B. C. Nance writes fiction and poetry in his spare time and has been published in The Writer’s Post Journal, Inwood, Indiana, and the anthology Filtered Through Time. By day he is an archaeologist specializing in historic sites and has published several archaeological reports. He is a native of Nashville, Tennessee.
1. How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I started writing fiction about 12 years ago, but I haven’t written continuously during that time. Writing seemed like a natural extension of reading, and I wanted to tell my own stories.
2. What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?
I have to paraphrase Stephen King who said if you want to be a writer you have to read a lot and write a lot.
3. Are there any writing resources, such as books or websites, you’d like to recommend?
I recently started using Duotrope for submissions which makes it much easier to find the right publication for each story. Other good sources of information include The Grinder and Ralan.com. I enjoy the website Vocabula.com and the books of Robert Hartwell Fiske.
I was in an online critique group for a while, but I found that I was spending more time critiquing than writing. Now I exchange stories with a friend who is also a writer.
4. What is your favorite type of fiction and who are your favorite authors?
I read several types of fiction including historical fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and literary fiction. Among the many authors I enjoy are Patrick O’Brian, Ron Rash, William Gay, Stephen King, Joe Hill, Howard Bahr, P. G. Wodehouse, Ellis Peters, and many more.
5. What tips do you have for finding time to write?
Turn off the television. That was at least good advice for me. I found that I could flip through channels for 30 minutes or more without actually watching anything, and if I just don’t turn it on in the first place, I have more time to write.
6. Do you prefer to outline a story in advance or write on the fly? Why?
I usually start with a general idea and write on the fly. Sometimes the story reveals itself during the writing process. I have, however, been outlining a longer story that might turn into a novel.
7. How do you deal with rejections?
It’s easy to feel a letdown after a rejection, but every writer will experience it at some point. It’s best to see it as an opportunity to submit the story somewhere else. Most publications can’t offer critiques or advice, but when they do it’s important to learn from the experience. When I get a personal rejection I take the time to thank the editor for considering the story. This is also cheaper than buying a voodoo doll for each editor that turns me down.
8. What are your writing goals for the next twelve months?
I have a few stories that need revisions and editing and some unfinished stories that I need to complete. I plan to work on these while also writing a new alternate history story, a genre that I have not tried before.
9. For the next five years?
I plan to write a novel, a thought that has been in the back of my mind for some time but I’ve been too intimidated by the idea of such a large work. I’ll have to follow the advice of Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
10. Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.
I don’t have a website yet, but if anyone wants to read one of my exhilarating archaeological reports they’re available at www.tn.gov.