Welcome to the Saturday book reading and interview. My guest today is fantasy, science fiction and paranormal author C.S. Boyack. As well as novels, Craig has released a number of collections of speculative fiction and co-presents a series of guest interviews with Lisa Burton.. one of his most alluring characters.
First let’s have a look at the official biography and Craig’s books before we put him in the hot seat. This is an interactive interview and Craig is looking forward to responding to your questions and comments in the next couple of days.
About C.S. Boyack.
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.
Books by C.S.Boyack
About The Experimental Notebook of C.S. Boyack
A speculative selection of micro-fiction and short stories. These were designed to be short reads for your commute, coffee break, and other times when readers are pressed for time. This book contains a bit of science fiction, some fantasy, and paranormal stories.I’m excited to see short fiction returning in popularity. I hope you will enjoy these stories as much as I did.
A recent review for Volume One.
I am a huge fan of short stories, both creating and reading them. The problem is, not many writers do them well. Stephen King has published several collections and even his stories are sometimes hit and miss.This is not the case with C.S. Boyack. In his Experimental Notebook he scores with one great story after another. Many of them have a pattern of reeling the reader in and then leaving you breathless with a surprise ending. From the very first story, Jack O’ Lantern, to gems like The 50 Gallon Drum, Boyack sets up the reader and then delivers some surprise that leaves you smiling.For anyone who enjoys short stories, this book is a must.
One bit of false advertising appears in the Goodreads blurb. The author states that the book was designed to provide short reads. I stayed awake in my hotel room telling myself, “just one more” until I had finished the book and then downloaded the second one.I highly recommend this book and will be reading more by this author. He shows a depth and breadth to his writing seldom found in the indie author community. Please give his stories a try and spread the word like wildfire.
And a review for the second volume on Goodreads
Karen rated it 5 stars
This anthology comprises fifteen different stories, taking you on fifteen very different trips; some will make you happy, some will make you sad, others will make you wonder. There is one thing that they all have in common: They are unforgettable. I cannot tell you more about this anthology as it would spoil the fun of reading it yourself.With The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II, C. S. Boyack presents us with fifteen little gifts. Each story is skilfully elaborated, has its own great flow. Ernest Hemingway once stated “When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”
C. S. Boyack shows this masterly with every story – he created living people instead of mere characters. I was drawn into the stories right away, close to the protagonists – sometimes too close for comfort. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II. It is a very enjoyable read.This is for you if you like short stories, adventures with a humorous streak, paranormal events, horror stories, a remarkable science fiction story, very likeable characters to cheer on, surprises and food for thought – all packed in micro-fiction and short stories.This is a book to read again. Highly recommended!
Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/C.-S.-Boyack/e/B00ILXBXUY
Find more reviews and follow C.S. Boyack on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9841203.C_S_Boyack
Time to turn this over to Craig and don’t forget to leave your questions in the comment section.. this is your interview too.
I’ve said before that I’m kind of like a creature of the night – you have to invite me inside. I love getting invitations, and am excited to do this interview. Thank you for asking me.
You are very welcome Craig and can you tell us about your chosen genre of books that you write and why?
That’s kind of funny, because I’m in denial. I call myself a speculative fiction author. This means all of my stories have something fantastic about them. I claim that’s my genre, but it isn’t true. I’m a multi-genre author, because I bounce from science fiction, to fantasy, to paranormal. Sometimes I mix them together.
To make matters worse, I write novels, short stories, and micro-fiction. These are all different animals, and it’s the challenge that motivates me. It’s a challenge to write a fantasy short story, but I’ve done it.
What appeals to you about writing short stories?
I’m getting known for my short form fiction. I love this medium for several reasons. I like the feeling of accomplishment. It might take me a year to write a novel, but it might only take a long weekend to whip out a short story. I enjoy the challenge of bringing an entire story in with the lower word count. You still have to have plot, characters, and environment to these stories. Take a shortcut on any one, and the story won’t work.
Where would you like to be in 5 year’s time?
My goal has always been to have enough writing income to supplement retirement. Even $500 per month would go a long ways. I’m ten years from retirement, so in five years, I’d like to be bringing in $250 per month from book sales.
It’s become kind of unrealistic to derive full time income from being self published. Any of us could catch lightning in a bottle, but to aim for supplemental retirement income seems fairly realistic to me. It becomes more realistic as my catalog grows, and it will continue to grow over that time.
Can you tell us more about Lisa Burton radio and how you came up with the concept, and perhaps share the link to one of your favourite interviews that gives us an idea of the format?
I had this really strong character just lounging around and doing nothing. I started including her in some of my writing posts, and she was really popular. I got the bright idea of using her as a spokesmodel to promote my books. I checked with her artist, and he was excited about the idea. These promos turned out to be more popular than the ones I appeared in.
An author friend, John Howell, proposed the idea of having Lisa interview him and we put that together. The post was so popular I couldn’t just stop. Then it dawned on me that maybe other authors would like to promote using their characters. About this time, I was writing a short story about a late night radio station, and the whole idea came together. Now Lisa interviews fictional characters on her radio show, and they have been super popular.
It’s hard to get enough guests to keep a regular schedule, but I generally manage every Thursday. I can’t single anyone out as the best one, so I’m going to give you the link to the Lisa Burton Radio category: https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/category/lisa-burton-radio/
Explain more about the Idea Mill and what is the strangest prompt you have developed into a short story or character?
These posts may amuse me more than everyone else, but I still keep posting them. I have a collection of RSS feeds, and online magazines that let me customize content. I regularly get articles on archeology, cryptids, science breakthroughs, and more. These feed my Muse, because I like to have a tiny bit of realism behind the stories I write.
I started posting them as The Idea Mill whenever I get three good ones. My theory was they might inspire other authors too, since I can’t use them all. I’ve used several in short stories, and as elements in novels. I was most inspired by a group of posts about bio-hackers. These are people with basement labs that largely experiment on themselves. It all sounded so Jekyll and Hyde that I couldn’t resist. I have most of an outline of a science fiction novel I’m calling Grinders, which is the slang name they give themselves.
Can you tell us something about your next project?
I’m a sucker for a personal challenge, and set a personal goal for every story I’ve ever written. This time I want to write a couple of novellas. One is going to be a paranormal superhero origin story, and the other one is a science fiction based spin on the lifeboat story.
I have no idea whether they will come in as long short stories, or as short novels, but I’m going to try it.
Craig as chosen an extract from his novel The Yak Guy Project for his book reading. It’s sort of an alternate world fantasy with a coming of age story. The book is due out later in the year.
Throbbing pain in my head.
Heat. Not like The Strip at two o”clock PM, more like a pizza oven.
The dirt burnt my face, and dust particles smelled like salt.
I rolled over, and the earth crunched under me. When I opened my eyes, everything swirled bright white, yellow, and blue. I rubbed my eyes, and my forehead was soaked with sweat.
My vision swirled again when I sat up. Salt encrusted flat as far as I could see, which wasn’t far. The heat waves turned everything into a swirl again.
Snow capped mountains rose above the heat waves when I lifted my head. There were no tire tracks around me, no footprints, nothing. How did I get here?
One black dot jumped back and forth in the heat waves. Maybe it was a Jeep. I forced myself up and waved. “Over here!”
I had no idea where to go, but the mountains looked cooler than this place. I made three weak steps. I felt like someone kicked me in the balls, and I went down.
I don’t know how long I was out, but when I pushed myself to my elbows, the dot was closer. It was moving, help was on the way.
I managed to move into a sitting position and crossed my arms. I winced at the pain. My arms were covered with blisters and hot to the touch. I looked at the sun. A vulture moved across the sky so high up I doubted he saw me, but I knew he had. It’s a race then, the Jeep or the vulture.
The Jeep resolved itself into a lone cow. Oh, fuck. How the hell was I going to get out of here now? The cow was coming straight at me.
I managed to stand again, but fell after a few steps. A tiny breeze picked up, but it only made things hotter.
The cow took on some detail. It was black with a white blaze on its forehead, white legs, and it had long hair that moved in the breeze. Ranchers put cows on the range, but one with long hair was unheard of here.
Still, it came closer. Long sharp horns resolved on the sides of its head the closer it got. They were nearly four feet from tip to tip. Would it hurt me?
“Shoo! Get out of here.”
The cow kept coming.
I curled up in a ball, and hoped it would keep walking. I couldn’t outrun it, and those horns looked worse than the scorching heat.
It stopped about five feet away and turned sideways. It wore a saddle and reins.
Then it said, “There’s a waterskin hanging on the side.”
And the delectable Lisa Burton
My thanks to Craig for joining us today and he is looking forward to answering your questions which you can leave in the comments section. Thank you Sally
You will find the other interviews in this series in this directory