In Your Next Beach Read, we want to introduce you to a new author every day in June in the hopes that you’ll find the next book you want to take with you to the beach, the pool, or the comforts of air conditioning.
Today’s author is Joe Tankersley, author of Reimagining Our Tomorrows: Making Sure Your Future Doesn’t SUCK.
What’s your name and where are you from?
Joe Tankersley. Originally from Nashville Tenn., but I’ve lived in Central Florida since the mid-80s
How long have you been writing? How did you start?
Somewhere there is a really, really bad sci-fi short story that I wrote when I was in 10th grade. Pretty sure it was a direct rip-off of Starship Troopers (Robert Heinlein) or some other space adventure that I read too many of in my youth.
Who are some of your influences?
All the classical sci-fi writers, (Heinlein, Bradbury, Asimov, Clark) plus the cyber-punk writers (Gibson, Sterling,) I was an English major in college in Atlanta, so I have a fondness for the great southern writers as well.
What is your book about?
Reimagining Our Tomorrows is a collection of short stories that envision possible futures. Less science fiction and more speculative nonfiction. The stories are all based on research and imagine some of the ways we might live, love, work and play in the future.
Where did you get the idea?
I’ve worked as a futurist for the past decade. I found stories are a great way to get people thinking and talking about possible futures and what they can do to shape their future.
How long did it take you to finish it?
Too long….about 18 months.
Is this your first book, or have you written more than one?
First book, although I’ve had screenplays produced in an earlier life.
We all like to write about people we know, even if we never name them. Who are some people who inspired characters or situations?
All the characters in my work are fictional and not intended to represent any real persons, living or dead. Having said that the characters in a story called; “Al Dreamed of a Viking Funeral” are drawn from some very close friends, that I plan to grow old with. Many of the character names in the book are taken from friends and family, mainly because I am lazy.
What’s your favorite scene in the book?
My favorite story in the book is called “Gabby in Paradise.” It’s about a young girl discovering first love, set in a coastal community that has relearned how to connect humans with the natural world. What better reason can we have for creating a positive future than the opportunity for future generations to grow up and fall in love? I’m a big softie….
What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever got?
All first drafts are terrible, get over it and get writing.
What’s the worst?
I am really turned off by all the “experts” selling the idea that you can write a book in 3 weeks, or 3 days. Good writing takes time and work. Selling people on the idea that they can write a best seller overnight is criminal.
Where can we buy your book?
Reimagining Our Tomorrows: Making Sure Your Future Doesn’t SUCK is available in print and ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks. You can also download a free excerpt at my website, JoeTankersley.com.
Joe Tankersley is a writer, futurist, and advocate for better tomorrows. At various times he has worked as a screenwriter, filmmaker, educator, and bartender. The only job he has ever held for more than two years was with Walt Disney Imagineering. During his 20-year career working for The Mouse, he wrote and produced theme park attractions at Walt Disney World and led WDI’s strategic foresight group.
When he’s not staring at a blank computer screen he works as a consultant to nonprofits and community groups, helping them to imagine better tomorrows. Joe and his lovely wife Susan (the responsible one) live in Winter Springs, Florida where, if current trends continue his future grandchildren will inherit beach front property.