Interview with F Hampton Carmine

Describe your desk
My desk is an island of chaos in the middle of the normal order of my house . It looks unusable but I know where every scrap of paper is and what's on them.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Midwest, specifically Missouri. According to my wife, it is the indeed the home for stubborn people. I of course, disagree - and I will never change my mind.

We lived mostly in the country where I happily explored forest, field and stream. To say nothing about those caves my friends and I squirmed into without telling anyone where we were going. I lived but I did not tell my mother until I was over forty years old; still got 'the look.'

I read voraciously, adventure and mystery, but especially Science Fiction. Later in my life I concentrated on Fantasy. My first three novels were completed while in high school and remain with me, handwritten on pulp pencil tablets in red ballpoint pen. I keep them as a reminder to strive for humility.

There is nothing like a great story told well.
When did you first start writing?
As I said earlier in high school. Been writing something, of some kind every since.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I tell you what behind my story here on SmashWords. It's not my latest but it is my first here.

I love a story where the protagonist's journey takes them beyond their own oft-times puny expectations for their own life to greatness even, despite of themselves. In "The Star Mark", Tom Braden is such a character, bereft of love and support from the age of five to eighteen, as he struggled to survive in an orphanage operated by a fanatical order. He has to learn to believe that there is more to him than intellect and dispassionate survival instinct.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Telling a story. The craft of writing, how well you tell the story, I will also be honing. But the greatest joy is seeing someone enjoy the story that I created.
What do your fans mean to you?
I'll let you know when I get some.
What are you working on next?
The Star Mark is book one of a trilogy. Books two and three are in the works.
Who are your favorite authors?
Not a fair question nor is there enough space to answer. But a few, in no particular order are; Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Frederick Pohl, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Silverberg, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, Piers Anthony, Roger Zelazny, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Tanith Lee, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and most recently J.K. Rowling.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My wife's elbows and to-do list. Well only half kidding. I am helping to raise my 7 year old granddaughter and that keeps me busy. But each morning I write with a cup of coffee and a biscuit for a couple of hours.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I write symphonic music for orchestra and other groups and I play in a band and an orchestra. I also repair flutes.

Occasionally, I'll do things like mow grass and other mundane household chores -- They keep creeping onto my todo list.
Published 2013-10-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

A Matter of Perspective
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,150. Language: English. Published: February 19, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
Jon had never felt so alone, so isolated, but he had made his choice. He had accepted the mission. They promised honors. World's greatest explorer. Savior of Illume. Kids named for him. Monuments, Generations of adulation. His exploits become myth. He wouldn't age, but all in his life would be dust when he returned. A poor bargain. What would he find? Was his the only perspective on the universe?
Standoff at Europa
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,030. Language: English. Published: February 19, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
They discovered life in the deep oceans of Europa and it got out. The miners from the moons would not stop mining, the Mining Federation Police, and Earth Central blockaded all transport for fear of contagion. It all came to a head at Europa, and the newest hire, Crystal Murphy just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time.
The Harpist of Souls
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,450. Language: English. Published: February 18, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Maxwell Borodin stumbled, protecting his bottle of rotgut. He needed the rest because he was still conscious and until he slept, the voices would not stop. They wanted him to remember his past. He tripped, splashing booze, eyes burning, he yelled at the loss, not the pain, spewing a mist of spittle and booze. Memories began. He begged, but the memories kept coming and his bottle was already empty.
Ride the High Air
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,890. Language: English. Published: February 17, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Moira wanted to ride the high air, though few got past the royal tier. Her mother wanted her future husband to give her permission to fly, and she decided to never marry if she had to grovel. She wanted more, and would fly to get it. An updraft filled her wings and joy filled her being. She set her sights up the cliff past the king's tier to the high air! But the king's guards hollered, "Archers."
The Bone Reader
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,560. Language: English. Published: February 15, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Horror » Crime
He could sense the location of associated bones regardless of their scatter after simply touching one of the set. It was like dowsing, a pull in the direction of any associated bones from the one he was holding. It had made him a successful fossil hunter and helped him achieve his university position. The Fossil Hunter's Club plaque on his wall read, "To Spencer Grier, The Bone Reader.”
He Who Saves A Single Life, Saves The World Entire
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,200. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
It's a primitive planet. Should they risk their mission to save it from the asteroid hurtling toward it? Their philosophy is to preserve life, but also, not to interfere in the natural development of other species. One scientist leaves their corporeal shell, using their energy form to visit the planet. It will join with them and observe just what kind of creatures the dominant species truly are.
Destiny's Handmaiden
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 91,390. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Destiny had a prophesy for The Dragon Isles. All would be transformed, but none more than Aislin and Caitrin. They suckled at the same breast, crawled and walked in the same nursery, studied with the same tutors, and felt like twins. Languages, academics, and courtly manners were learned together, but Caitrin was the Princess and Aislin was her handmaiden until a seer exposed their true destinies.
Rebecca Hornsby, Elf Princess
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 50,230. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Follow Rebecca as she navigates the seventh grade while becoming an elf, pointy ears and all. Rebecca must deal with a clueless principal, resolve a feud with a former friend, hide a growing list of elven changes and uncontrolled magic, and still attend the Spring Dance. Her human and elven worlds collide as the war between the Elves of Light and Dark converge on her and the prophesy she bares.
Abby and the Magic Key
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 52,970. Language: English. Published: May 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
Abby and the Magic Key is a young adult romp through time and space with thirteen year old Abigail Stewart and her royal ancestor, Princess Elizabeth of Scotland. To mend their broken lives, these princesses, one lost to fear and privilege, the other lost to fear and neglect, find each other across time and space by way of a magic key and learn to believe in themselves, and face their fears
Written in Her Flesh
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,370. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult, Fiction » Horror » Ghost
Mary Katherine and her daughter, had just moved into her deceased husbands house on the Isle of Anglesey, Wales. Each night she is awakened clawing her way up through layers of sleep, driven by the anguish and terror in her daughter's screams. When she reaches her, blood greets her, Aline's fingers dripping red and sticky as she holds her hands over the freshly cut runes in her chest.
A Gift of Butterflies
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,850. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Inspirational
Mariposa was always surrounded by butterflies, even more so when she healed the sick and dying. But her gift of healing was not her main purpose on the earth. She had another even greater gift to give and finally it was time.
The Gluon Amplifier
You set the price! Words: 6,290. Language: English. Published: February 13, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Greg Pattersen took a chance for the mere image of a distressed women in a thick fog. He donned a spacesuit and allowed a monstrosity of a franken-ship to collect him as it destroyed the beach and all around it. He had to find her, had to find the secrets behind the monster ship, and had to survive.
Throwback
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,000. Language: English. Published: February 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
David Rheinbrücke had been called a throwback, a caveman, a Neanderthal as well as brows and Kong. His father had abandoned him when he was ten and his mother had died when he was a teenager. Now, as an adult and a college professor, he had to find the answers to his throwback appearance, but the world was not so easy now. A new ice age had taken the earth in its grip and was squeezing, hard.
Ghost Story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,880. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Alexander must overcome his own wounded heart before he can help the ghosts with their wounds and music is the key. But he blames his music for his families death and the very sounds of music have become agonizing to him.
The Burning Bush Redux
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,690. Language: English. Published: October 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Short stories, Fiction » Religious
He slowly tumbled in a rapidly decaying orbit, bereft of family and friends, utterly alone and ready to die, ready to end it all in front of the whole world on a public open mike. Into the emptiness where his withered soul yearned for release, something undefinable inserted itself, an overwhelming presence, a sense of other, power, and love. God had other plans for him, a modern burning bush.
A Matter of Faith
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,780. Language: English. Published: October 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Religious, Fiction » Religious
Science and Religion have been at war with each other for centuries if not millenia. This short story examines this struggle through the eyes of John, a scientist. He discovers definitive proof of the evolution of life billions of years ago only to have all proof lost in a natural disaster. Or was it natural? Did God intervene? Did local people intervene? How can he rationalize his experience?
The Seer, Destiny's Guardian
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,170. Language: English. Published: October 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
A 5000 word short story introducing the world of The Dragon Isles through the eyes of Liadan, the most powerful seer of her time. She laid the quill aside, as she watched the ink dry, accepting that for the first time in her life, she did not record her vision accurately. She would further compound the small lie hidden in the prophesy with an even larger lie of omission. Destiny was a hard master.
The Return of Princess Moonbeam Broadwing
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,160. Language: English. Published: October 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
A 5000 word short story. From the chaos of the emergency room, a young mother, and amnesiac, is pulled back from death's door only to discover her lost childhood memories have been restored by the electric shock. A childhood like few others; filled with kings and queens, princesses, fairies, tragedy and loss. Yet, she returns and brings with her a daughter who will have to figure it all out.
Man - Machine: A Journey
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,850. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi
Three short stories exploring man's journey with and towards the machine. “Life is But a Dream” explores human intelligence and soul in a machine. “More Machine Than Human” explores the move towards Cyborgs and beyond. “An Arm and a Leg” explores what a society will give up to survive.
It's For Your Own Good
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,900. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational, Fiction » Literature » Plays & Screenplays
Sue wanted to go home, she always wanted to go home. The teachers and staff here were nice enough but it wasn't home. She did not feel that different. Not different enough to have to live here in this place. It seemed like a school some times and a prison at other times. Nothing was hers, she had no privacy and she had no space. Why would her parents place her here and keep her sister at home.
Bright Eyes
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,430. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational, Fiction » Literature » Plays & Screenplays
This 9000 word short story explores the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity for a young family when their daughter is born with severe brain damage resulting in cerebral palsy and their struggles with 'the system' to find services and peace.
The Star Mark
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 100,670. Language: English. Published: October 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Science fiction » General
Starting with the five pointed star appearing on his forehead after arriving on the planet, he will confront the dissolution of his beliefs about the world and everything he believed about himself. He will leave behind his disastrous childhood, develop into a wizard as destined in order to save himself, TanLa, and the Earth itself, from Kan-No, the reigning non-corporeal evil presence.