Join us as we peek behind the scenes of our upcoming anthology, ON TIME. Learn more about Ray Daley in his featured interview.
ABOUT THE STORY
What inspired your story?
“Detecting Rogue Time Travellers (Practical Exam)” was just an experiment, if I am honest. There was no grand plan behind it, much like most of my work. 99% of my output stands alone. Here, I wanted to approach time travel from a slightly different angle for a change, so many people write about the journey or the destination. I wanted to think about how people would ensure Time Travel isn’t abused. It could very easily been called “The Time Police.”
Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist?
McKenzie Stillington. There’s a great example of “I picked this name out of the air at random” if I ever saw one. I think I got McKenzie from the actor Mackenzie Crook. I’d been watching his show Detectorists at the time of writing, and his name was stuck in my head. The character is a smart guy, studious type, he wants to do well. Will try almost anything to get results. He’s the opposite of me, basically.
What is the most interesting thing about the world you’ve created?
That there is oversight for Time Travellers, and that anyone, no matter how well educated they are, thinks they can outsmart it. Most folks approach time travel in a haphazard, devil-may-care attitude. In my world, we make sure you aren’t screwing around. Go there, have a good time, just don’t mess with causality!
What genre or mix of genres does your story fit into?
Science Fiction, but it’s also a series of epistles (letters to someone), as well as being a diary of taking an exam, too. It’s a lot of different styles for such a short piece.
How have your personal experiences influenced this story?
Not at all really. I am big on trying to bend annoying or dumb rules as far as they will go, but I’ve never travelled in time. Yet. Tomorrow, maybe?
What would you like readers to take away from your story?
Big Brother is always watching! I’d also like people to think my work is worth seeking out more of.
What was your favorite part of the story to write and why?
I don’t want to give anything away, so no spoilers, sorry. In general it was all a good experience for me. This is quite rare, and depends on my mental state. I am normally the worst critic of my work, so if I feel it was okay, it was probably way better than okay.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
When did you write your first story, how old were you, and what was it about?
At Junior School around age nine, it was a rip-off of a Doctor Who episode combined with part of a movie I had seen. My first time travel story, in which I got burnt at the stake for being a witch! I was a weird kid, they’d have sent me to a therapist these days. The 1970’s was very much a different time.
What is your writing survival checklist? (Aka, what helps your write the best: music, snacks, coffee, complete silence, a stress ball, a cat, or an outline, etc.)
Have I got a cold drink? Have I been to the bathroom? (I am fifty now.) Do I have snacks? Have I got enough music queued up for the whole story?
What has influenced you most as a writer?
Reading. Television. My mother encouraging me. Oh, and good English Teachers. God bless Angie Reynolds (RIP) and Mike Haldenby.
What font do you prefer to write in?
Times New Roman. I am boring!
Do you have any writing blogs/vlogs/podcasts, etc. that you would recommend?
Claire Rousseau, while she doesn’t talk about writing as a craft, she is a Hugo nominated booktuber who talks about what is happening in the general world of writing & SFF.
What is your favorite and least favorite word, and why?
I’m not sure I’ve got a favourite word? If I have, and I’ll apologise in advance, it’s probably fuck. Least favourite word–yeet. God, I hear that too much.
What are you up to right now?
I’m neck-deep in my submission challenge event. Something I organised myself, to help me and other writers to get stories out to paying markets. The concept is simple, sub at least 1 story a day to paying markets. All the writers have to do is have enough stories ready, read the damn guidelines and get their subs out, then wait for the replies to come back.
There’s no pressure to sub every day, just get out as much as you can, irons in the fire, and hope for sales. We’ve run three times so far, this will be the fourth, as well as our first year anniversary. I’ve made sales, as have other participants, so if this sounds like something people would like to get involved with, hit me up on Twitter @RayDaleyWriter or on Facebook for an invite to our private story submission group.
If you want to know more, like which markets we used last time, check out this blog post.
Ray Daley was born in Coventry & still lives there. He served 6 yrs in the RAF as a clerk & spent most of his time in a Hobbit hole in High Wycombe. He is a published poet & has been writing stories since he was 10. His current dream is to eventually finish the Hitch Hikers fanfic novel he’s been writing since 1986.
ON TIME is coming in Summer 2020. Be sure to follow us on Amazon.