Milo’s story “Soulless in His Sight” appears in Issue #15.
What inspired “Soulless in His Sight”?
Who was I to think I could write an homage to Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and McCarthy’s The Road with Diogenes (crossbow + hatchet instead of a lamp) tossed in for good measure? But that’s what I set out to do with “Soulless in His Sight,” and while I approached this project with a great deal of fear and trembling at the start, worried I wouldn’t be able to do it justice, “Soulless” is now a story I can single out as an example of my best work and a project I didn’t allow to beat me.
What writers inspire you?
Ray Bradbury inspired me to write and submit a short story every week in 2011. I started an online challenge called Write1Sub1 where writers can sign up to do the same (also at a monthly commitment level), and “Soulless in His Sight” was my W1S1 from week #9. Robert Heinlein’s rules for writers have also inspired me to keep my work on the market until it sells and to dive right into new projects in the interim.
Favorite book you read in 2011?
I enjoyed Under the Dome by Stephen King; somehow, he was able to keep me reading a thousand-page novel without even realizing it. He’s a master of suspense and escalating conflict. I also started reading (and still am—I read at a slug’s pace) Perdido Street Station by China Mieville, which has got to be the most imaginative, unique, and utterly cool novel I’ve ever read.
Do you have daily writing goals?
After my day job (teaching junior high English), I try to write 1,000 words of fresh material in addition to ongoing edits, revisions, and resubmissions. On bad days, I churn out about 500 words. On great days, it’s closer to 5,000. But I’m content with 1,000 a day.
What piece of advice would you give writers for the coming year?
Believe in yourself, believe in your work, and cool stuff will happen. Write often, submit often, and join Write1Sub1. Come for the challenge, stay for the community. You’ll be glad you did!