I’m delighted to welcome Josh Hathaway to the Writers Room!
Josh, who’s your favourite author, and what’s your favourite book?
Garth Stein, and The Art of Racing in the Rain.
What are you reading right now?
Fable’s End by Seth Halleway
Tell us about your writing journey so far.
If you’d told me even a YEAR ago that I’d be a published author, I wouldn’t have believed you! I’d always wanted to be an accountant and told myself that’s what I’d do for life. Then, I decided to start reading again after college, and the first book I started my reading journey with was The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (if you HAVEN’T read that book, you should!). When I finished, I decided I wanted to impact the world with MY words as much as Stein impacted me with HIS.
I attempted to “pants” a novel, but that was a dismal failure. I decided to step back and truly start my writing journey with short fiction, and this has led to recent success with my first story to be published in August. At this time, my only writing education is the writing books on my shelf and the critiques from my editor and beta readers. As I educate myself, I hope to publish a few more short stories before moving on to writing novels.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a writer?
The best thing about being a writer is that you get to be an alchemist with your words! As long as your story idea is cohesive, you can take it wherever you wish! If you want to write a story that entertains, go for it. If you want to write something that goes deeper, that’s okay too!
The worst thing about being a writer is that many people do not understand what that truly means. Some of those who are not writers believe that writing is generally easy and do not understand the effort that goes into writing a story, regardless of length. As such, many writers do not receive as much of the encouragement and praise they seek and deserve. There is more to writing than throwing words on a page, but not everybody can see that.
What does your writing process look like?
I usually start by plotting out my story on a foam board. I use a three-act structure so I can divide my story into more organized sections. Then, I’ll notate the main plot beats and “stages” of the development for my main character and the plot itself. Lastly, I’ll use sticky notes to indicate the points at which certain scenes will occur and how developed my main character is going to be at those points.
What are you working on right now?
I’m still planning it, but I’m working on a short story about a child who tells the reader about his questionable interactions with his across-the-street neighbor, whom he likes. I hope to combine the “unreliable narrator” trope of literary fiction with the plot of a soft horror/thriller story (THIS is what I mean by being an alchemist with words!). The working title is the only name the child has for the neighbor: “The Silverado Man”.
What would you like to have achieved by the end of this year?
By the end of 2022, I would like to have won a writing contest. My writing has improved dramatically since I started, and winning a cash prize would be a great confidence booster!
If you could share just one piece of advice with other writers, what would it be?
Start out by writing whatever you want. Write the first idea that comes into your head. The only way to truly master the craft is to PRACTICE!
Finally, where can we check out what you’ve written?
At this time, I don’t have a personal website (when I do, short stories will appear there, so stay tuned for my announcement on Twitter). However, the first short story I ever queried, “The Rapture Module”, can be found in this August’s edition of After Dinner Conversation, a publication that specializes in short fiction concerning philosophical and ethical dilemmas. If you like science fiction and virtual realities, this story is for you!
Josh is a short fiction writer from Hamler, Ohio. When not reading or writing, he enjoys exploring historical landmarks and going out to restaurants with family and friends.
Follow Josh here.