Samuel Barnhart’s stories have previously appeared in Fabula Argentea, Page and Spine and Slink Chunk Press. He lives in South Florida, where the biggest division is between those who put up hurricane shutters at the first sign of a stiff drizzle, and those who could care less if their house gets swept away.
How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I started out writing reviews for Newtype Asylum in high school, but I didn’t really take writing seriously until about six years ago. I realized I wasn’t going to make it as a freelance artist and a dear friend encouraged me to pursue short stories. I’ve never looked back. Almost never.
Are there any writing resources, such as books or websites, you’d like to recommend?
Rick Taubold’s “Write Well, Write To Sell” blog (www.writewell.silverpen.org), is pretty spectacular.
What is your favorite type of fiction and who are your favorite authors?
YA (Young Adult) fiction, mainly because I didn’t read any of it until I was an actual adult. As a kid, I read mostly suspense novels and pulp thrillers. Brock Cole, Norma Klein and Ellen Conford are my current favorite authors.
What tips do you have for finding time to write?
Make each moment count. Five minutes or fifty, keep your fingers on the keys until the baby screams and the oven dings. Live in the world you’re creating for as long as you can.
Are you an outliner or discovery writer? Or somewhere in between?
I have a very erratic work schedule, so I do most of my outlining in my head. At the very least, I want the beginning and ending worked out before I start writing. Sometimes I’ll type something that surprises me, but I always have an idea of what a story will look like before I start.
How do you deal with rejections?
I accept them. Rejection is inevitable if a person is writing seriously. My favorite rejections are those that pull my story apart, pick out exactly what is holding it back. Form rejections are less fun, but understandable. Not every editor has the time or desire to dissect each story. I make sure not to take any rejection personally, though.
Do you participate in any online or in-person critique or writing groups?
I belong to the Fort Lauderdale Writer’s Group, co-moderated by Jon Frangipane and Wendell Abern, populated by novices, published authors, poets, playwrights and all sorts of South Florida weirdos. They’re practically family.
What are your writing goals for the next five years?
Stick with it. Quit thinking I can go back to painting anytime I want. Relearn all that stuff I napped through in my English classes. Maybe publish a collection of short stories if the planets align just right.
What book(s) are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading “The Seer”, by Sonia Orin Lyris. It just came out in paperback and is already one of my favorite fantasy novels. After that, I’m starting “In the Shadow of Paradise”, the latest collection by Jane Ellen Glasser, who writes the best poetry ever.
Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.
The Miami Radio Players (www.miami-radio-players.com), will be performing a short play of mine as part of their “Shoreside” saga on March 11th, at the Gleason Room. I also served as the Guest Editor for Liquid Imagination’s February 2017 issue.