Edmund Schubert is the author of over thirty-five short stories (about half of which are collected in The Trouble With Eating Clouds), and one novel, Dreaming Creek. He's held a variety of editorial positions, currently serving as Editor of Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show and Acquisitions Editor for Spotlight Publishing. An anthology collecting IGMS stories (co-edited with Card), was published by Tor, with an unabridged audio version released by Blackstone Audio. More recently Schubert edited and contributed to How to Write Magical Words: A Writer's Companion, a collection of essays about the craft and business of writing by the gang at MagicalWords.net. However, Schubert still insists that his greatest accomplishment came during college, when his self-published underground newspaper made him the subject of a professor's lecture in abnormal psychology.
Edmund R. Schubert began his career as a writer in 2001. Since that time he has published approximately 35 short stories in a variety of genres, in magazines and anthologies in the U.S. and Britain. His short fiction has been: included on storySouth’s Year’s Notable list; reprinted in The Writer’s Post Journal’s Year’s Best issue; a #1 rated story on Zoetrope.com; a preliminary nominee for an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Short Story; and First Prize Winner in Lynx Eye’s Captivating Beginnings contest. Several of his stories have also been recorded as audio stories. In non-fiction, he has published an assortment of articles, interviews, essays, and book reviews.
In 2006 he took over as fiction editor of the online science fiction and fantasy magazine, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show (usually referred to as IGMS, www.oscIGMS.com), and edited two magazines simultaneously until 2011 (he also edited various business magazines starting in 2005). Stories he edited and published in IGMS have been reprinted and/or received Honorable Mentions in numerous Year’s Best anthologies, been finalists for a variety of national awards, and won the 2009 WFSA award for Best Short Story.
An anthology of IGMS stories was published in 2008 (Tor), along with an unabridged audio version of the anthology by Blackstone Audio, both co-edited by Schubert and Orson Scott Card. 2008 also saw publication of his first novel, Dreaming Creek (Lachesis Books). In January 2011, Bella Rosa Books published a collection of essays on the craft and business of writing, How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion, edited by Schubert and containing several essays written by him. In June 2011, a collection of his short stories titled, The Trouble With Eating Clouds, was published by Spotlight Publishing. Spotlight also published a new IGMS anthology, the InterGalactic Medicine Show Awards Anthology, Vol.I, in January 2012. He is currently writing a YA novel, and two new anthologies are also in progress.
Schubert served for two years as president of the Writer’s Group of the Triad, a Greensboro, NC-based organization of approximately 100 writers. He has taught workshops and appeared on writing-related panels at conventions, library- and bookstore-sponsored programs, through the University of North Carolina-Greensboro’s (UNC-G’s) continuing learning program, through UNC-G’s Center For Creative Writing In The Arts, for the NC Writer's Network conference, and as a repeat special guest at Southern Virginia University’s ‘Roads To Writing’ workshops.
Despite all this, Edmund still maintains that his greatest achievement was when the underground newspaper he published in college made him the subject of a professor's lecture -- in abnormal psychology.
Oscar Wilde said, "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." To which Edmund adds, "All it takes is looking at things from a slightly different angle."
Ed Schubert and Scott Card model their amazing electro-glide, solar-powered, retina-popping wardrobe (4 AAA batteries not included).
Interview/ article from the Greensboro (NC) News & Record (approx. circulation 110,000) http://www.news-record.com/
Sunday January 2, 2005
by Meredith Barkley, Staff Writer
Stay-at-home dad juggles writing and childcare
Pleasant Garden, NC - Edmund Schubert, a businessman turned fiction writer, had a good 2004.
He had a bunch (15) of stories published, finished his first novel and began shopping it around. In October, he was elected president of the Writer's Group of the Triad.
For a writer slogging it out in the trenches of anonymity hoping for some sign he was on the right track, all that came as a welcome relief.
"It justified a lot of decisions I made along the way, and it makes it easier for me to believe in myself, that I can do this," said Schubert, 38. "After a while you need to see some progress."
Schubert discovered early on that writing is hard work. But with help from books on writing, lots of practice, writer's workshops and critiques from friends, he's picked up the craft.
So much so that he's earned the respect and admiration of folks such as Dena Harris, a freelance writer in a novel writer's group with Schubert.
"As a writer he goes to great lengths to get the small details right," she said. "He wants it to be dead on because he wants the readers to be comfortable with the reality. His mind is constantly working, trying to find that bizarre 'what if' twist he can add to a strory. I'm a big fan."
Commented Tyree Campbell, editor of Beyond Centauri (from the Sam's Dot group of publications), which published a Schubert short story in October, "The smoothness of Mr. Schubert's writing was evident from the first few words of 'The Trouble With Eating Clouds.' He took a highly imaginative circumstance and transformed it into an everyday, credible occurence. Schubert brings a sense of wonder back into our lives."
Such praise is gratifying. Schubert had longed nursed a fascination for writing. He grew up on Long Island, NY, and earned a business degree, specializing in human resources. He worked in human resources in New York for a year or two after college, then headed south to help his parents run a greenhouse business in Lynchburg, VA.
They ran the business for 12 years and sold it (in 2001). That's when Schubert, a life-long voracious reader, started writing the novel that had been banging around in his head for several years.
He has actually tried his hand at writing years before. During the late 1980's he succeeded in getting two short stories published and won a newspaper contest for writing ghost stories. But he didn't pursue it any further.
Sale of his business offered him the opportunity to pick it back up again in earnest. He and his wife, Terry, had discussed having one parent stay at home with their daughters, ages 6 and 8. When she landed a job with United Guaranty in Greensboro..., the decision was simple. He became the stay-at-home parent.
"I didn't want to be a 90-year-old man saying, 'I had a dream...,'" Schubert said.
So he started his novel, titled "The Legend of Dreaming Creek," in which a man and his girlfriend trade bodies and get stuck that way. It didn't take him long to realize he had a lot to learn about the craft.
"As I started writing, I said: This is not that good," he recalled.
Since then he's spent a lot of time honing his skills. That effort seems to have worked. Soon his stories were being accepted for publication once again.
All the while he continued working on his novel, rewriting parts of it after attending a week long "Writer's Boot Camp in Buena Vista conducted by another Greensboro novelist, Orson Scott Card.
"I came back encouraged to keep writing," Schubert said. "But at the same time I came back with a (clearer) vision of what a really good story ought to be."
While Schubert is fascinated with science fiction his says his works are a little harder to categorize.
"I write about regular people in regular situations and then turn one piece of reality on its ear and see how the characters react," he said. He likens it to "Twilight Zone" episodes.
These days he's...spending his time contacting agents and publishers, hoping to generate some interest in his novel.
Regardless, he plans to keep writing short stories.
"I think that's one of the things that kept me going through the first novel, taking a break and writing a short story, " Schubert said. "If nothing else, that sense of completion helps. Writing a novel is a marathon and it's exhausting."
Copyright (c) 2005 Greensboro News & Record
Interview by Publisher/ Editor Ben Scarlato
Rembrandt and Company Publishers International
PO Box 13486
St Petersburg FL 33733
Published on-line at http://rembrandtandcompany.com , and in the November 2004 edition of Vermeer Magazine
Edmund R. Schubert began writing in 2001, during which time he’s had over twenty short pieces accepted for publication (including the first chapter of his novel, Dreaming Creek), been reprinted, published in England, and won first prize in Lynx Eye’s 2004 Captivating Beginnings Contest. However, his greatest claim to fame remains that the underground newspaper he put out in college made him the subject of a professor's lecture -- in abnormal psychology.
Ben - "How would you describe the art of writing?"
Ed - "I have recently come to the conclusion that writing is a lot like playing chess. I taught my oldest daughter how to play when she was five years old. Yes, she’s a genius (she gets that from, well, my wife, actually), but frankly, learning how each piece moves is not that difficult. The art – and science – of chess is in mastering the interplay between all the pieces so they work as a cohesive whole, moving inevitably toward a common goal. Writing is the same. You can study characterization, plot development, dialogue, and pacing, but to write exceptional stories requires the ability to bring all the pieces together in pursuit of a common goal. The only way to develop that ability is to simply write and write. And write some more."
Ben - "Describe your current work at the moment."
Ed - "My current novel, "Dreaming Creek," is like a modern episode of the Twilight Zone. It’s in the hands of an editor at Tor and it will probably be early 2005 before she’s made a final decision. In the meantime, I’m doing research for my next novel, as well as writing a short story using some of the main characters that will be in that novel. I love writing short stories, but it’s virtually impossible to make a living doing so. Novels require a different set of skills and take a lot longer to write and get published. But periodically during the writing of "Dreaming Creek," I’d take a break and write a couple of short stories, just to feel like I was getting something – anything – finished. I need that sense of completion, and I don’t see the tendency changing while I write the next novel."
Ben - "What has inspired your current style of writing?"
Ed - "When an author gets too caught up in ‘style’ issues, it becomes easy to make the story about how well the writer can write. Frankly, if I want that, I read poetry, not prose. Should authors be aware of their style? Of course they should. But never at the expense of the story. A writer friend once e-mailed me, saying, "One thing I've noticed with some other stories I've read; the authors seem to get wrapped up in the 'literary' aspects of their writing and forget to tell a story. You, however, are a storyteller!" To me that was the ultimate compliment, because as far as I’m concerned, it’s all about the story. I don't want to be the star of the show; just the stage manager of many sucessful productions."
Ben - "Who inspires the characters in your fiction?"
Ed - "More than anyone else, Orson Scott Card inspires my characters, because of the depth of the characters he writes about. They are so rich and fully realized. I believe Card’s success as a writer is largely because his characters continually surprise readers without making them incredulous. The complex but highly realistic reactions of his characters are worth studying (and since Card wrote a book on that very subject, it’s easy to do)."
Ben - "Who is your favorite author?"
Ed - "Ray Bradbury and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Though they wrote such different kinds of fiction, both authors have an extraordinary ability to make language sing. The ability to write well is not the same as the ability to tell a story well. Bradbury and Fitzgerald do both exceptionally, without sacrificing one skill for the other. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the height of great writing."
Ben - "Where would you like to see your writing 10 years from now?"
Ed - "Literally, Russia, Spain, Germany, and Italy. Figuratively, as I develop as a writer, I'd like to be able to add layers of depth to my characters and my plots that I know I'm not capable of yet. I learn something new from just about everything I write, and I hope I’m able to carry that lesson to the next story. I genuinely enjoy the learning process, though there are certainly days when I wish there was a way to speed it up. However, I know that forty years from now I’ll still be writing - and I’ll still be learning."
Ben - "How would you describe the market for new authors?"
Ed - "I believe the market is particularly open to new authors – who have taken the time to study. Study the craft of writing, which anyone, regardless of natural talent, can develop. Study authors who are at the top of their game. Study authors who aren’t so great, but seem to have gotten published anyway. Learn from their mistakes and then say, Good grief, if they can get published, I know I can. Study the markets. New writers hurt themselves more than you would believe by sending the wrong stories to the wrong publishers and agents. The market is hungry for good new writers. Just go about it intelligently."
Ben - "Is there anything you would like change in the current market?"
Ed - "I’d like to see more markets open up and thrive, but that would require more readers, which would require more people to turn off their television sets. I recently heard some statistics on the quantity of adults who have not opened a book in the last ten years and quoting them here would only serve to depress everyone."
Ben - "Have you ever read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley?"
Ed - "It’s an old favorite. I love the story behind how it came to be written, and I love the complex relationship between the creator and his creation. I found it harder to sympathize with Dr. Frankenstein than to sympathize with the "monster.""
Ben - "What is your favorite color?"
Ed - "Red. No, blue -- aaahhhhh........"