Author Phil Giunta is a regular fixture at GLVWG, and will share his advice on Writing the Compelling Short Story at The Write Stuff Conference™, Saturday, March 25, 2017. GLVWG’s Dawn Sooy does the honors by asking a few questions about Phil’s life as an author.
DS – I recently saw a short story of yours (Tower Sixteen), won second place in the Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest. What was the inspiration to write this story?
Phil – I’ve always been fascinated with the WWII fire control towers (commonly known as observation towers) that were constructed along the Delaware coast. Currently, only one is open to the public near Fort Miles in Cape Henlopen State Park and every time I go there, I climb the spiral steps 75 feet to stand at the top and look out upon the park, the ocean, and the Delaware Bay. It’s a gorgeous view.
Long before Cat and Mouse Press started their annual writing contest four years ago, I knew I wanted to write a short story about those towers, but the idea just hadn’t come to me. I was usually buried in several other writing and editing projects. Then in March 2016, a friend reminded me about the writing contest and I learned that the theme for that year was Beach Nights. That’s when it hit me immediately—a ghost story! Most of my paranormal tales have a lot of heart and emotion. I wanted this story to be no different, plus it had to honor our military and those who served at Fort Miles. I know “Tower Sixteen” accomplished all of the above. How do I know this? I was told the ending brought one of the contest judges to tears. Who can ask for anything more?