Featured Interview With WC Clinton
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born in a Sellersville hospital that became the subject of a national news story twenty-some year s later when someone walked away with someone else’s baby. That was a close one.
Perhaps for my safety, my parents moved to Hilltown, Pennsylvania where they still reside. I, however, escaped briefly to West Virginia to obtain higher education and a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing. Some relatives expressed a preference for Bob Jones University, but I avoided fundamentalist indoctrination by pointing out that my field of interest was not on the curriculum there. Those relatives periodically ask me how the writing is going, “since that was so important.”
I returned to Hilltown after graduation and sponged off my parents until a mysterious illness made me realize how important health insurance can be. I left my menial low-wage position in a glass factory and embarked on a somewhat accidental career in insurance, which today still provides my main income.
My profession took from the Philadelphia area to the Atlanta, Georgia area for a decade, and then back to the far reaches of both the Philadelphia and Allentown areas, where I currently reside. During this rather extensive period, I married, begat one son and adopted another, and befriended several dogs, one of whom still keeps my acquaintance.
On the side, I became involved in semi-professional theater (in that sometimes I actually received money for acting), co-founded a sketch comedy troupe, and became involved in party politics. This latter activity eventually resulted in election, and re-election, to local office.
Despite all of that, the thing most people remember about me is that I have the same name and birthday as a former US President. In fact, I’ll bet you have already forgotten everything above this with the revelation that solitary fact.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I cannot remember a time I was not fascinated with books. My mother, a compulsive reader from a family of compulsive readers, made reading to me a priority. She noted in my baby book that I loved books, and would often memorize whole books. My first favorite was apparently Stan and Jan Berenstain’s “The Big Honey Hunt,” which was only a year younger than me.
That I would begin writing myself was inevitable. My first creative endeavor was my second grade assignment, “I am a Pilgrim.” I was already bored with the expectation that the student was to write a short description of what pilgrims wore, how they came across the ocean for religious freedom, and how the natives helped them out in the hard times and they had a big meal. I’d already done that sort of thing in first grade. Instead I invented a tale of revisionist history in which a young pilgrim accidentally discovers a plot by the natives to attack the unsuspecting pilgrims, using the planned feast as a ploy. Somewhat of a daydreamer, I had zoned out in class, but suddenly noticed all of my fellow students laughing, and the teacher, holding the paper in her hand, saying, “What an imagination!”
Shortly after that, I wrote a story without being assigned; the next year I was exposed to the format of plays and took a stab at that. I had to try rhyming verse sometime after that. I never stopped.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
So many authors. I enjoy Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, and Douglas Adams; I enjoy Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre; I like George Orwell and Aldous Huxley; Voltaire and Denis Diderot; Mark Twain, Edgar Alan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle. More recent novels I’ve enjoyed are “All the Light We Cannot See,” “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikrey,” and “Barn Again: A Memoir” by Alan Good. I also like Liane Moriarty’s novels.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My last and only book is “Two Pairs of Shorts,” a quartet of short stories that go from light to dark in tone and subject matter.
“Respectfully Submitted” is the meeting minutes of a church board where tempers flare and personality conflicts crystalize. The story uses the formal format of Robert’s Rules, but the content diverges significantly. “Harlan scowled, and reminded everyone that the Minister had compared spiritual and physical self-abuse. “I’m still dealing with the complaints from our members. It’s no wonder you’re scaring people who don’t even know us yet. I warned you not to give that speech.””
“Operation Eagle Eye” is about a neighborhood watch that takes itself seriously (but the narrator does not). “Clearly, I did not value my mailbox, or what it represented, nearly enough,” the narrator observes after one encounter.
“Wintergreen” is a young man’s reflections on his life, which he feels is going nowhere. “When days and months blended together in routine living, why should the dividing line between two equally mundane years make a difference?” he muses as he walks through a quiet town on a cold December night.
“Make Lemonade” is an episode in an early twentieth century rural middle-aged woman’s experience. “Sometimes she wished God in his infinite wisdom had given her at least one daughter to help out around the house. Instead, she lived with one man and six boys, who were handy for the field work and feeding the animals, but never lifted a finger to do what their father pejoratively called “wimmin’s work” since the oldest one was three.”
The stories were written over a span of about 30 years; “Wintergreen” being the oldest and “Make Lemonade” being the most recent.
Connect with the Author on their Websites and Social media profiles