Will Norton: Roughneck, Writer, Historian

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William Norton grew up in Vancouver B.C. and has spent the past few years working in the oil industry north of Fort Saint John. He usually writes stories that are uniquely and specifically from his perspective, his characters often share his name. He writes when he has time but spends most of his time working and being filthy. His hobbies include sleeping when he’s not working. Based off the current trend. he suspects he will soon have more time for writing and social media than in the past- which would be great if he didn’t have truck payments.

 

In addition to writing, Will enjoys looking into the history behind our current holidays, customs and society. It was through his researches that he developed his story for Hearts Asunder, which is a fictionalized account of the events surrounding the death of St. Valentine. Here’s an excerpt:

 

September had wandered into October by this time and Constantine treated Valentine as he would one of his own sons. He was impressed by the boy’s quick mind and envious of his charisma. Boniface had been charismatic as well and the boy orated and lectured in his father’s cadences. Valentine wasn’t the only one sending letters. Constantine had sent letters to Boniface, telling him of his sons poor situation and the fate that the one god had felt fit to thrust upon him. Boniface agreed to take him back as his heir if Constantine could get rid of the boy’s silly notions and get him agree to come home and to marry.

In a fit of genius Constantine negotiated with Boniface that Valentine would take his blind daughter has his bride if he succeeded in returning Boniface’s only son and heir to him. Constantine could see how badly Boniface missed his son when the man agreed to this term. If Constantine could only show Valentine the error of his ways, all would be well.

Lucy had noticed Julie’s prowess at finding her way around but even she underestimated how well Julie could find her way through her home when she chose.

It was late in October and her infatuation had increased. She had many conversations with Valentine and knew he was obsessed with the one god but she still wanted him for her own. Much of their conversations had been about the man on the cross. Valentine feeling that if he could convince the daughter he would have someone to help him convince Constantine to come around to the true faith.

The conversations bored her but his voice was what she listened to, not his words. Other times he would sit in the garden with her and they would talk about the flowers. He taught her to name them by touch, taking her small, childlike hands in his to guide her to their petals. He described their beauty and their colors, laughing at himself when he discovered how hard it was to explain these things to someone who had no sight.

He took to comparing them to textures. Pale blue was the cold water from the well and dark blue was the warm water of a bath. Red was the stones around the hearth. Brown was the feel of the bark of an olive tree.

Will also answered our interview questions:

  1. Do you have a real life horror story of love gone wrong in your life?

    I’m not sure if you’d call it a horror story, more misplaced intentions and a lot of ‘can’t believe my good luck’ and then shit went down. I met this girl at a local bar, took her home with me and she stuck around. I was pretty excited when I found out that having girl in the house meant I got sex way more than without girl in house. Having made this realization I made to effort to make her leave and then left for the bush. This happened a few more times and then one time I came home and we had been together long enough to be considered common-law. I was only at home for three weeks of the six months but never mind that. Legally she could claim we were ‘married’. I came home out of the bush and found all my stuff on the front lawn and she called the cops on me when I tried to come in and find out what the hell was going on. That was the most expensive girl I ever met at a bar and I still have to pay her some of my pay check. Bitch. (I hope she reads this because I’m petty), is this a horror story? With the oil industry slow down it’s sure starting to be. I miss my house.

  1. What do you find makes the combination of love and horror such a potent combination

Trust. Like I said up above. You trust someone, I don’t pretend that I loved her. She was a girl I met at the bar and she did things to my body that I liked. Stupid. That’s it, love makes us stupid and because we all forgive stupidity in the name of love we are more stupid than usual.

  1. What was the source of your inspiration for your Valentines Day horror story?

I almost wrote a vicious story about my ‘ex’ but then this idea was suggested to me by Leanne Caine. The cover for the book was screaming out for someone to write this story and for some crazed reason she thought of me. This story was completely out of my comfort zone, usually I write up close first person and the lead character is always just me letting my imagination and fear get free reign for what could happen or might be. Leanne’s cute though so I said I’d give it a shot. I’m glad I did it but I hope people are forgiving of my many historical inaccuracies and other mistakes. I took a lot of liberties with a legend that has almost no information about it. I don’t know much about 5th century Rome and did a lot of research that a half-assed historian could probably poke a lot of holes in.

Maybe one day I’ll work on a more accurate version but my goal with this was to breathe life into a story that is so dusty and uncertain that even the catholics gave up on it as an official part of their calendar. I hope people will enjoy it for the story’s sake because in the end that’s what I did. It’s not meant to be a history of the era, just a story and I hope people can enjoy it that way.

Our Interview with Contest Winner Will Norton

Here is our text interview with Will Norton, one of the winners of our StarkLight Press short story contest.

Interview With Will Norton about his upcoming short story and winner of the Starklight Press Literary Award.

  1. Do you have any sources of inspiration for your world?

    I’ve had experience working in the oil industry. I write from personal experience and the soul sucking horror that pays my bills. Every day that I go to work there is a serious chance that I’ve irreprably damaged my health. Danger pay is a huge part of the big wages that I earn, danger and medical expenses both now and in the future. I write what I write as a big fat ‘what if’ that scares the f#%@ out of me everyday. The short answer is my terror and horror at what I do everyday is the inspiration I draw from.

  1. What do you love most about writing?

    The fact that it’s something real and lasting. Most of what I do in my ‘actual’ job has the effect of being used by consumers in about five seconds and it literally just burns away and it’s gone. Well, not gone, the residual effects will impact the environment for a long time to come and so will the wreckage that was once a world and now it’s just a total craphole nightmare. oilspillI mean, these places I go to used to be beautiful and now… anyway, that’s what I love about writing is that it’s worse where I write, but it’s not the world, not yet. I mean, except for the stories that I say are fictional only so they don’t fire my ass from my job. This is a complete lie but, you should know… NONE OF IT IS FICTION! I’VE SEEN IT ALL HAPPEN!!! WE ARE ALL IN HUGE SHIT AND IT KEEPS GETTING WORSE.

    Also, I’m just a creative person, ya know?

  1. Who are your favourite writers? Why are they your favourites?

    My favorite writer of all time is Stephen King. No one holds a candle to him, he just tells the story and he doesn’t try to get all literary and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. By that I mean that he’s not self conscious, he’s not worried about the critics, it’s just a story. A totally credible terrifying story. Except for those few times where he does get self conscious and experimental… you all know the books I mean…

  1. What is the most unique aspect of your universe?

    There isn’t anything unique about my universe. It’s only one degree from the real world and it’s a whole lot of things that scare me and should scare you, too. I guess if there was one thing that was unique I would have to say the fact that it’s mine and nobody else’s nightmare. For better or worse I’m married to the horrors of my own mind and my keyboard has split open my mind and birthed the children I have made with my revulsion at the human condition and now you’ve gotten yourself involved. Haha.

  1. What is your favourite part of your universe?

    The fact that I remain outside of it and that my life is marginally better than my protagonists’ tend to be.oilpee

  1. What do you think people will most enjoy about your universe?

    I have no clue. I hope it’s because it makes you think a little bit but this question is really hard. I write to get the horrors out of my head and onto the page, why you’d want to put it into your head is seriously beyond my understanding. Having said that, please read my story and buy lots of copies for your friends and families.

  2. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

    I write whenever I get a chance but my full time job is out in the oil patch which is a bitter and demeaning job. I’m bitter and demeaned, that’s one thing about myself that I’m sure many people would enjoy hearing about me. I am a firm believer in the internet rumors that KFC was forced to change its name because they were forbidden from calling their genetically modified half spider/ half chicken monstrosities ‘chicken’ any longer. I’ve seen the pictures and they are emblazoned on my soul. I defy everyone to prove that sh#$ is photoshopped.

spiderchicken

  1. Any words of advice of struggling writers?

    Don’t struggle. If you’re struggling you’re doing it all wrong. Go out and live your life and write what comes to mind. Send it out wherever and as much as you can. The internet makes it so easy. Think about what what writers who have preceded you have gone through and quit whining. You just have to click ‘send’, used to be not too long ago that there were self addressed stamped envelopes and hundreds of dollars spent on paper and printing so that you could get rejected, now you have the pleasure of getting rejected for free. You can be rejected so much faster and by so many more people, the internet has revolutionized rejection beyond everyone’s wildest dreams. Anyway, keep on asking, it’s gonna work out eventually… unless your writing is crap, then you’re up some creek without a paddle. And on the internet, somebody’s bound to read it one day anyway.

 

Read “Breaking Time” in StarkLight Volume 2, soon to be released on ebook and in print. Place your advance orders at starklightdesk@gmail.com. Just tell us how many copies you’d like and we will send you a form today.

Don’t forget to visit Will’s facebook page and friend him, too !

 

-Tony Stark

StarkLight Volume 2 Winners

An official congratulations to the winners of our StarkLight Volume 2 short story contest!

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(Graphic courtesy Marquiss Productions 2014)

 

 

The lucky authors will be featured in the second volume of our compendium of speculative fiction, science fiction and fantasy

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available later this week in ebook version, and in fine bookstores across Western Canada later in July.

 

Our winners are:

E.L. Caine

Hal J. Friesen (check out Half Riesen on facebook)

Cathy Illes (illescathy@gmail.com and check out her blog at http://www.cathyillesspeaks.wordpress.com)

Robert Marquiss (his remarkable resume is at http://www.apex101.net/GiftArt/rmresume.htm)

Jeren Nethers (faultyandirritated@gmail.com)

Will Norton (1ruffnekk@gmail.com)

Rufus Seafjord

Nicholas Vincenzi

 

Many congratulations to our winners!

 

-Tony Stark, Publisher and CEO.

 

Status Update on StarkLight Volume 2

Following an unforseen copyright issue regarding one of our short stories, we are pleased to announce that StarkLight Press is able to release its second short story compendium on July 15!

StarkLight Volume 2, featuring stories by Will Norton, Virginia Carraway, Robert Marquiss, Hal Friesen and more will be available on ebook and in print within the next two weeks.

Thanks to all of our pre-order customers and StarkLight fans for waiting so patiently for our publication.

Check out our short story contest, open over the summer, for your chance to be included in StarkLight Voume 3, set to be released in Autumn 2014.

Also, be sure to keep an eye on StarkLightpress.com for upcoming interviews with our authors.

-Tony Stark, Publisher.

StarkLight’s Third Short Story Contest Rules

Well, here it is- StarkLight Short Story Contest #3!

 

Congratulations to Will Norton, a perennial StarkLight favorite, Hal Friesen of AstroHal fame, Robert Marquiss and all the rest of our second contest winners!

Here are our standard rules- and let it be known that previous winners may indeed submit fresh stories for submission.

 

Submission Length: 8000 words maximum, flash fiction accepted.

Submission Content:
Any subject matter of a speculative, science fiction or fantasy nature involving either original characters or characters published under the StarkLight Press imprint (ie: GAFF, Dor’iann, I’snian Characters or worldsets). Sadly, though we would love to hear your top notch fan fiction, we can’t accept any wider re-characterizations. Thinly veiled alterations of a truly original nature will be run past our legal department however, and will be considered for publication through our not-for-profit webpages.

Graphic novels, illustrated short stories consisting of grayscale (sorry, no color images) will also be accepted. Again, see content guidelines as above. We aren’t MAD magazine, so we can’t risk the litigation of a good caricature, even though we do enjoy them.

Submission Format: ODT, RTF, PDF formats. Images in JPEG only please, either embedded in file or tagged separately

Other requirements: Please include a five hundred word maximum bio that describes a bit about you and your writing career.

Also include a five hundred word maximum overview of the worldscape from which your story springs.

Include email address, webpages, facebook sites etc. Also include your phone number if so desired.

All submissions meeting the requirements will be considered, and all submitters will be contacted by July 26, 2014.

StarkLight Volume 3 will be published in September 2014.

Each winning contributor will receive:
a copy of Starklight Vol. 3
a Prize Packet of promotional materials including posters for the compendium, GAFF poster grab bag and a StarkLight t-shirt, hat, magic writer’s pen and mug.
Thorough, nay exhaustive publicity for the winner and their websites through StarkLight Media, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, web coverage
an interview to be posted on the StarkLight Industries and Carraway Productions YouTube channel.

 

 

StarkLight Volume One Enters Reprint- Volume Two on its Way

We are pleased to announce that our first volume of StarkLight Short Stories has sold its entire 100 copy run!  Featuring the winners of our first short story contest back in 2013, StarkLight Volume One has ten stories of chilling mystery, science fiction and fantasy.

StarkLight Volume One, second printing, will be available the third week of June, 2014. Place your orders at starklightdesk@gmail.com for both volumes of our short story compendiums.

StarkLight Volume Two, featuring stories by Will Norton, Hal Friesen, Robert Marquiss and more, hits shelves in June- order your copy today, before you have to wait for the second run!

– Tony Stark, publisher.