adapt, Baiting the Hook, encroachment, evolution, good-ol' boy, hunter, interview, micro-art-moments, microfiction, Mini-Author Interviews, Oklahoma, perish, predator, R. Judas Brown, realism, territorial, Texhoma, Underwater, Wichita Mountains
Mini-Author Interviews for UNDERWATER:
R. Judas Brown
What inspired your story?
I had written the original version for a microfiction contest; however, there just wasn’t enough space for a proper treatment. The idea of the juxtaposition of a predator/prey relationship had caught me. The concept of someone who know they are master of their surroundings finding out abruptly that they are mortally wrong is not just an interesting study of the character. It is the exaggeration of a fear that most of us feel on a day to day basis, so it is relatable.
Did you have to do any research? If so, what kind? What did you learn?
I had to do a bit for the setting. I have fished plenty of docks, dams, and banks. Navigating a boat down a river is not in my experience set. The last five years in north Texas we had a persistent drought, so I wasn’t able to experience that first hand. Luckily, I have friends who have worked jugs and limbs, so I was able to draw off their experience and understand Teddy’s mindset.
Do you feel that your setting becomes as much a predator as your characters do?
The environment is almost always the penultimate predator. When a territorial hunter migrates, it is the changing environment that necessitates that move. Whether it is encroachment by another species or natural evolution of the landscape, the land does what it will and those who live on it adapt or perish.
Can you tell me a little bit about your protagonist?
Teddy is a good-ol’-boy’s good-ol’-boy. Not a bad sort really, just the guy who buys a 12-pack of Beast at 6:01 AM before hitting the river.
Tell me about the setting you chose and how it influences your work.
I grew up near the Wichita Mountains in southwestern Oklahoma and spent most of my life in the Texhoma region. I drew heavily on the land I’ve seen, its geography and people, in creating this story. I hope it lent a certain amount of realism to the work.
What would you like readers to know about “Baiting the Hook”?
I sincerely hope you enjoy it, and should you find yourself presented with an unexpected delight, that you pause, just for a moment, thanks to this story.
R. Judas Brown has appeared in several anthologies, is working with The Ed Greenwood Group, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Quincy Writers Guild in Quincy, IL.