SS Hampton, Sr, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Intimate Journeys.
Genre: Various (Horror, Erotica, Military Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy)
Publisher: Melange Books
Cover artist: Mae Powers
Heat rating: PG to R to X
Blurb: Every journey through life is an intimate journey simply because it is someone’s personal journey. Sometimes the journey is like being alone in a small boat the mercy of wild ocean currents, and sometimes the journey is like being part of a crew in a strong ship with billowing, wind-filled sails...
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Various because this is an anthology of 13 short stories.
With closed eyes the tall, bald, square-faced man reveled in the warmth of the setting sun and enjoyed the gentle caress of the breeze that rustled the leafy fronds of the surrounding date palms. He inhaled the heady aroma of perfumed flowers and listened to the buzz of bees flitting from flower to flower. From far below, like the shimmer of the desert heat, rose the music of drums, pipes, lutes, and lyres, the sweet voices of young women singing, and the muted roar of the crowds.
“Alulim,” a throaty, seductive voice whispered with the softness of the sun-warmed wind. “I have accepted your sacrifices for many years.”
The kneeling man dressed in a leather kilt decorated with hanks of sheep wool, opened his eyes and gazed upon a dusky-skinned woman with bright obsidian eyes, and long raven-black hair that fluttered in the soothing breeze. She wore a shoulder collar of gold, blue lapis lazuli, and red carnelian, and left shaped earrings of gold dangled from her ears. She wore a long sleeveless dress of colored wool, and was barefoot.
She smiled and held a black and red-henna decorated hand out to him. “Take my hand,” she said with a crooked little smile. “Come with me at last. Enjoy my love.”
Thin clouds on which the setting sun cast shades of orange, white, red and yellow floated across the twilight sky behind her. The life-giving sea sparkled in the distance as did the waters of the marshes that reached from the sea up to the surrounding fields. Shadows crept across the flat sandy landscape that was marked by the patterns of fields of einkorn and emmer wheat, peas, greens, and onions, all watered by a network of irrigation canals.
The man’s heart sank at the approach of the twilight shadows. Night would soon overtake his city. Then, a look of suspicion mixed with unrequited love crossed his narrow face, and his pleasant eyes darkened.
“No,” he answered firmly.
The woman’s eyes glittered darkly and her fingers curled as if to become talons.
“Alulim,” she said, “my love for you is all that stands between you and my sister. Come with me.”
What is the single most important part of writing for you?
There are two, not one. Write well. I tend to write the way I speak, but that doesn’t always make for good literary or written grammar. (The secret to writing well is to also have a great editor who can help make your writing look and sound eloquent.) Second, believability. You can write any story or book you want, you may be the most original writer in the 21st century, but if your writing isn’t believable, your reader won’t buy into the world you’ve created. You create the believability in the first few paragraphs; if your establishing paragraphs are believable, then the “willing suspension of belief” occurs, and you’re both on your way—you in creating a believable world, and your reader enjoying the world you’ve created.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
The creation of something believable, and if done well, something that will touch people. That is possible only if I’ve conducted the best research possible (which I enjoy immensely), and if I’ve blended fact and fiction to create a believable story.
What do you enjoy most about life?
That’s difficult to say. I enjoy my grandkids. I enjoy being around them, seeing them smile, and hearing them laugh. A close second is traveling. I enjoy seeing new places, or visiting familiar places again. When revisiting a familiar place it brings back memories, especially happy memories.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Set a public relations/marketing goal beyond just writing. Of course, writing to the best of your ability is critical, but the best writing in the world won’t get you anywhere without a good marketing plan that is put into action and updated as needed. That means a writer has to be his or her own best public relations/marketer expert. Plan on how to get your name out there, meaning create your own blog, appear on other people’s blogs, create an author page at places like Good Reads and Amazon, buy SWAG (book marks and so on), check your local radio stations to see if they interview local authors, do guest signings at libraries, etc. Get your name “out there,” create a presence. Remember, unlike print books that seem to have a “shelf life,” your e-books will be around as long as there’s an Internet. Create a fan base, and people can buy your writings even if they’re 20 years old.
How do you balance a life outside of writing with deadlines and writing muses?
It is and isn’t easy. College comes first, then the Army National Guard, and then writing.
If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
I’d recommend my anthology, “Intimate Journeys.” It offers a collection of 13 short stories that range from horror to science fiction to military fiction to erotica. It’s a pretty good glimpse of my style of writing and what interests me.
A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?
Highway to Hell.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
Venice, Italy. It would be wonderful to live in such an old, historic, and beautiful place, especially where the streets are canals.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
I picture myself as a sutler’s store found at western Army posts in the 19th century. Items sold would be coffee, tobacco, knives, silverware, candy, tinned foods, boots, and clothing—anything and everything a Soldier or civilian on the frontier would need.
About the Author
SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 grandchildren, and a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007). He served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Army National Guard in October 2004; he was mobilized for active duty for almost three years after his enlistment. He continues to serve in the Guard, where he holds the rank of staff sergeant. He is a published photographer and photojournalist, an aspiring painter, and is studying for a degree in anthropology--hopefully to someday work in underwater archaeology. He has wanted to be a writer since he was 15 years old; his first short story was published in 1992, after which it wasn’t until 2001 that he had another short story published. His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories, and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, Ruthie’s Club, Lucrezia Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others. As of December 2011, he became the latest homeless Iraq war veteran in Las Vegas, Nevada.
|SS Hampton Sr|
Please Fill in the Blanks
I love pizza with beer.
I'm always ready for a chance to travel.
When I'm alone, I like to just relax.
You'd never be able to tell, but I still like to read comic books.
If I had a halo it would be gold?
If I could go somewhere right now I'd go to Ireland .
I can never sky dive because I hate heights; not afraid of, but hate. Okay, afraid of.
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