Dream of Rust and Glass; Burton Interview

Of Rust and Glass in more than a publication, it is a community. Our people and their stories make us who we are.

In the case of Dream of Rust and Glass, we asked Midwest writers and poets to do just that: dream. These men and women ask the question, “What if?” and their answers take us to strange, surprising, and surreal new worlds. But who are they? In this Blog series, we are thrilled to introduce you to a selection of Dream’s contributors. It’s not often we lift the proverbial curtain, but these people are more than their work. They are dreamers.

Our second featured author is Barry Burton. Barry lives in Columbus, Ohio. He writes in the wee hours of the morning, before going to work as a physical therapist. This was his first publication, and we are absolutely thrilled to have his story “Turbulent Airspace” included. If you like drones, and fast-paced action, you’ll really enjoy this piece.

An excerpt from “Turbulent Airspace”:

When The Handsome Flyer appeared, Tom thought he was its latest victim. He couldn’t deny that the name the news had given the thief was fitting, now that he was witnessing its work first-hand.

It was a custom-build, clean and silver, with sixteen copter blades and two pairs of modular wings. It looked like it belonged in the sky, the way it effortlessly cut through the air, changed directions on a dime, molded its shape to suit its function.

Tom’s Beetle was boxy and orange, with more legs than copter blades. It looked like it hailed from an earlier and uglier era of drone manufacturing. It was the best he could do on a small fixed income, made smaller by recent medical bills. Initially he wasn’t thrilled about its looks, but it was sturdy and the battery held up for the long hours he sent it out foraging for mushrooms. Its many legs allowed him to crawl over rugged terrain, and its hatchback provided ample storage. By setting up a payment plan, he was able to afford a pair of crude manipulators for handling the mushrooms he found.

The latest victim of The Handsome Flyer turned out to be a sleek black octocopter hauling a sack of groceries.

Tom was relieved but also a bit embarrassed for thinking the city’s most notorious drone thief might bother with his Beetle.

The whole thing only took about ten seconds. The Handsome Flyer flew out of the trees behind the Shop How You Want store. Tom had the Beetle perched on the lip of one of the dumpsters. He was checking to see if anything good had been tossed out. The silver predator flew past and snagged its prey in a Faraday Net and turned back around, flying over again and towards the trees.

It was then that he remembered that the police were paying money for tips accompanied by a picture of The Handsome Flyer…

A chat with Burton:

Question: Besides writing, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?

Answer: Coffee! Black as night. Brewed by pourover whenever possible

Q: What is your inspiration for your writing?

A: Hard to say exactly what sparks each story, but over the years my patients have given me plenty of material to pull from, adapt and twist to fit a story.

Q: Did you know how your story would end when you started writing it? If not, did plans change while writing or did you improvise when you arrived?

A: I typically start a story with an outline, then improvising as needed. That’s how this one went, the ending shifting a little to fit the changing events

Q: What other projects do you have in the works?

A: I’m currently working on another short story in the same “universe” as the one published by Of Rust and Glass, and Tom is it in, as well as the Beetle with some upgrades 🙂

Q: What’s the best (or worst) piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

A: George Saunders – “When you pay attention to [the] sentences, your better nature rises up.”

Q: Where can people find more about your writing?

A: This is my first published story but hopefully not my last! Updates on new stories will be on my twitter @bbwritesstories

Dream of Rust and Glass can be found in print/e-book anywhere you buy your books online. Follow the link below, and delve into Dream to explore worlds created by some of the Midwest’s finest creative minds. Be sure to read Barry’s story, “Turbulent Airspace,” and leave us a review when you’re done!

Dream of Rust and Glass, Speculations from the Midwest

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