Sunday, September 18, 2011

with Splashdown Books

Interview with Walt Staples, one of the writers of the Splashdown Books anthology, Aquasynthesis.

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Walt!
You're one of the authors included in Aquasynthesis, an anthology of science fiction and fantasy short stories, but I don't see a story by you. Why?

I'm afraid I have to chalk that up to the intelligence and good taste of Grace Bridges, Splashdown Books' head honcho. Rather than a discrete story, I wrote the linking story or “narration” (with far more help than I care to think about) that draws the other stories together. Think of me as the commercials between plays that allow one to get up and go in the kitchen for a snack or make a bathroom run.

The other writers' stories are the main thing, in my opinion. Without them, my stuff is pretty much “sound and fury signifying nothing.”

Is there a story behind the book?
No, actually, the story is between the front and back covers. There you find some very fine writing by a number of truly gifted authors. What lies behind the book depends on where you dumped it after you're finished—in my case, * looking * between Geology Underfoot in Death Valley and Owens Valley and Handcuffed to a Corpse: German Intervention in the Balkans and on the Galician Front, 1914-1917.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
It would probably be faster to say which ones I don't like reading. I tend to automatically read just about any text that comes to eye. For instance, did you know that “Trains do not have an operator on the second car and the second car opens its doors only at selected high-level platforms?” Seriously, though, the only one I can think of that I found too dry for pleasurable reading is our local phone book—great characters, but next to no plot (conversely, a book I read recently on the early formation of the Earth was heavy on plot, but had little or no characterization save, I suppose, its reflection of the Guy throwing it together out in his workshop).

I usually have several books I'm reading at any one time. In the pile at the moment (and in no particular order) are the following: Chronicles of Wasted Time:An Autobiography by Malcolm Muggeridge, Australian Football: Steps to Success by Andrew McLeod and Trevor Jaques, A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie, Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: the Gift of Friendship by Colin Duriez, and The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany's Bid for World Power by Sean McMeekin.

If you were to find a purple polka-dotted monster in your kitchen one morning, how would you respond?
That depends. If it's smaller than me, usher it back outside. If it's larger, try to cut a deal. Either way, afterward, I'd check the screen door for holes.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
Psalm 144 [143] (Ignatius Bible). I won't quote it here because of space considerations and the whole is important to me. Besides, as one of my characters is wont to say, “Look it up—that's how you learn.”

I suppose it's special to me because I've spent most of my life among and associated with Orwell's “Rough Men.” I sleep better knowing they're still on watch.

When is your next book out and can you tell us about it?
No one is truly a writer unless they have at least one unfinished book haunting them from beneath the garbage piled on their desk. I have two at the moment, so I'm doubly blessed, and have no idea when or if the things will ever see a bookshelf or eReader (check with the Lord; He's generally got a good handle on the intell). One is a murder mystery set in a headquarters of Rommel's Afrika Korps during World War II's campaign in the Western Desert, and the other is a science fiction work of alternate history dealing with the affects (effects? I always have trouble with that—even Grammar Girl confuses me) on history of an asteroid strike on 1913 Vienna.

What's the most important thing, to your mind, that one should remember?
Not to take anyone too seriously, including yourself—especially yourself.

You can purchase Aquasynthesis from Amazon.

Splashdown is giving away a copy of Aquasynthesis. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


marybelle said...

This was a fun post to read. The humor was a lovely surprise. As would a purple polka-dotted monster in my kitchen be.


Jo said...

Enjoyed the interview and would love to read the book.


Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Teela said...

Cool interview and thanks for the giveaway. I would really enjoy reading this book and then give an honest review on my blog:
teelayoung at hotmail dot com

Joy said...

This sounds like an interesting read..would love to have it...

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