Monday, December 21, 2009

D. B. Clifton

D.B. Clifton is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, retired and currently living just across the Ohio River in Covington, KY. He attended Northern Kentucky University where two of his short stories appeared in Collage, the university’s literary review. Recently his work has appeared in the anthology, Not From Around Here, Are You?

Was there any particular inspiration for The Last Watcher?
I initially intended to write a typical Twilight Zone/Poe-esque thriller; something I’d never done before. Along the way, it morphed into something a little different.

The setting of the story is in Bulgaria, did you spend some time there or have friends or family there?
A few years ago I visited Bulgaria’s neighbor, Turkey, and was captivated by Istanbul--which I mention in the story. But I thought that Eastern Europe lent itself more to the nature of the story, so I tried to incorporate both by using the link between Bulgaria’s capitol city, Sofia, and the great Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

The story ends with the tone of another event about to happen. Do you plan to write another or maybe several episodes regarding the last watcher, Brother Philotheos?
I’ve considered that, and have a couple of ideas percolating. I do intend to give it a try.

When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer?
I sort of grew into it. In first grade, our teacher always made sure to have a little time at the end of the day when she could read to us from Bullfinch’s Mythology. I was weaned on Hercules, Theseus, and Odysseus. I even began with the oral tradition like Homer, and made up stories to tell my friends. Writing came as a natural next step.

What is your preferred genre of writing?
I’m drawn to literary fiction. I trust the reader to be able to see through the various depths of a good story.

What do you think makes a good story?
Well developed characters, of course, a compelling source of conflict, and a realistic arena in which to fight it out. And the main character or characters must change in some significant way, whether for good or ill.

What is the most challenging part of the writing process for you?
Rewrites. Not that I have trouble doing them. I have trouble stopping. I constantly go over my work, and will agonize over a turn of phrase or individual word almost forever. I’m getting better at finally holding up my hands and saying, Okay, that’s it.

What does audio production bring to your story?
It did make me think more about the staging, and especially the pacing of the story. After Mind Wings Audio accepted The Last Watcher for production, I turned a slightly different ear to the revisions I made on the path toward the final product.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I’m an avid reader with very eclectic tastes. But I do like to get out, especially into the wilderness. I hike, and enjoy rock climbing whenever I can find someone to go with me. I’m also a political news junky, and lately that keeps me very occupied.

Other Published Works:

ANGEL OF THE WAL-MART BIG-N-TALL - Short story - Not From Around Here, Are You? - Oct., 2008

REVELATION 20:13 - Short story - Collage - May, 1982

YOUNG METHUSELAH - Short story - Collage - May, 1981

In the last few years, I have completed two literary novels, as yet unpublished, and recently won 1st prize in the local Kenton County Library’s Halloween writing competition with my short story, SAFETY IN NUMBERS.

Fiction Publications [Available as Audiobooks & eBooks]

Published: 11-2010, Mind Wings Audio

Published: 10-2010, Mind Wings Audio

Published: 5-2010, Mind Wings Audio

Published: 12-2009, Mind Wings Audio

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