurzbach said with his deep calm voice.
“Sure. Like I said before, it all just kind of happened. Well, I was out with my friends. We were walking home from practice and we got to the bridge across from the park. Michael jumped on the stone wall on one side of the bridge,” he stopped.
“Go on,” Doctor Wurzbach said.
“He fell… or so I thought he did. But…” he paused again.
“But he did not?” Doctor Wurzbach filled in.
“No. I grabbed his hand and well… he… um… didn’t fall.”
“So you saved him,” Doctor Wurzbach suggested.
“Well, I didn’t think I saved him. I just thought it was… I don’t know… ”
“So did you tell anyone about this?”
“No. I thought it might have been something… I don’t know… like maybe… I don’t know I couldn’t explain it.”
“So no one knew yet? Your parents? Your brother…”
Martin interrupted, “No one knew.”
“How have you been Christopher?” Doctor Wurzbach’s voice cleared the static.
“Did you use it during your soccer games?” Doctor Wurzbach asked.
“Have you ever been punched?” Christopher asked.
“So you can see 3 seconds into the future, Martin?” Doctor Wurzbach asked.
“So you are telling me you can test me using these stopwatches,” Christopher asked.
“The bus was a mistake.”
“Why were you on the bridge Chris?”
“As the bus swerved, I saw my brother standing on the wall on the bridge. He turned around and looked straight at me. He stared into my eyes. I saw it in his eyes. He could see the future too.”
“The first thing I saw was me jumping onto the bus. I saw myself pry the door open but I had problems. So I tried it a different way. It was like I had multiple tries at everything.”
The voices faded out from the small tape recorder Doctor Henry Wurzbach held in his hand. He pulled the last tape from the recorder and lingered. He thought to himself, “I had a chance to save him,” before he tossed the last bit of evidence into the fireplace.
**Author’s notes: This is my first serial fiction that I am now re-releasing here, every Sunday. You can find the complete, professionally edited and extended book here along with two short stories for $2.99.**
Diary of a Madman July 30th
July 30, 1988
Today is my birthday and my loving husband bought me a wonderful gift – you. I guess after we found all of my old diaries stored in the attic, he knew I would love to have a new one. So today I am overjoyed to have such a loving husband. By the way, Diary, his name is Kurt. We have been married for 3 years and we have never been happier.
Kurt couldn’t get out from work early, or so that is what he told me. He wants me to meet him at my favorite restaurant tonight. Of course, it’s a surprise party. It’s more than obvious; but I’m still wondering who will be there. Sally and Steve, for sure. Maybe the Carlsons will be there? Maybe my parents? I’m so excited this morning I woke up and he had this beautiful dress hanging on the door with a note. That said how much he loved me and
I killed another woman today. She was very pretty, Diary. She looked almost like Sarah. She had the same long brown hair and slim figure. I really miss Sarah.
Today was such a long day, Diary. I followed her useless husband around town. I had to make sure that he would give me enough time to be alone with her. So after he left towards the flower shop I hurried to her house. I had thirty minutes to get the deed done; but I really only need two. She was too busy writing in you. So, thank you Diary, you made it easy for me.
The hunger to kill subsided today. I don’t know when it will return but it will. But now thanks to you, Diary, I won’t be alone.