Interview with an Author - Cory Swanson

  • Tell me a little about yourself, personally.


I’m a middle school band and orchestra teacher living in Northern Colorado with my wife, two kids and an old, blind dog named Kirby. I like to run and bike and I absolutely adore camping in my little Scamp trailer in the summer. One day, I’d love to buy a little cabin in the mountains and just write for weeks in the cool mountain air.


  • What is the name of the book or books you have published?


Geminus is available through Castrum Press. It’s a novella about two twin sisters. One can remember the past like normal, but the other one remembers the future.


I also have a story, “The Musicologists,” in the anthology Triangulation: Harmony and Dissonance.


“Terror in El Pueblo,” is featured by the Denver Horror Collective on denverhorror.com


“Canis ignis” will be in the December issue of Mad Scientist Journal.


  • Where can they be found?


Geminus: https://www.amazon.com/Geminus-Travel-Novella-Cory-Swanson-ebook/dp/B0813WMC62


“The Musicologists” Triangulation: Harmony and Dissonance: https://www.amazon.com/Triangulation-Harmony-Dissonance-Douglas-Gwilym/dp/1721811214


“Terror in El Pueblo” denverhorror.com


“Canis ignis” http://www.defconone.com/mbm-book-author/cory-swanson/


  • Do you have any current WIPs?


I’m always, always writing something. Currently, I’m about 15k words into a story about a man who keeps finding his own dead body. They’re versions of himself that have diverged at critical moments of his life and have been trying to find their way back. So far, they’ve all died before reaching him, lost in the temporal maze of life.


I’m also finishing up a story for the Campfire Stores anthology that will be released next June by Absaroka Press. It’s about a world where the moon used to pass very close during its perigee and people used to build towers to it to hitch a ride. Also, the moon is some sort of creature and it’s spawn are worms in their larval stage, human in form in their intermediate phase, and giant winged monsters in their final phase.


  • How are they going?


The divergences story is going swimmingly. It’s just pouring out. It’s going to hit at least novella length, if not novel length.


The other story is a little stalled out. It’s a rewrite, and I was never satisfied with the ending of the first version. Now I need to rework that ending, and I need some time for that to brew in my head.


  • What got you into writing?


The short answer is depression. I always wanted to become a writer, but it took a good dose of depression to really push me over the edge and get me doing it.


That may sound pithy, but this is my version of the midlife crisis. I was facing down my mediocrity at my chosen career a few years ago. As westerners, I feel we have our entire identities wrapped up in our careers, and when things aren’t going as well as we imagined they would, it can make your whole world feel bad.


So I’m trying to reinvent myself. And I love it. I believe I’m a highly creative and imaginative person, and that part of me is finally getting a chance to express itself.


  • What keeps you focused?


Booze!


But seriously, there’s this part of me that burns for this. I don’t think I could stop if I wanted to at this point. Honestly, there’s not a lot that lights me up quite like writing and creation. I get up at five-am every morning to spend an hour writing before work. If I accidentally sleep in, I get angry. The writing is bursting to get out.


  • What gives you inspiration?


Ideas come from everywhere. Sometimes I have to work to be quiet enough that the ideas will come, but come they do. This most recent story was inspired by shoveling a bunch of snow at my father-in-law’s house. I thought, “What if I found a body in here?” Then I thought, “What if it was my own body?” From there, I had to create people and a place for all this to exist.


Geminus came about when I was reading a list of sci-fi movie plots. I thought this one synopsis said that there was a virus that caused people to remember the future. It wasn’t the plot of the movie at all, but my brain held onto the idea and started working with it.


  • How do you battle writer’s block?


Every other author is going to call for my head, but I’ve never really had much trouble with writer’s block. I can remember one summer weekend a couple years ago when I had no ideas. I forced myself to write something that ended up bad, but it was still good training.


A couple weeks later, I started writing Geminus.


I do get stuck in plot points sometimes. Usually, I jump to another project for a while and let it sit and brew.


  • Did you decide on traditional or self publishing?


I’ve found my most success with independent presses.


  • What made you make that choice?


I think it says something that a publisher is willing to risk an investment in your writing. That they’re willing to put their name on what you do. On the other hand, I haven’t found much success with the world of agents and the big, traditional publishing houses so far. Luckily, it’s not an either/or proposition. There are many good independent publishers out there, and I’ve found they’re wonderful to work with.


  • How does it feel to be considered an author?


Good. I’ve worked hard for this. At first, I was almost scared to let people know I was writing. Their reactions when they found out didn’t help me feel more confident either. They all kind of looked at me like I wasn’t feeling well, and I suppose they weren’t wrong. People who only knew me as a music teacher gave me a wary eye. Now, it’s just a fact of life. I have bona fide publications which lends a bit of legitimacy to my claim on authorship.


I feel like I’ve gone through a bit of a metamorphosis. I hid in my cocoon for a while as I worked on becoming a writer. Now, it’s time to be a butterfly.


  • What’s your social media platforms for people to find you?


Facebook: @speculativemeculative


Instagram: @coryswansonauthor


Twitter: @author_cory


Website: http://coryswansonauthor.wordpress.com


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19717547.Cory_Swanson

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