Local author Craig Bush will have a book debut event for his new novel, "The Life and Times of Pooty Taylor," at the Panama City Publishing Co. Museum, 1134 Beck Ave. in Panama City, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14. Here are his responses to our questionnaire.
Name: Craig Bush
Homebase: Panama City Beach
Most notable published work: "An Unlikely Saviour"
Describe your writing style in 15 words or less:
"I bring to life themes, visions and characters of the rural South.
When did you know you wanted to write?
When I was 16, a high school English teacher, Ruth Gomillion, encouraged me to write and turned me on to the world of fiction. I was captured.
Which writers do you admire?
Hemingway, Kerouac, Garth Stein and Jody Picoult. A little known author, Rudy Wilson. The ultimate act of writing is "The Old Man and the Sea" by Hemingway.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I find most of my stories come out of some person from my youth. Someone who was inspiring or a scoundrel comes to mind, and I walk with that person for a few days until a storyline begins to stew. The reverse is also true in that a storyline line develops as I go about my days, and I build characters to bring the story to life. I find this process almost seems as if it is initiated outside myself. Truthfully, I have no idea where it comes from. The beginnings are usually a rapid process where my most prolific burst occurs.
What is your favorite theme or style of writing?
I don’t know that I have one. I write from the itch to do so and find that themes don’t tend to recur. The one thing that seems to be happening is that I am more frequently writing from my Southern influences; however, that isn’t an intentional thing. With "The Life and Times of Pooty Taylor," I found myself talking to myself in the extreme Southern accent of my youth — the way Pooty’s people talk. So, I somewhat find that I, much like an actor, dwell in character for weeks. I have yet to use any of the same characters in my 10 published books, nor have I written a sequel to any of them. I do find that intriguing in that I think it would allow for a linear refinement and greater depth to character development.
How do you deal with writer's block?
Good or bad as one wants to see it, I don’t deal with that much. I get up at just after 4 o'clock each morning and write. Stephen King says something like, “Lots of writers spend a lot of time wondering what to write, but real writers get up and go to work." It is somewhat like making a path in the wilderness, where there is none. The next step you take, or the next word you write, is the end of the path to that point. Keep stepping, or writing.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Find the time. Find the place. Go to work. A friend of mine writes vignettes. I think perhaps that is a good starting point if you have trouble initiating a work. It might provide a launching pad of sorts.
What are you working on now?
I am 85 pages into a novel titled, "As I Watched You Go," which is developing around the ways we are "left" in life. Romantic breakups, drifting apart of friends, divorce, death. It is set in Grayton Beach (my second book set there).
Where can people find your work?
Amazon, The Silverton Colorado Mining Museum, The Chocolate Dog in Silverton, Colorado, and through me personally.
Find the author on Facebook by searching "Craig Bush Writer."