Today’s crew mate is Philip E. Carroll aka Norval Joe. We’re not quite sure where he got that moniker, but it’s somehow fitting. A regular contributor to Great Hites, Philip may just be one of the most prolific writers on the crew, even though he hasn’t been actively writing short stories for that long.
An eagle eyed editor/reader/writer/dreamer of dreams, Philip keeps our island on course. When he’s not manning the maps and sextant, he’s a certified and Army trained Orthotist and makes pediatric braces (the legs and back kind, not the tooth kind). A family man, married twenty-eight years and with three children and one and a half grandchildren (his words), he’s a seasoned vet in more ways than one.
How did he get into genre fiction? I’ll let him tell you in his own words:
My introduction to Science fiction came through the movie, “Silent Running”, which, back in those days, you had to watch in the movie theater. The giant space ship rocketing through the void and carrying the last of earth’s plant life still moves me. I think I was 11 or 12 and bought the book through a Scholastic Book order shortly after watching the movie. I read it over and over and pictured myself crawling through the undergrowth in the large geodesic domes, small boxy droids at my side.
In high school I wrote the first chapter of a story where the one remaining dome crashes back to the barren earth. Undiagnosed ADD (We didn’t have ADD back then. We just had bad kids that daydreamed in class) prevented me from completing that.
In high school, in the 70’s, the Lord of the Rings was the rage. We all read the books, plus the Wizard of Earthsea, by Le Guin, Face in the Frost, by Bellairs, Sword of Shannara, The Princess Bride, (Yes, in paperback), Lord Dunsany, William Morris and anything else we could get our hands on. We would back pack in the Sierra’s and the Pacific coast in search of Minas Tirith, Mordor, and Mirkwood.
From the age of seven or eight, my twin brother and I used to sit around and tells stories. We would make them up on the fly. We had our own several characters and we would voice them as we told our stories.
Forty years later, I started putting my stories down of paper. I have been writing short fiction for about 18 months now, and I’m trying to learn everything I can from those I meet.
I recently took the online fiction writing course by Jeremy C. Shipp and feel like my skills have been honed and my confidence built that I am now sending stories in to various magazines and podcasts. Since the end of the course in April I have had three short stories accepted by different markets.
His favorite author is James P. Blaylock
He listens to:
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History (a crew fave)
100 word story podcast
and “of course, anything done by my small circle of podcasting friends and acquaintances”
When he’s not busy reading he plays the piano, tap dances, camps in the mountains, and plays EVE Online.
Follow him on Twitter as Philip Carroll.