Good morning and welcome to the November 08, 2009 edition of The Fox Hole. I’m your host author Jesse Fox. Today my guest is independent author and small business consultant Clayton C. Bye. So pour a cup of Joe, grab a danish, and pull up a seat. There’s no better way to spend a quiet Sunday morning.
Welcome to The Fox Hole, Clayton, it’s a delight to have you this morning. 🙂
Could you start by telling the readers a little bit about yourself?
Hi Jesse. I’m a 47-year-old Canadian living in Kenora, Ontario, near the shores of magnificent Lake of the Woods. Being married with three teenagers, life is busy.
I’ve spent the bulk of my adult years working in sales, but have been forcibly “retired” due to severe Rheumatoid Arthritis and Bipolar Disorder.
Most of my days are spent stretched out on a couch (the least painful position there is), writing and working the internet. I’m a self-publisher. Have been since 1994. Everything is done in-house except printing and binding. These tasks are performed by Hignell Printing Limited, who have been with me since day one. These folks are terrific and have both digital and offset press capability. Eventually, I plan to open my company for submissions.
Author of several books as well as internet short stories, poems, articles and reviews, I also work as an editor and small business consultant. My website: http://www.claytonbye.com offers many samples of my work.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? If so when did you start writing?
I can remember one of my initial first grade classes: I was feeling proud of the fact I could already print and read. Carmelia Rombeiro was seated beside me, and I discovered she was writing her assignment, rather than printing it. I had her show me how to write my name, and my fate was thereafter sealed.
I must admit, however, I didn’t write anything of worth until I was in my thirties, and I actually hated the writing process. Toastmasters involvement in the early 90’s inspired me to pen a number of motivational speeches. Before I knew what was happening, I had a book written. I’ve been at it ever since.
As a writer what inspires you?
Other writers. I’ll be reading something and the thought will come to me… “I could have written this,” or, as is more common, “Wouldn’t it be awesome to write something as beautiful as this?”
Do you have any favorite writers?
Too many to list. Damon Knight would be number one. Some others of influence would be: Alice Munro, Robert A. Heinlein, John D. MacDonald, Stephen King, Ayn Rand, Louis L’Amour, Og Mandino, Dale Carnegie, Graham Greene and Richard Bach. More recent additions would be Jeremy C. Shipp, Jack Whyte and Diana Gabaldon.
Here’s a fun little question. If you could live in any time or place–where and when would you choose?
I’ve worked hard all my life to avoid ending up in a situation where I have to say “What if?” (Strange attitude for a writer, isn’t it?)
So, my guess is you won’t be surprised when I say the answer is to your question is “I choose here and now.”
Being a professional cook at one time, I have to ask this one. Do you have a favorite food?
Well, my waistline reveals my love for any kind of food, but the most accurate answer would have to be anything new and exotic; one of my favourite pastimes is discovering new restaurants. On an everyday level? Pasta and hot wings are running neck to neck.
Now that I’ve picked your brain, can you tell us about your latest work? Don’t hold back!
I have a number of projects in the pipeline.
I’m about three quarters of the way through my second fantasy novel. It’s title is TechnoMage and it’s part of a series called From Earth to Eden. Unfortunately, I’ve been in this position for almost a year. My illnesses have conspired to destroy much of my short term memory and to muddle my long term memory. The end result is that I’m unable to keep the complex threads of my novel clear enough in mind to be able to finish the book. A solution I’ve been working on is to rewrite each chapter of the novel as a stand alone but related short story. It’s slow work but has produced some interesting results.
A second project is a book of poetry. I’m hoping for at least 50 poems, which means I’m over halfway there. This has been fun; prior to beginning the project, I hadn’t written a word of poetry in over twenty years.
The third project is a book of short stories. It’s moving slowly, as I’m submitting each story for publication as I go along.
Most of my time, however, is taken up reviewing the work of others. As a means of mental therapy, I force myself to read and review (usually in 10-15 minute increments) three books per week. Considering that I entered January of this year unable to read and write, my concentration, focus and stamina have come a long way.
Thanks for visiting with me, Jesse. I appreciate your interest.
Thank you for agreeing to speak with me Clayton. I enjoyed our time together and you’re welcome to pop in again in the future anytime. Now just in case you missed it earlier you can find out more about Clayton and his work at the links below:
Follow Clayton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/claytonbye