Smoking With David H. S. Hubert

Read the Story December 15, 2004

With so many years spent in the Army, you must have seen parts of the world and experienced things that most of us don’t ever consider. Are there stories you feel you must get down, and are you more aware of the historical possibilities of fiction?

Very perceptive question to open up with. It was because of places I went and things I saw that I began writing. My first stories were built from journal entries made during deployments to Desert Storm and Somalia. There are still some left untold, but they are the touchstone for much of the power in my stories. As to the historical possibilities, my belief is that I owe my reader the benefit of my experience. Perhaps the only way to offset the effects of modern journalism is through experiential fiction.

Has retirement allowed you to write in a different way?

Retirement—something I highly recommend—has allowed me to concentrate on some goal setting. While still a soldier, there was always a certainty in the back of my mind that I would have to drop everything and go to another crisis. Since I’ve retired, I am relatively certain that my time will be my own.

The beauty of Missouri is something of a secret. What drew you to that place and does setting usually play a big part in your work?

My duties drew me to Missouri. Fort Leonard Wood is the home of the Engineers and I was in and out of the place several times during my career. I grew up in rural England and in Western Kansas and the beauty of relative isolation has never been lost on me. I mentioned goals earlier. One of my goals is to be known as the crazy old man who occasionally takes pot shots at the mailman.

What keeps you writing?

I must write.

What do shorter works provide for you that longer stories don’t?

Short fiction to me is the ultimate venue for exhibiting the power of every single word. The economy and discipline one must use to create a story in a few hundred words is an awesome task. I’ve tried longer works, and will try them again, but I often feel like I’m losing control of the piece as it grows.

About the Author:

Mr. Hubert's fiction has appeared in numerous venues and he was a finalist in the 72nd Annual Writers Digest Writing Competition. Mr. Hubert recently retired from the U.S. Army and resides on a farm in rural Missouri.

About the Artist:

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison's work here.