Interview with Stanley C Straub

Author of The Trail in the Woods


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How would you describe The Trail in the Woods to a new reader?
  • The Trail in the Woods is a thrilling Science Fiction book which will keep you reading right up to the last chapter. The ending will catch you completely off guard.
To what extent is The Trail in the Woods based on your own experiences?
  • The Trail in the Woods isn't based on any of my experiences, other than I lived in a small town with lots of woods all around it when I was very young and Oregon is full of woods. The setting for my story comes from my experience of living here in Oregon.
The Trail in the Woods is a good example of this genre. Who has inspired you?
  • The Trail in the Woods is a good example of the Science Fiction genre. I have been inspired by Stephen King and many other Science Fiction writers, like Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. I've also been inspired by Dean Koontz, a master storyteller.
You make good use of locations in the book – there’s a real sense of place. Are these locations significant for you?
  • The locations in my book are those that I'm familiar with here near where I live in Oregon.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors? How would you advise a new author about traditional publishing versus self publishing?
  • I would advise aspiring authors to write and don't quit until you've completed at least one book. If you want to see your book in print, I would advise you to go the self-publishing route. However, I would do as I did and first submit your book to traditional publishers. You can try 20 or 30 of them and then, if you don't get a traditional publisher's interest, do self-publishing.
Which authors do you most admire? Which qualities, in particular, have influenced your writing?
  • The authors that I most admire are Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and Ray Bradbury. They are excellent writers and do a great job of plotting their stories to keep the readers in suspense.
The Trail in the Woods is a thrilling read, a real page turner. How important was it to you to write with pace and energy?
  • The Trail in the Woods is a thrilling read and a real page-turner. To keep the plot flowing and fresh in my mind it was important to write with pace and energy.
If The Trail in the Woods were to be adapted for TV or film, who would you see in the lead role? Who did you have in your mind’s eye when you wrote him/her?
  • If The Trail in the Woods were to be adapted for TV or film, I'd like to see Johnny Depp in the lead role.
How have readers responded to The Trail in the Woods?
  • Readers have said they liked the book and the story. I've had a couple of negative reviews but that's to be expected. Most of the reviews have been positive. I use negative reviews to improve my writing.
Where next? What are you working on now?
  • I'm currently working on my latest Science Fiction book, The Terminus List.
    Description:  At the year-end extravaganza held in the year 2999, Brad Florin became a statistic.  He was terminated by liberated punctuation, a fancy made-up term for killed to keep the population under control    One year later, in 3000 the names of the new chosen ones was published for all to see.  Whose names will be listed and who will get to go to the extravaganza parade and then be led to the glorious extermination stations during the Super Sunday halftime celebration.  Barbara Freeman, Age 16 was one of the "supposedly" lucky names chosen for the 3000 Millennium celebration, which is to be held during the Super Sunday halftime show.  During the show which will be broadcast for the world to see, Barbara and several thousand more are planned to be terminated.  Most of them are willing and happy to be part of the termination process, but Barbara and her folks are not.  Can Barbara escape her impending fate?
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Something or someone has encapsulated an entire valley on Earth. The valley is called “The Valley of the Gods” and is given a perfect environment for people to live in. The valley is like a Garden of Eden and designed as an ideal place for an experiment. People hiking on a trail towards the valley have disappeared over the years and never been heard from again. Even the search parties that went looking for the missing people disappeared. Something evil lives on the trail and controls the valley. Two childhood friends set out on a courageous adventure to hike the abandoned overgrown trail to see if they can find out what has happened to the people. The two hikers have to use machetes to get through the thick brush on the trail. While on the trail, they are captured and are taken to the valley to live. In the valley, they meet people with gills and come face-to-face with the one who runs the valley, “The Tribulator”. He's a Charles Manson type who thinks he is God. It's a fight for survival for the two hikers as they fight the evil forces controlling the valley. The fate of humanity hangs in the balance as the two hikers fight for their lives.