Sojourn: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction – Author Interview Series

This week’s interview is with Peter Martin, author of “Crossing the River.”

Where did you get the idea for your story?
The original story idea came from musing about where a paladin’s fear immunity comes from, but along the way, it transformed a bit. The setting is actually one I came up with to run my Saving The Game co-hosts through, but I think it’s just a writing setting now.

Do you plan to write more stories in that setting or with those characters?
Yes, to both parts of that question. I’d really like to do more with my Lantern Knights and show what they do when they aren’t battling their own internal demons.

What was the appeal of Sojourn for you?
A chance to get published and a reason to force myself to write.

What was your favorite part about writing for the Sojourn anthology?
Working with the editors. Both were great, but Laura in particular really went above and beyond. I think I went through at least a half-dozen revisions with her before I even submitted my final draft.

That I enjoyed working with them so much surprised me a bit, because I figured it would be like getting a paper graded over and over again. I was very pleased to discover that was not at all the case. I’m incredibly grateful for their input; the story, short though it is, is MUCH better for their oversight.

There’s a whole sequence at the beginning I added after talking with Laura, and some of the messages of internal struggle got a lot more frank and direct when Ryan mentioned that he didn’t think the river was an imposing enough hazard. That was incredibly valuable,because I didn’t want the river to be much more than a convenient symbolic device.

Did you learn anything while writing your story, if so, what?
Yes. That I tend to do my best work when I’m writing material that touches on themes I need to remind myself of. The internal struggles of my protagonist are very similar to my own; writing the story was almost therapeutic.

Is there any trivia or behind-the-scenes information about your story you would like to share?
This particular drum has probably been beaten so much that it’s just a loose collection of drum parts by now, but I continue to be impressed by what a joy everyone associated with Fear the Boot is to work with. The contract we signed was incredibly favorable, and Laura and Ryan were great to work with. If you’re looking at submitting something to Sojourn 2, don’t worry about the human side!

What was the biggest influence on your story?
My own religious faith and studies. I’m a moderate/progressive Christian, and the image of God as a loving, kind figure who desperately wants His wayward children to come home is a theme I’ve been contemplating a lot in the last few years. Passages like Psalm 103:12 and Isaiah 1:18 were very influential in how I portrayed God in the story.

Is there anything else you would like to talk about?
Thanks to Dan, Laura, and Ryan for making the anthology possible, and thanks to you for doing these author pieces!

Categories: Interviews, Publishing, Sojourn | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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