ASEI Arts is pleased to feature a series of inspiring Q&A interviews with the authors and producers featured in our Anthology House book. All profits from the sale of the book will benefit Habitat for Humanity’s “Habitat Hammers Back” initiative.
This week, we feature Brian Burt who contributed the short story entitled “Storm Rider” to Anthology House.
ASEI: What inspires you each day?
BB: I’m inspired by the stories of people who don’t surrender to cynicism, despair, or apathy and keep striving to make things better: scientists, environmentalists, artists, activists, journalists, public servants. I’m inspired by the visions of people who see a path to a better future rather than dystopia. And I’m inspired by the attitudes of my kids and their friends who accept the reality of the problems we face, who acknowledge the challenges ahead, but who don’t intend to wait for dysfunctional political elders to deliver solutions.
ASEI: How has your creativity helped you to navigate a change in your circumstances for the better? This can be a feeling or an intangible effect, or it can be a physical change.
BB: A decade ago, my oldest son became very ill with a rare and devastating brain disorder. He, and our whole family, were pretty traumatized at the time. We couldn’t find local medical resources who were willing or able to help, we were going into debt to pay for treatments out of state, and there didn’t seem to be a light at the end of that very dark tunnel. My writing went on hold for a while as my wife and I focused all of our energy on trying to hold things together. It was a brutal time for the entire family. We all struggled, in different ways, to cope. I remember sneaking moments on my laptop, now and then, to work on a story about a sick child (with symptoms remarkably parallel to our son’s) who manages to transcend his illness, to turn it into a magical ability to heal other suffering kids. In the end, he overcomes the indifference of the healthcare system and leads his own doubting doctor to an epiphany. That fictional world became a refuge, a place where justice triumphed over the callous status quo and sickness became strength. It helped lift me out of depression at a time when I desperately needed that lift.
ASEI: What advice would you give to another person seeking to improve their circumstances through finding satisfaction in their creative journey?
BB: We all have stories to tell. Unraveling those tangles of imagination, weaving them into something that rings true to you, has immense value even if they never see formal publication. Of course, we all want to share our tales, our precious snippets of truth, with others. We’re a social species. But I believe that the pure act of crafting a world of your own making will ignite a spark that warms you personally and may just melt the ice that freezes others around you in place.
ASEI: Thank you Brian! To read Brian's short story "Storm Rider" you can purchase Anthology House by requesting it from your local bookseller or by purchasing here:
All profits from this anthology will be donated to Habitat for Humanity's Habitat Hammers Back initiative to rebuild hurricane-hit areas in the Southern United States and Caribbean.
You can read more about Brian’s work through publisher Double Dragon who recently released the third book in his Aquarius Rising eco-fiction trilogy, which is featured on eco-fiction.com’s Climate Change Author Spotlight. Book 1 of the trilogy (In the Tears of God) won EPIC’s 2014 eBook Award for Science Fiction; Book 2 (Blood Tide) won the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal for Science Fiction.
To read more interviews in our "Inspiration" series, please click through the ASEI Arts blog.