Getting into writing – an interview with Steve Campbell of EllipsisZine

ellipsiszine_creative_writing_publication

Established in 1973, Steve Campbell is a designer and part-time writer. You can find his words in places such as: Sick Lit Magazine, Ad Hoc Fiction, Twisted Sister Lit Mag, Occulum and on his website: standondog.com. Between the gaps in life he somehow manages to find time to run the online lit mag EllipsisZine.com.

What got you into writing?

I first started writing short stories as a teenager, but only very sporadically. I read so much more than I do now – anything I could get my hands on, which tended to be a lot of horror fiction, comics and graphic novels – and I wanted to somehow emulate what I was reading. I convinced myself I had ideas as good as the ones in front of me and should put them into words. I turns out I didn’t but looking back it didn’t matter.

Writing fizzled out, mainly due to time constraints, when work and family life took over and it also felt frivolous. Something writers did for a living. I wasn’t a writer.

I started compiling pieces of flash fiction last year, initially to fill my daily commute with something other than staring at my phone, but now it’s an essential part of my day.

I’ve always worked in the creative sector but my current role has slowly evolved into something less so, so I’ve turned to writing to fill the creative void, while my day job pays the bills.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by almost anything. I don’t really like to call myself a writer but writers, artists and creatives need to notice more. Their job is to put our lives into words and images; to document everything from the mundane to the fantastic. And that’s all I do now. I take in more of my surroundings in the hope that it will set something off inside of me.

What makes you write even when the nights are long, your fingers aches and your eyes droop?

It’s like an itch that you have to scratch. I’m not someone who forces myself to write everyday but I do find that I am. Whenever I get an idea I have to get it down.

Are you a traditionalist (print) or a new-wave (ebook)?

I prefer print. I love holding a book but I do most of my reading on screen; either desktop tablet or phone.

Do you have a publisher or did you go the self-publishing route?

I’m nowhere near that stage yet but I’d always thought I’d try self-publishing, because I like to have an element of control, but who knows what will happen when and if that time comes.

What do you aspire to achieve if you haven’t already and how can ‘we’ help?

At the moment, my short-term goals are to find my voice with my writing. I’ve had no formal training and so I’m still floundering and missing more than I’m hitting but I know that I’m moving forward.

In June I set-up ellipsiszine.com, I now split my spare time between writing, and managing this website, which gives me access to some wonderful writing. It has also helped me to deal with rejections. I have to turn away some stunning writing because of space or clashing with work I’ve already published that is similar or that it doesn’t fit in with the typical story we publish/my readers prefer. So I know that all rejections aren’t because the work is bad. There is a home for every piece written, sometimes it just takes more than a few submissions to find it.

Authors published in the printed zine receive a share of the 25% royalty fee, a complimentary copy and a discount off all purchased zines. See the royalties page for details, here.

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