Wednesday, October 2, 2013

OTBP Blog Tour & Giveaway | Author Interview: Chip Putnam

Kicking off day #2 of the Off the Beaten Path blog tour & giveaway, and I thought it might be nice to learn some more about my fellow indie authors whose short stories are also featured in the anthology. A lot of times, these projects are organized and collaborated on between authors who span the globe. We send dozens of group emails helping each other with editing and marketing plans. Many of us do not get the chance to meet in person, and many of our correspondences are book related, so it's really nice, once the work is finished, to get to know each other on a more personal level.

Today, I'd like to introduce Chip Putnam. Chip actually has two short stories in Off the Beaten Path: The Reason Why Grandmothers Should Not Be Allowed To Read Vampire Novels and Prairie Zombies. He has also won several contests with other short stories, and he managed to accomplish all of this with a full teaching schedule as a high school science teacher in North Carolina.

Chip was able to find a few moments to visit with me, and here are some fun facts I found out about him.

Q: Vampires? Werewolves? Ghosts? What's your favorite flavor of supernatural and why? 

A: I would have to say the zombie hordes are my favorite.  Vampires get all of the PR, ghosts are too transparent, and werewolves are just plain schizophrenic.  It shouldn’t be too difficult to pick a species, but werewolves have to try to be both humans and wolves.  It’s no wonder they don’t really fit in with anyone.  For my favorite undead, I have to go with the underdog, the oft maligned, zombies.  They lurch, they moan, and eat the occasional brain.   What’s not to love?

Q: Do you dabble in other genres besides paranormal? What kind of stories come to you most naturally when writing? 

A: I’m possibly the most eclectic author I know.  My passion is fantasy, but I’m good with a quip or two.  So I find it easy to write contemporary humor.  Since all of my adult life has been spent in a high school classroom, I tend to gravitate toward school stories that bear a more than passing resemblance to events I have witnessed over the past twenty years.  In a demonstration of eclectic nature, my most recent manuscript was a romantic comedy.  When asked about my favorite genre, my response is, “The one I haven’t explored yet.”  

Q: Are you an outliner or an organic writer? 

A: I tend to start a story with both a beginning and an ending in mind.  The steps in between are usually a hazy blur, with half-glimpsed scenes.  It’s an adventure writing a novel, and several characters have assumed personalities that I had not predicted at the start of the project.

Q: Where do you do your writing? Do you have an office, or do you frequent a favorite coffee shop? 

A: If you remember the old Western TV show, “Have Gun - Will Travel,” then you have an idea of where I write.  My theme is “Have Laptop – Will Travel.”  With two active daughters, I can be seen sitting in bleachers watching gymnastic practice while slaughtering entire villages in a story.  Waiting for the end of dance class one night, I mapped out the entire ending of a love story where boy meets girl only to loose her to the allure of the stage.  At this point I can’t decide if her love for him is strong enough to pull her away from the limelight, or if zombies destroy the theater.  All thoughts of travel aside, my favorite place to write is draped over our overstuffed chair in the living room with Pink Floyd playing in the background.

Q: What are you currently working on?

A: I am currently finishing a fictional account of a school year, which bears an overwhelming resemblance to the real world events I experienced in my own classroom last year.  I am hoping to have it on the market by the end of the October.  I am also polishing up a fantasy manuscript in what I call “High Fantasy” in the Tolkien style.  After watching her dear, old dad write, my youngest daughter wants to collaborate on a story she is developing.  Aside from the benefits of spending time with my daughter, it’s a darn good story line.  I’ve enjoyed my foray into the realm of the paranormal with Off the Beaten Path.  When I finished the “The Reason Why Grandmother’s Should Never Be Allowed to Read About Vampires,” a small embryo of an idea took root in my mind of a way to merge the drama of high school with the fun of the paranormal, without anybody sparkling.  When you think carefully upon the subject, high school and the paranormal really aren’t that different.  

Thanks for visiting with me, and good luck with your future works. They sound exciting! : )

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