Interview with Chuck Waldron, author of 'Remington & The Mysterious Fedora'

U.S. born, Canadian novelist Chuck Waldron is currently working on his fourth novel, a thriller about an investigative blogger who uncovers more than he ever imagines…and has no idea what to do with his discovery.

His first novel, Tears in the Dust, is a mystery set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War in 1937. When Alestair Ferguson volunteers to fight in the International Brigade he doesn’t realize the true price he will have to pay. Chuck’s second novel, Remington and the Mysterious Fedora, is a quirky fantasy, a story about what happens when a young man sits at the keyboard of a manual typewriter and puts on an old fedora. When the fedora and its mysterious power begins to whisper a story to him, the young man has a strange adventure indeed. His third novel, Served Cold, spans decades and stretches from the countryside of rural Ontario to a quiet artists’ studio in Tucson, Arizona. With lots of murder and mayhem in between, the story is what happens when a long-standing feud erupts into hot-blooded vengeance.

Chuck wrote over thirty short stories before setting out to write novels that are affordable and entertaining. He has attended writing workshops in Iowa, Florida, Georgia and Ontario, Canada.

“I grew up,” Chuck said, “listening to my grandfather, an Ozark Mountain story teller, spinning tales of the caves on his farm, describing them as hiding places once used by the Jesse & Frank James’ gang. It didn’t matter if the stories were true or not. Those legends set fire to my imagination, creating images that emerged slowly over the years, finally igniting as my short stories and novels.”

Now, thirty-plus short stories and three novels later, ideas keep coming, with more novels under development. Do they share anything in common? Each has its own unique voice and tale to tell, yet, at their heart, his stories tell about the human condition – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Chuck adds, “stored images that echo in my writing include train whistles in the night, Norman Rockwell childhood scenes, U.S. Army memories, blue collar jobs, university, a professonal career, and finally retirement. Many of my images are drawn from this pool of memories: places visited, sights seen, and people met. The rest I filled in with my imagination: dreams of places yet to be visited, sights yet to be seen, and people yet to be met.”

His literary roots were planted in the American Midwest and thrived when transplanted – over thirty-nine years ago – to the rich, cultural soil of Ontario. He and his wife, Suzanne, spend their summers in Kitchener, Ontario and are warmed by a winter sun in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

You can visit Chuck at http://www.writebyme.ca and at www.chuckwaldron.com. Visit him at Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/writebyme and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/wordstir.

About Remington & The Mysterious Fedora

Surprise is in store when, in the back of a strange used goods store, Josh finds an old Remington typewriter and a fedora with some very mysterious powers. As Josh embarks on his first novel writing adventure, he finds that his new hat has its own story to tell – of a time before history began – and is quite demanding of Josh’s attention. As the story consumes him, Josh’s life begins to unravel, and he soon finds he is unable to separate himself from the hat and the story. When the last page is written, Josh is left with more questions than answers…both about the story and his own life.

Read the first chapter here.

Giveaways, Contests & Prizes!

To celebrate the release of Chuck Waldron’s new fantasy novel, Remington & The Mysterious Fedora, he is offering one free paperback copy of his book at Pump Up Your Book’s 1st Annual Holiday Extravaganza Facebook Party on December 16. More than 50 books, gifts and cash awards will be given away! Click here for details!

Q: Welcome to the Writer's Life, Chuck. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Remington and the Mysterious Fedora?

I’m told I wrote my first short story when I was 8 years old. My creative writing journey really began twenty-five years ago with a class in writing the short story. In 2004 I decided to turn one of those stories, Tears in the Dust, into a novel. Remington and the Mysterious Fedora came next.

Q: I love your title! Can you tell us why you chose it?

When a young man said he had never seen a typewriter I realized how close we are to consigning typewriters to history’s dustbin. Imagine, something that was once so ubiquitous only lives on through the QWERTY keyboard on computers, tablets and Smartphones. That thought led me to imagine a young man finding a typewriter and putting it back into good repair. Then he found a fedora with the power to whisper a story as he typed. He thought the fedora and story would be the stepping stone to fame as a writer. He was about to discover the price he might have to pay.

Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

I want my books to entertain, amuse, challenge and create a diversion for my readers. I write stories for myself first. When I am satisfied I want to share them with readers. Remington and the Mysterious Fedora is a fun read, meant to be enjoyed.

Q: We all know that publishers can’t do all of the publicity and that some lies on the author. What has your publisher done so far to publicize the book and what have you done?

I am an Indie Author and as my own publisher I have to accept the challenge of publicizing my novels. Book signings, a web site, book fairs, and social media marketing are my ways to reach readers. It’s a long, slow process, but as a writer with precious little financial resources I pick and choose carefully.

I am always ready to speak to any group, book club, or interested organization about my writing.

My motto is “one book at a time.”

Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

I’ve searched for a comparison without much luck. One comparable book is Consolation by Michael Redhill. Another is the Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. If a reader is looking for a novel with a contemporary setting in parallel with a story set in a time before history, this will be the special book for them.

Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

Blaze, named after her job as fire starter, is being taught the secret of navigating by the stars. Stargazer will soon be dead and is passing the skill on. The problem is that his teaching her the secrets is a dangerous undertaking and goes against the rules.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

I am almost finished writing The Lion’s Head Deception, a dystopian story about a blogger who uncovers a frightening conspiracy that threatens to destroy his city. He has to decide if he has the courage it will take to expose the conspiracy, perhaps at the cost of his own life.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Chuck. Do you have any final words?

To my readers, thank you for your support and kind words. To my future readers, I hope you enjoy reading Remington and the Mysterious Fedora as well as my other novels. To my writing colleagues, keep writing.

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