Saturday, March 5, 2016

Writers4Higher features author Bruce Ballister

This issue, Writers4Higher features

Bruce Ballister

Hi, Bruce. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!

1. Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.

I’m a geek, and sort of proud of it. I was a geek before the word was invented. I was cross trained in college with most of a degree in Geology and all of the degree in Commercial Art. Finding that artists made no better living that art students, I pursued the graphic component of civil engineering and design until I was passed up the line to designer and then engineer. About the time Kubrick’s 2001 a Space Odyssey came out, I was already an annual subscriber to Scientific American, and National Geographic. Art and illustration gradually fell away, and my career morphed into public policy, urban planning and grant writing. But for reading, I still love the blend of science and science fiction. Often a great Sci-Fi story requires a reader to make only one small leap of faith to bridge the gap between literary fiction and science fiction. Because at their core, both genres require depth of character, hard decisions, human struggle, and compassion for human failings. Toss in, artificial intelligence, aliens, locations outside our atmosphere, or times easily accessible outside the here and now, and you have science fiction. A writer in Sci-Fi still has to make the problems of the protagonist real and ultimately solvable and the antagonist, sincerely driven by his/her/its own value systems.

My particular background and continuing interest in the sciences informs my inspirations and attempts to write science fiction. Arthur Clark blew me away with the Space Odyssey. Science fiction was cool! My first writing efforts were simple vignettes, conversations between two people at a crossroads, the edge of suicide, the edge of enlightenment, or an arrival at a major decision point. A few of those early efforts went well beyond thirty to forty thousand words and I found out I was writing novels. Surprise! I’m a writer. Now, I have aspirations of becoming not only a better writer, but one with a following. My Amazon fans seem to appreciate my early efforts. If you’re reading this, I invite you to take a chance.

2.  Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?

Pulitzer Prizes, nah, I’m not a research/reporter kind of writer, but a Hugo would be nice, but primarily, I’d like to build a fan base that knows, based on the books already out there, that I will deliver. The delivery will included believable dialogue, deep backstory, interesting settings, danger!, probable love interests, (why not?), and a book that will leave you turning pages well after midnight. I am approaching retirement, a threshold I hope to cross without joining too many volunteer organizations, because I’d really like to write in the morning when I’m awake, rather than the wee hours when it’s questionable. And hey! … if you’re a publisher… let’s talk.

3.  How do you use your talents/time to help others?

As a third year member of the Tallahassee Writers Association, I’ve had a hard time saying no to the simple ask. (that’s always been a problem). So, the early ask to join the board of TWA morphed quickly to VP, the 2015 Conference Committee Co-chair, and now the President’s slot. Somewhere in there I took on the management of the Seven Hills Literary Competition which I hope to continue after this term as president closes. The presidential slot includes that famous abused phrase, “…and other services to be determined.”

We, the TWA, hope to offer value-added special workshops in addition to a great annual conference that has been moved to the early fall this year. Our monthly Third-Thursday meetings offer insights into the successes of regional talents in a wide variety of genres from historical, romantic, literary, short, non-, science, young adult, etc. -fiction to poetry, screenplays, editing techniques, plot and character development and some you-name-its.

I will never be a real pedagogue, but I love to share. If there’s something you don’t know, and I might, I’ll share it. And that’s pretty much the, philosophy of most of us at the TWA, we support each other, promote each other, and when time permits, we write!

Would you like to find Bruce?

Check out the links to this talented author:

Look for Tallahassee Writers Association on Face Book, and MeetUps, as well as and

Twitter Handle: @ballister49
LinkedIn: Bruce Ballister

Be sure to visit the Writers4Higher Market! We have gear for the writer in you.

Rhett DeVane
Fiction with a Southern Twist

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