A Writer's Dream gives a warm welcome to author Gregory Bernard Banks for the month of February. Gregory has an impressive resume from art to writing as well as running a small press.
Over the years since he's served as moderator for the Zoetrope All-Story Writers Workshop, as a site administrator for Scrawl: The Writer's Asylum, and as webmaster for the WRITER and MARKET Literary Search Engine. He's currently co-Webmaster for the Speculative Literature Foundation, and Community Leader/Support Aide at Lulu.com, and and is the sole proprietor for BDDesign LLC, where he now helps others make their publishing dreams come true with the small press publisher WheelMan Press. Banks is also a frequent contributor to Audacity Magazine with his column, A Sedentary View, and continues pursuing his dream of landing a 7-figure book deal by the time he's 80.
He's already on his way with a list of impressive publishing credits under his name and finishing in both the quarter-finals and semi-finals for the prestigious L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest.
He's published three books, Crossroads and Other Tales, the Foreword Magazine 2005 Book of the Year Finalist Phoenix Tales: Stories of Death & Life, and A Writer's Journey in Poetry & Prose. His fourth book,Into the Every: Tales of Magic and Science, is scheduled for a fall 2007 release. Banks lives in the rapidly growing city of Stockbridge, Georgia with his parents, his computer, and far too many books to count.
Gregory offered a look into his motivation for writing and what he has planned for the future.
Q: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
GBB: I’ve always been an avid reader, but never dreamed of being a writer myself until around 1996, when I wrote a poem that I showed to some online friends. They encouraged me to write more, which led to my publishing poetry in several different venues. By 1997, I loved writing and decided to move on short stories. I’ve thought of myself as a writer ever since.
Q: How would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing?
GBB: I didn’t realize this until very recently, but my writing style falls into the popular genre of “urban fantasy.” I tend to write stories about fantastical things happening in contemporary or near-future settings. It could also be called social science fiction, I suppose, as very often the emphasis of my stories is on the societal aspects of the culture. In “Phoenix Tales,” stories like Escape Velocity and Touched are prime examples of that.
Q: How have your personal experiences influenced the direction of your writing?
GBB: As a disabled man, I’ve had a unique perspective on life. Where others were out running in the “Rat Race” of life, I’ve been sort of an observer on the sidelines watching everything, and perhaps seeing aspects of life that the average person never takes time out to contemplate. A lot of my writing is a reflection of that, an exploration of the issues that interest and concern me. Sometimes I’m peering into the future to see what the potential consequences to certain things might be, while other times I’m just looking for an answer to the question “Why?”
Q: What will your next book be about?
GBB: If I ever finish it (I’m currently set a May 12th release date), “Into the Every: Tales of Magic and Science” will be about the thin line where magic and science begin to blur together, where you realize that the two are in many ways one in the same. I find Science and the possibilities
Q: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
GBB: Having published, to date, four books with two more scheduled for this year. Yes, they are self published, which a lot of people look down upon, but the experience has been such an educational experience for me. And now that I am striving to build up my own brand under the WheelMan Press name, I’m looking forward to the challenge of turning it into a fully-developed business model. So many self published authors take the self publishing process for granted and lose sight of the need for both professionalism and attention to detail, that they are obviously doomed to failure. I’ve made some of those mistakes, but with a design background coming in, and with time and experience, I truly believe I’m poised to be a success at this publishing game. And when I do become published through traditional means, I’ll be all the more prepared for the even greater challenges presented there.
Check out Gregory Banks' works and WheelMan Press at these links!
WheelMan's Place - http://www.wheelmansplace.com
The WriteJourney Blog - http://writers-journey.typepad.com
Gregory Banks Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/mrwheelman
WheelMan Press - http://www.lulu.com/wheelmanpress
WheelMan Podcast - http://wheelmanpress.libsyn.com