Jon Zech and Andrew James Winch are two men I’ve been blessed to know. Jon for, oh, so many years in crit group, and Andrew I met when he drove me from the airport to the ACFW conference last year. What do these two men have in common? They both had submissions in the first edition of Splickety Magazine. Thought you all might like to know a bit more about them.
Jon, how long have you been writing?
I suppose I have been writing since before I first learned my alphabet. When I was about two, I copied letters from a headline in the Detroit News and formed them into word-like things and put several of them together. I showed them to my mother and told her I had written a story. Then I asked her what it said. I wrote on and off through my teens, submitting a story to Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine when I was fifteen. I played with the beginning of a novel at twenty. In '91 I joined a writer's group and have written steadily since then, and now have a few novels and over a hundred short stories. My humorous trilogy of novellas, Buck and Tangee: Things that Happened, is scheduled for publication this spring by Woodward Press.
Jon, I’ve read Buck and Tangee and they are delightful. Anyone who wants a hilarious and realistic read will want to get a copy.
Okay, so what inspires you?
I'm inspired by curiosity, a love of the absurd and misunderstood fragments of overheard speech. Once, when reading with the news playing in the background, I thought I understood the announcer to say, "...and an illumination of angels." I stopped reading. I played with the notion of what those words could mean and the story that might be behind them. I have a novel length piece, An Illumination of Angels, in the works now. The Splickety story, The Gospel According to Kevin, was a result of a writing prompt in a writer's group. There was a sign on the wall of the space where the group met that said, Nothing is to be Placed in the Marked Area, and that sign was our prompt. I had wanted to explore the faith of a child in a story, and the picture just formed of a sincere child, acting on his innocent knowledge of Christ and Christianity. That's how I write. I see the picture, make it a movie in my mind and just tell you what I see.
Jon Zech is a name to watch for. His writing is character-driven and won’t ever disappoint. Congrats for your piece in Splickety, Jon.
Next is Andrew Winch. Folks, here lives the soul of an oldie like me, just younger. Andrew’s writing and characters will touch you deeply. Sample his work once, and you’ll be back for more, I promise. Andrew, what gave you the idea for your short story?
When I thought of the idea for "Wolf Hunt" my main goal was to see a rebirth of classic horror. If you've read the story, it has a definite twist, but I wanted the feel, raw nature in all its vulnerability, to pull readers back to their first instinct when they think about werewolves. I didn't want glittery, oiled up monsters, I wanted the fundamental struggle between good and evil in all its feral glory.
What do you normally write/read?
As a reader, I'm a bit bipolar, or more accurately, tripolar. My bookshelf is filled with Christian apologetics, the Classics, and YA sci-fi/fantasy. As a writer, I manage a monthly blog that reflects my various interests (www.winchway.blogspot.com). I post everything from zombie short-stories to my personal reflections on life. As for my "serious" writing, I gravitate toward fast-paced speculative fiction. My tag-line is, "hometown adventure with an otherworldly twist."
I like it. What are you working on at the moment?
Actually, I'm finishing up a manuscript loosely based on "Wolf Hunt." It follows an adopted, epileptic high-schooler as he falls headlong into a world of vampires, werewolves, and zombies. Along the way, he awakens his super-human powers and uses them to save the ones he loves. The question is, where did these powers come from, and with shadow and deceit around every corner, who can he really trust to give him the answers he needs?
You’d better let me have the chance to read it first before any other agent…is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I'm so thankful to Ben Erlichman for giving my writing a chance. He's been a blast to work with. Christian flash-fiction has a shiny new magazine named Splickety and I can't wait to see what it turns out.
So here are two gentlemen from completely different ends of the spectrum, both with fresh flash fiction in Splickety, both working in entirely different genres for full-length. Folks, I know both writers and can honestly say, fiction doesn’t get any better than this…