Local author spotlight welcomes Winston Emerson!

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Time for another local author with a fresh new release.  Welcome author Winston Emerson,  to share with us your story set in Louisville!

Tell us about your latest project.  What inspired you to write it?

I’ll preface this by acknowledging that it sounds corny. I was standing outside one evening looking up at the sky when the idea for The Object occurred to me. That’s just where my eyes tend to go. As ideas usually come to me, I imagined, out of the blue, an enormous round object hovering overhead, so large that its bottom stretched from one horizon to the other and it darkened everything I could see. Then I began to imagine how people would react to it. The image was striking enough that I wrote it down in a journal. A couple months later, The Object’s artist Justin Comley and I were sitting at Carmichael’s Bookstore and Heine Brothers Coffee on Bardstown Road, formulating a plan involving the serialization of a novel using a WordPress blog, with illustrations and music to create a more dynamic reading experience. I remembered the thought I’d had about a gigantic object in the sky, and we folded it into the other idea. The characters and plot stem from dozens more of those out-of-the-blue moments.
The object is set in Louisville!  Tell us why you chose to set your book here, and what the feedback has been like from readers.

In The Object, I want to portray how society might react to a crisis of an otherworldly and possibly apocalyptic nature. In a city, you get a more comprehensive view, a more eclectic cast of characters, a better range of social and economic standing, and, if you will, a bigger playground to explore. I chose Louisville in particular because it’s the city I’m most familiar with and because it’s the most friendly and artistically driven city I’ve ever visited. We went into this project believing that if we present a good, riveting story with cool music and stunning illustrations, no group of human beings in this region is more likely to give us a chance than the people of Louisville. Our current readers seem engaged and committed to the story. Subscriptions are growing by at least one a day, and now with Book One available for sale, we believe our readership will grow substantially. Right now we’re focusing on bringing The Object to the attention of Louisville.

Where do Louisville/Southern Indiana readers know you from, outside of your books? 

I’m known in my hometown of Hodgenville for writing the annual school play for six years, beginning with my senior year in high school. I attended the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts in 2001. You might have seen me at a poker table or two at Horseshoe Casino in New Albany. And I don’t plan on missing the Louisville Zombie Walk for the rest of my life.
Who are your favorite writers from the local area?

At the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts, I attended workshops under Crystal Wilkinson and Frank X. Walker and became familiar with their work then. Fenton Johnson graduated from the same high school as me. (My English teacher was his English teacher’s daughter.) Soon I plan to finally heed the advice of many friends and check out some Hunter S. Thompson. A lot of people don’t know he’s from Louisville.

When you contacted me, you had quite a bit to share about your writing journey.  I’m sure readers will look forward to your Writer Wednesday guest posts on my writing blogs.  In short, what would you like Louisville area readers to know about today’s authors? 

Forget everything you know about self-publishing, because it’s changing fast. Independent authors are finally gaining the recognition they deserve. They’re climbing bestseller lists. A few of them are getting movie deals. If you download a lot of ebooks for your Kindle or Nook, it’s likely you’ve read some self-published books without even knowing it.
Indie authors are competing with major publishers in a big way these days, not only with the quality of their stories but with editing, book cover design, and overall professionalism. Distributors like Amazon have become an open market where novelists can toss their books on the table and let buyers decide what succeeds and what fails. You, as a reader, have the unique opportunity to be an early discoverer of the next blockbuster hit.

In short, give self-published authors a shot. You’ll be supporting some hardworking people who are passionate about what they do. Of course, quality varies from great to god-awful, but there are plenty of content filters out there: book review blogs, Amazon reviews, sites dedicated to showcasing the bestselling indie books of the day. Just do a little Googling. You’ll discover an ocean of books you might not have known exists.

Tell us about your favorite bookstores/coffee shops/writing haunts.  What makes them special?  

I do most of my writing at home. If you see me scribbling in a journal in public, I’m just taking notes. I prefer a quiet environment where coffee and a little music are within reach. Every time someone asks me where my ideas come from, I give them a different answer. This tells me I have no clue. (I do have Stephen King chained up in my basement, but so far he won’t talk.)

Oh, Uncle Steve can be stubborn that way.  I’ve had more success kidnapping lesser-known writers via email!  What’s next on the writing slate, for you?

I have another novel I’ll be releasing around Christmastime entitled, Prettiest When It’s Dying. It’s about a young man who digs ginseng in the Kentucky woods for extra money. One day, he wanders too far and stumbles upon two girls living in a tree house at the bottom of a hollow. He quickly discovers they’ve been placed there to guard the largest marijuana operation in the history of the United States, and when he tries to help the girls escape, he finds out many people in town have a hand in the operation . . . and they don’t want things disturbed.

After that I’ll be working on The Object: Book Two.

That sounds really intriguing, Winston.  I love how you keep your stories local.  Excellent!  Keep up the good work!  Thanks for being our guest today on LouisvilleKY.com and best of luck to you with your writing!

To read more from Winston soon, check in at RedTash.com this coming week, where Winston will deliver a Writer Wednesday guest post.

Readers, if you know an author who deserves to shine in the Local Author Spotlight, please get in touch.  Either side of the river is fine–we speak Southern Indianaese, too!  Books about relevant local subject matter are encouraged, as well.  Email RedTashBooks@gmail.com and please put “LouisvilleKY.com Author Spotlight” in your email subject.  Thanks!

Stay tuned for more local author news.  I hope you’re discovering some fantastic new reads, from names new and old on the literary scene.

Leslea Tash is a Southern Indiana journalist-turned-novelist.  Formerly a freelancer best known for a weekly column on parenting and family life, she now writes dark fantasy, horror, fairy tales, and other fun stuff including the 5 Star Amazon hit Troll Or Derby under the pen name Red Tash.  She always welcomes your feedback on this column on the LouisvilleKY.com site, on Facebook, on her websites or twitter.  Just about anywhere works.  Get in touch!