Welcome Travis Heermann to Writerly Wednesday!
Buy Link for Snakes
Damnation Books has a Special Offer on this Title and others – Details are at the end of this post!
Freelance writer, poet, screenwriter, podcaster, English instructor, poker player, biker, roustabout. Travis Heermann is the author of two published novels, Heart of the Ronin and The Ivory Star, plus Rogues of the Black Fury, forthcoming from E-Reads, a metric ton of role-playing game content for AEG and EVE Online, and he has sold short fiction pieces to anthologies and magazines, such as Cemetery Dance, Historical Lovecraft, Library of Horror Press, Pulp Empire, and others. He taught English in Japan for three years, where he stood out like a space alien with his head on fire, but he now lives in much larger world than before. He’s camped out in Nebraska, nursing his long-cherished dreams: a NYT best-seller, a produced screenplay, and a seat in the World Series of Poker.
Book Cover Blurb:
Eddie, a young, pretty single mom, is trying to do the right thing by her three-year-old daughter. She really is. With no education, no job, and a string of loser boyfriends behind her, she faces hard decisions every day. Gas for the car, or food for Joy? She’s already been forced to move back into her mother’s decrepit old trailer in Shady Acres Trailer Court in rural Arkansas. Should she get a normal job working long hours for minimum wage, or should she put on her stiletto heels, bikini bra and micro-skirt and go back to exotic dancing so she can bring home fistfuls of cash for a few hours’ work? When she catches her daughter playing with handfuls of baby copperhead snakes behind the trailer, the choice gets a lot easier: get out of there by the quickest means possible. But at what cost? And is that strange man the devil or her knight in shining armor?
Eddie’s Mother Radar sought a lock on the sound of Joy’s voice, which had started roaming the yard. She went to the door. The plastic bucket and Barbie doll lay abandoned beside the gravel castle. “Baby, where’d you go? I told you to stay right there!”
Cicadas whirred and droned, and the ancient oak trees surrounding Shady Acres cast the yard in shadow as the sun fell toward evening. The trailer Eddie’s mother had left her was the last one on the end of the lot, closest to the wooded hillside border. Tall grass and weeds created a patch of impenetrable jungle that could swallow Joy like the Amazon. As soon as Eddie had ten bucks, she’d have to hire that black kid Leroy to mow it if he was still around.
“Joy! Where are you?” She circled the trailer, scanning the waist-high forest of weeds and bushes. “Joy!” She pushed through the weeds, ignoring the leaves and pollen and bugs brushing her naked legs.
A hummingbird hovered near a trumpet vine’s orange flowers, distracting her for a moment, a supremely delicate creature with tiny blurred wings, like a floating dab of rainbow.
“Look, Mommy! Worms!”
Eddie gasped and jumped and spun all at once.
Joy held up two chubby fistfuls of writhing, squirming creatures, pale on one side, coppery-brown and striped on the other side. Their little wedge-shaped heads were twisting and striking at her fingers and knuckles, but their mouths were too small to bring their tiny fangs to bear.
1. In three days, all power will go off, everywhere for a very long time. What will you include in your author survival kit?
A medical book, a first aid kit, U.S. Army Survival Guide, Winchester Model 94 30-30, Colt Python, katana, tent, water bottle, a notebook and several pens and pencils.
2. Where did the idea for the work you are promoting arise?
I heard a family story about an incident were a 4-year-old girl walked up to her mother and said, “Look, Mommy! Worms!” But she had two little fistfuls of baby copperhead snakes. As soon as I heard that, I knew it had to be the foundation for a story.
3. What do you like to read?
I read tons of fiction of all genres, plus a lot of history, mythology, and creative non-fiction. All of it fuels the storytelling mill.
4. Tell us about the most exciting place you have ever visited?
If I had to narrow it down to one place, I would have to say Angkor Wat. Cambodia is pretty far off the beaten path for most Westerners, and in the Siem Reap, the town near the ruins, there’s this strange dichotomy between wild west boomtown catering the tourists who come to Angkor and the mind-blowing poverty that the locals live in. $1500 per night hotels a handful of blocks away from cinder block and tin-roof ghettoes. And the history of the country is so tragic, still very visible today, with lots of people around missing limbs and eyes from land mines, an almost complete lack of people older than 40, areas with land mine warning signs. All this surrounding one of the most stunning cities on the planet, the ruins of Angkor.
5. What is the most mundane, day to day, thing you can share about yourself?
I still pay the bills with a day job. I’m hoping to change that very soon.
6. What scares you the most?
Some of my biggest personal fears: running into a bad cop on a bad day (you ever read Stephen King’s Desperation? That’s some scary stuff right there.), religious fervor of any stripe because it represents a brand of absolute closed-minded ignorance (perhaps you’ll see a shade of that in “Snakes”), anyone who thinks he or she knows what is best for me,the corporate homogeneity that turns employees into unthinking drones and customers into mindless consumers represented only by numbers. So I guess you might summarize my fears as “ignorance, and the willingness to impose your ignorance on me.”
7. Tell us anything but keep it G rated.
I have tons of creative projects in the works. A new podcast novel to go along with the upcoming release of the print version of Rogues of the Black Fury. A zombie comic, for which I’m seeking an artist. The sequel to Heart of the Ronin, which hopefully by the time this posts will have passed the “finished first draft” stage. A horror-western screenplay making the festival circuit. I recently made a conscious commitment to living a creative life, and as soon as I did that, creative opportunities began to open up. The “jumping off a cliff and building your wings on the way down” metaphor really works.
Buy Link for Snakes
Damnation’s Special Offer!