I'm delighted to introduce my guest and fellow Muse author
S.S. Hampton Sr. author of
Better Than A Rabbit's Foot
We are keen to learn more about you and your writing.
So, I'm putting you on the spot now.
Okay, Wendy, I can tell you something about me.
I'm a full blood Choctaw from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather, and a member of the Army National Guard. I'm nearing retirement from the Guard, unless I can get a deployment to
I'm studying to be an archaeologist. Actually, my interest is underwater archaeology, but I need to learn to swim better first, and become scuba qualified – in
You certainly have a full life and such diverse interests. Quite inspirational. No wonder you are a writer. This makes me wonder, who inspires you?
As this blog is focused on fiction writing, then, Stephen King, Tom Clancy, and Frederick Forsyth, to name just three. King is a great horror writer, though sometimes I think his novels are a little long. Clancy writes military fiction, which is one of my favorite genres; I enjoy the way he weaves technology into the story of people. Forsyth was a journalist first, and his writing is a wonderful blend of journalism and storytelling, as well as blending fact with fiction.
I can see how those writers reflect elements in your own career. So, you are a full blood Choctaw. I find that fascinating. Would you say your childhood provided you with a wealth of story material?
No. I was adopted and raised by my Anglo “grandparents” who had raised my mother and her twin sister. I’m what’s called an “Apple” – red on the outside, white on the inside. I really knew nothing of my Native heritage, beyond the stereotypical media image, until I started exploring it in my 30s.
'Apple', what a great expression. I hadn't heard that before. I'm betting the result of your 'exploring' will find its way into a future story. What about photography? Your expertise in photography must give you an exceptional eye for detail. How does this transfer into your writing?
I think you described these examples beautifully. Being able to hone in on unique details such as these is a real talent. Now, looking at the broader picture, as a soldier, are all of your stories related to the military or do you address other topics?
I had to double check, and amazingly, I do address non-military topics. I wrote The Ferryman (Melange Books), which is a take on the Greek myth of Charon, the ferryman who carried the shades of the dead across the
So your short stories have been published in anthologies. Congratulations! Is there something about the short story that makes you prefer this form of expression over the novella or novel?
About the main characters in your stories, are they based on particular acquaintances or a composite of many?
Generally, at this stage, neither. Once in awhile I may add an actual personality trait to a fictional character, but never enough to where someone could say a fictional character is based on a real person. It’s hard to explain, but even though I’m writing fiction, if I base a character on a friend, or if a character is a composite of several friends, and I write that that particular character is killed or crippled, it gives me an uneasy feeling.
Yes. Our unit was tasked with providing security for supply convoys headed into
I remember late one night I stepped outside of my air conditioned tent to have a cigarette before turning in. A Soldier I knew from my first days in the Guard (I joined in 2004, and about 120 of us volunteered to deploy in 2006) came up and sat down on the concrete traffic barrier. It was just small talk, but then he started doing most of the talking while I listened. There was nothing profound, he was just talking out loud—but he mentioned the IED that struck his gun truck a few days before. Our battalion was less than three weeks into the mission; a Soldier from the battalion we were replacing had been killed. Then, a Soldier in one of our other companies was killed. A gun truck in our company was hit. Then, his gun truck was hit—he was knocked out but otherwise uninjured, and another Soldier had been lightly wounded. But still… So I lit another cigarette, and listened. After awhile, the kid sort of smiled at me, said “Good night,” and went off to get some sleep.
Ah, now there's a good answer from a writer. That's how you become a sponge to all sorts of knowledge as well as being a good friend. Thank you for your open answers, Stan. It's been a pleasure conversing with you.
SS Hampton's short story Better Then A Rabbit's Foot is available at
MuseItUp Publishing and Amazon
and learn more about Stan at MuseItUp publishing Author Page