|Author Eric Trant|
Monday, July 29, 2013
HOW SMALL TOWN LIVING MADE ME A BETTER WRITER
By Eric Trant
So I don't mean to imply that being from the city or some other place besides a small town somehow makes you less of a writer. That is not my intent, so please do not take it that way. I am simply saying that in my case, for my style of writing, having a repertoire of small town experiences is a great tool in my bag.
I want you as a writer to extrapolate what I say here to your own case and your own style. Look in your bag and see what about your history and your genre and your technique can be blamed on your upbringing. In my case, the formative years were the seventies and eighties. My first twelve years were spent in East Texas, so far East that if you went any farther you'd be in Louisiana, on a ranch surrounded by the East Texas Piney Woods. I was baptized in a church in the woods down a dirt road. I slopped hogs and dropped off the fence and held their ears and rode them until they rolled me in the mud. I fell off horses and got chased by the bulls and saw calves fall out of their mothers. I had cow-patty fights, and can tell you one-day horse pellets and three-day crusted cow-patties green on the inside are the best ammunition for that sort of fight. I can also tell you that plywood shields are no protection at all. I know what a creek sounds like at midnight, how the woods talk to you if you listen, and what a truly dark sky looks like on a clear night.
I spent my teens on the Gulf Coast outside of Houston. I was an in-towner by then, not one of those other types, the ones who live outside of town. I understand that stratification even between people who all consider themselves small-town. I remember getting in trouble in high school for carrying a double-edged boot dagger in my truck. It was one of my hunting knives. The principal confiscated it and gave it to me after school and said it was a nice knife, that if I left it out like that somebody would steal it. So I put it with my machete and the axe behind the seat. I remember guys showing off their pistols and rifles and shotguns at lunch. I remember showing off that knife and throwing it around at band practice with some other guy's lock-blade.
Then there was this ice-water culture-shock when I went to college at the University of Texas at Austin. A cop confiscated that boot dagger and she took it home instead of back to the precinct. I checked and they all laughed at me for checking and waved me out of the precinct and I never saw it again. My brother gave me that knife for my tenth birthday, a bone-handed Ka-Bar from the local feed store with a thick leather sheath, one of those knives you could get so sharp it almost hurt to look at it and it had never left my side. I left my machete and axe and rope and all that other stuff in my apartment after that, and after a while I don't know what happened to it all. It walked off I guess.
I ordered pizza for the first time. I heard sirens like you hear in the movies. I found out it was true you could order Chinese if you pick it up, and it really did come in those little boxes with chopsticks. I rode in a cab. I never knew how much they reeked. Same with the public buses. I used a cross-walk thingie and tried sushi and found out I really liked sushi.
The point of all this is that my story gives me quite a lot of fodder for writing. I can share these experiences with others and maybe find some sort of common thread, and by recounting and rethinking the events of my life, I can dredge up scenes, scenarios, situations, characters, growth and wisdom and insight. We can all do that with our life's story, if we just look at it and say, Being me makes me a more interesting writer.
What about you makes you a more interesting writer?
Eric will be giving away a copy of his thriller WINK to one lucky commenter. Please leave your email in your comment.
Summary for WINK: A moving, fast-paced and incredibly emotional story about love, friendship and transformation.
In this thriller set in a rural Gulf Coast town, Marty Jameson finds refuge in the attic from his mother's abusive rages. But only during the day. At night the attic holds terrors even beyond what he witnesses in his home. With a family made up of a psychotic mother, a drug-dealing father and a comatose older brother withering away in the spare bedroom, Marty feels trapped.
Next door, wheel-chair bound Sadie Marsh obsessively watches Marty's comings and goings from her bedroom window, despite her mother's warning about the evil in that house. Evil which appears to Sadie as huge black-winged creatures.
Marty, emotionally torn by the violence and dysfunction in his family, is drawn to Sadie and her kindly mother. But if he is to save his new friend from the supernatural horror threatening them all, Marty must transform himself from victim to hero. And to do so, he must first confront what lurks hidden in the shadows of his attic.
WINK is a thriller that captivates readers and leaves them longing for more. Trant is a talented author whose character descriptions go far beyond the physical.
Paperback: 275 pages
Publisher: WiDo Publishing (April 16, 2013)
Twitter hashtag: #WINK
WINK is available as a print and e- book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Eric W. Trant is a published author of several short stories and the novels OUT OF THE GREAT BLACK NOTHING and WINK from WiDo Publishing, out now! See more of Eric's work on his blog: http://diggingwiththeworms.blogspot.com/, order directly from Amazon, or wherever books are sold.
Eric is an advocate for organ donation and lost his 18 mo son in May of 2012. Eric and his wife courageously donated their son’s heart, kidneys, and liver. The couple went on to begin a foundation to support organ donor families. Eric speaks openly about this emotional journey on his blog and the topic of organ donation is very close to his heart.
Find out more about the author by visiting him online:
Author website: www.EricTrant.com
Author blog: http://diggingwiththeworms.blogspot.com/
Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/eric.trant.9
Thanks for stopping by!