Paul Stansbury is a lifelong native of Kentucky. He is the author of Inversion - Not Your Ordinary Stories; Inversion II - Creatures, Fairies, and Haints, Oh My!; and Down By the Creek – Ripples and Reflections as well as a novelette: Little Green Men? His speculative fiction stories have appeared in a number of print anthologies as well as a variety of online publications. Now retired, he lives in Danville, Kentucky.
Paul's work appeared in Pond 55
Why do you write?
I have been writing for some years because it provides me a creative outlet. I write about anything that strikes my fancy, though I tend to favor speculative fiction and the occasional humor piece. People who read my work have learned to expect almost anything. The only caveat I have is any member of my family should be comfortable reading something I have written.
What other creative activities are you involved in?
I conduct free writing workshops locally through an association with The Boyle County Public Library. I have conducted two workshops on writing anecdotal memories and one speculative fiction writing workshop. We are currently planning a fantasy writing workshop for late Summer. For each workshop, I edited and published the compiled writings as a collection through my own Sheppard Press. For the past 15 years, I have compiled an annual Family Yearbook in print and digital format.
Who is your favorite author and why?
J.R.R. Tolkein is my favorite author. Besides the fact that his literary style appeals to me as a reader, I am fascinated by the fact that he developed such a rich and vibrant back story to serve as the foundation of his high fantasy works. To read Tolkein is to become immersed in the incredible world of Middle Earth. In some ways Tolkien's work reads more like history than fiction. History, however, written in an engaging manner allowing us to identify with the characters more so than events. It emphasizes the importance of stewardship, loyalty, and friendship overcoming power gone corrupt. Ultimately it explains how ordinary individuals can influence extraordinary events.
Tell us about the mechanics of how you write.
Most of the time I get a notion - a glimmer of a story. I will let it mull around in my head for a while as I add substance and plot. The length of time this takes varies. I have had things filed in my head for years before they finally take enough shape to make a story. Other times, the story just rolls out. Once I have the general plot mapped out in my head, my process for writing is simple. Start writing, keep writing. When I experience the doldrums in the middle of a project, I keep writing. I don't fret if it's not the best work, that can always be fixed with the delete button. I always seem to get back on track. My stories are plot driven. I let my characters grow and evolve to meet the plot’s needs. I am not suggesting that is the right or only way, only that it is just my way. I also seek feedback every chance I get. I am a member of a great local writers group. I ask them to read almost every story I write before I dare send it out.
Finally, what do you think about Carp, the fish, not our website?
Carp is in the eye of the beholder. In the United States, several species are considered as an invasive fish, much maligned. Indeed, worldwide considerable resources are expended in carp control. However, it is also true that many people rely on the carp as an important food source. In Japan, the carp is a revered guest in the Koi pond. Recently the grand champion at the 2017 All Japan Koi Show sold for 1.8 million dollars. For me, however, the carp will forever be the gentle goldfish that swam in my Grandmother’s garden pond.