God's Plan for the Lunar Colony, fiction, Issue 20, December 1, 2012
Birthdate? Sometime in 1978. And as Deep Purple would say, "Maybe I'm a Leo."
When did you start writing? My opera prima was (I think) a picture book inspired by the Transformers line of toys, self-published in a hand-lettered limited edition of 1 copy. I did this one drawing of Optimus Prime with one of his chest-windows shattered that was like, really cool. From there I went through a phase in junior high where I aped my favorites in the sword & sorcery genre (Conan, obviously, and R.A. Salvatore’s Drizz’t books, now that I think about it), and then in high school, the requisite phase filling notebook after notebook with piles of cheap po-mo angst. I don’t know what to call the current phase yet.
When and what and where did you first get published? Right now, right here: the story “God’s Plan for the Lunar Colony” in NewMyths.com is my first publication.
What themes do you like to write about? Oh, the usual: alienation, man’s inhumanity towards man, all that good stuff.
What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? Off the top of my head, the list of authors who present themselves as important for me in my “formative” years is probably pretty typical of a certain post-adolescent, English-major counterculture sensibility, to wit: Vonnegut, Burroughs (William S., not Edgar Rice), Borges, Donald Barthelme, etc.
Maybe the real “primal scene” for me literature-wise was my sixth-grade Language Arts class, where the teacher showed us films (yes, films, celluloid on reels with a light that projected the images...) with adaptations of “Bartleby the Scrivener” by Melville and “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson(!). I read Ray Bradbury for the first time in that class. Man, that was kind of an awesome class, looking back.
As for the 'why' and 'how', no idea.
N.M. Whitley was born and raised in North Carolina. He now lives, writes, teaches and makes a little music in Barcelona. He half-heartedly tumbles and tweets at nmwhitley.tumblr.com and @nm_whitley (respectively).