Novelist Bryce Beattie describes himself as a pulp addict, a programmer, a husband and a father.
He is also the author of Oasis (CreateSpace, 2008), a novel that focuses on small town nurse, Corbin St. Laurent as he desperately tries to find a cure to a virus that is turning the inhabitants of his town into zombies.
The novel first appeared as a serial on the blog, Oasis: a Zombie novel before it was released as a paperback.
In this interview, Bryce Beattie talks about his concerns as a writer:
When did you start writing?
I wrote little stories here and there my whole life. I really decided to start writing regularly a few years ago after I discovered the works of Edgar Rice Burrows and Robert E. Howard. Their writing just has so much fun and energy, it was infectious to me.
How would you describe your writing?
Action adventure fiction in the pulp tradition.
My target audience is me, and other folks who were born about 70 years too late. Folks who like The Shadow, seedy jazz music, Doc Savage, old time radio shows, and good, clean fun.
Which authors influenced you most?
Edgar Rice Burrows and Robert E. Howard got me going. Kenneth Robeson (Lester Dent) as well as many hardboiled detective writers like Robert Leslie Bellem and Raymond Chandler. More modern influences include Ray Bradbury and Gregg Taylor from Decoder Ring Theatre.
Do you write everyday?
I try to write everyday. I don't really have a set writing rituals like a lot of writers. I just squeeze it in whenever I can. The session usually ends when my wife or daughter ask me to do something.
How many books have you written so far?
Just one so far. It's called Oasis, and it's a sci fi, action, adventure, pulp, zombie book. I self-published it through CreateSpace, only to have a small publisher contact me the day after it went live on Amazon. They weren't interested in a reprint at the time, so I missed out. More info about it can be found at Oasis: a Zombie Novel.
Oasis is the story of an E. R. nurse who is trapped in a small desert town that has been quarantined following a terrorist release of a horrible virus. A virus that siezes control of the infected person's mind.
I also had a short story published in Astonishing Adventures Magazine, a modern day pulp.
How long did it take you to write Oasis?
Oh, man. Forever. It took like two and a half years. I only really worked on it steadily the last year or so.
It was published just before Christmas last year.
I found it hard to edit the novel to a point where I could really feel satisfied that it had turned out the way I wanted. Eventually I just had to say, "Look, self, do you want this thing published, or do you just want to work on it forever?"
Which aspects of the work did you enjoy most?
I wrote it serially on my blog, and I really enjoyed the interaction with readers after every chapter.
What sets the book apart from other things you've written?
Well, it's long and I finished it. Nothing else I've written meets both those criteria ...
What will you be publishing next?
The book I'm working on now is a sequel to Oasis. It's more sci-fi pulpy action. This time the hero has to deal with aliens.
The book after that is going to be a more mainstream political thriller
What are your main concerns as a writer?
I am constantly striving to make my writings have more energy and be more engrossing.
I've read a lot of books on writing, and I read a ton of fiction. After folks finish reading one of my stories, I want them to say, "That was a ride."
Someday, I'd like them to say, "It's sad that that book is over. It was a fun ride, but it also made me think."
One step at a time, I suppose.
As far as challenges to my writing go, right now time concerns are the biggest. I'm busy with work, family, and my church. There just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do.
How do I deal with it?
I try to cut out activities that don't really matter. Reading with my daughter matters, watching American Idol doesn't.
[Interview] Anonymous, author of 'worlds undone', Conversations with Writers, May 11, 2009.