Why did you pick this particular time period for the rip in time? Do you think someone from a different time period would have handled the situation differently?
When I came up with the concept of the story, I wanted a time period that was far enough back that it would have been realistic for Jacob and Brett to be traveling along the trail between Hagerstown MD and Morgantown WV, so it had to be before the railroad connections were completed. Did a little historical research and picked dates, revised them several times because I wanted Brett to have missed the Civil War.
This story almost read like something that could have or maybe already has happened. What would you do if you came across someone like this?
Good question. Probably wouldn’t believe them, in my deepest heart, I am a scientist and engineer and tend to be very realistic and pragmatic. I’d want to believe…
Were there any stories or ideas you’ve enjoyed over the years that have inspired your work as a writer?
I’m always fascinated by the creative. Neil Gaiman’s, The Graveyard Book, blew me away. The writing and story are just so damn perfect. Any story that sneaks up behind you and wacks you in the back of the head with total surprise constitutes great. There are other writers, TC Boyle and Michael Chabon who just amaze me with the beauty of their words.
If you had a message for readers about this story or writing in general, what would you say?
Love what you write and be persistent and each time something is rejected-revise, revise and revise again. Hone your skills. Unless you are an unparalleled literary phenomenon whose every word is golden, you are going to have to work at it.
Do you have any previously published pieces you’re particularly proud of?
There is a little flash piece called, Philosophy of Black Holes and Time Warps, that was published in The Molotov Cocktail magazine. (Is there a pattern here?) It’s a bit of a love story about an older couple. I tried to project the warmth of a couple who had been together for a long time: https://themolotovcocktail.com/vol-9/killer-flash/black-holes-time-warps/
You can read R. Gene Turchin’s piece “Sunflowers” in Issue Eight of The Ginger Collect!