90 Minutes to Live is an anthology dedicated to Rocky Wood. Rocky, the current president of the HWA, was diagnosed with ALS and the proceeds from this book will be donated to help him purchase much needed medical equipment. If you are interested in purchasing the book please follow this link to Amazon and know you will be supporting a great cause.
Bruce Golden wrote, “Acapulco Blue,” one of the short stories included in 90 Minutes to Live and Brett J. Talley, author of That Which Should Not Be was kind enough to conduct the interview.
So sit back, relax and get to know what makes Bruce Golden tick and how he came about writing horror.
Brett: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do for a living when you aren’t writing?
Bruce: I was born, raised, and still live in San Diego. Even though I decided I wanted to write fiction as a teenager, for most of my life I made a living as a magazine editor/writer, a radio editor/reporter, and a TV news producer. These days, all I do is write fiction–a “starving artist” as it were.
Brett: What made you decide to submit your story, “Acapulco Blue,” to the 90 Minutes to Live anthology?
Bruce: It seemed to have all the elements the editors were looking for.
Brett: “Acapulco Blue” is one of the science fiction entries in the anthology. Do you write primarily in the Sci-Fi genre, or were you just looking to branch out?
Bruce: All of my fiction to-date is of the speculative variety. My novels are all science fiction, but my short stories are both scifi and fantasy. Many of my stories have been described as Twilight Zone types of tales – which I take as a compliment.
Brett: “Acapulco Blue” is as much about a car – a classic Ford Mustang – as the characters who drive it. What was your inspiration for the car?
Bruce: Actually, the car in the story is based on the first car I ever owned – a 1965 Mustang which I had painted in a color designated as “Acapulco Blue.” Though I had to sell that car when I was drafted into the Army, I drive another ’65 Mustang today. I’ve owned it for 25 years – though it’s red, not blue. Friends say I’ll be buried in it.
Brett: One of my favorite parts of the story was the invention of futuristic slang that the young people use. How’d you come up with that?
Bruce: I’ve always loved playing with dialects and creating my own words or phrases. When you write about the future, or about fictional societies, you get to do that. My favorite creation of that type was in my novel Better Than Chocolate. But you’ll have to read the book to find out what exactly “pow-whammy” means.
Brett: How is writing a short story different than writing a novel?
Bruce: A short story normally only plays with a single idea, one or two main characters, and I can usually write the first draft in a day or two. A novel, for me, is a product of various ideas pieced together – many of which may have been in my drawer for years. My novels have all had numerous characters – from walk-ons to those whose viewpoints carry the narrative. I make it a point to hone the characterizations of even minor characters. And though a short story can occasionally call for some research, a novel can takes weeks of research to ensure accuracy. And, of course, the biggest difference is the time it takes to write. Barring any outside interruptions that life can throw at you, it takes me about six months to write the first draft of a novel. Then I have several categories of re-writing that take at least a few months.
Brett: Who is your favorite author? Favorite book?
Bruce: I grew up reading Edgar Allan Poe, Robert E. Howard and Mark Twain, but Robert Heinlein was always my favorite. Stranger in a Strange Land was my favorite book. Years later I grew to love the Dune series. These days I don’t have a favorite, but I like Greg Bear, David Brin, and writers of that ilk.
Brett: What’s the most disappointing book you have ever read?
Bruce: (can’t think of one offhand)
Brett: What does your writing process involve?
Bruce: I outline pretty thoroughly and then push through on the first draft, just letting the words flow out, knowing I can go back and “fix it up” during the rewriting process. But just because I outline doesn’t mean that sometimes the story takes off on its own tangent.
Brett: What is it about science fiction that attracts you? Why not write books about ponies?
Bruce: I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of other worlds – unique societies – and I guess I enjoy the chance to create my own. Science fiction is also a good way to comment, indirectly, on our own societies, and on humanity.
Brett: Obviously the electronic book is on the rise. What do you think about that?
Bruce: Greatest thing ever? Or creeping Communist subversion? I like the idea of a book I can hold in my hand, and I like the idea of copies of my books on library shelves. But I understand, if for no other reason than economics, e-books are the wave of the future.
Brett: What are your opinions on self-publishing vs. the more traditional publishing route?
Bruce: Every writer wants a major publishing house to publish their book, and, barring that, a smaller publisher. However, technology has made self-publishing a more viable option for those who get ignored.
Brett: What book is next on your list to read?
Bruce: Actually, I’m going to read the other stories in 90 Minutes to Live.
Brett: If you could give one piece of advice to new writers, what would it be?
Bruce: Write in the genre that you love to read, and read as much as you can in that genre. And just keep trying. When I started out trying to sell magazine articles, it took me more than four years before I got my first sale. Many of my short stories, including “Acapulco Blue” took years to find an editor who appreciated it. If you want to do it, you just have to keep on keepin’ on.
Brett: What is your next big project?
Bruce: I’m in the final rewrite process of my fourth novel Red Sky, Blue Moon. Its speculative ingredient: What if alien beings visited Earth long ago, and culled people from dissimilar cultures and transplanted them to another world? How would their various cultures develop?
Brett: Where can we follow you and your career on the web?
Bruce: My website is Golden Tales and you can find links to my books there. Occasionally I’ll tweet a twitter @goldenmissive or you can just Google my name and find my latest work online somewhere.