My Interview with C.F. Waller
C.F.: I´m always up to interviews, etc.
Me: And I´m glad you join me in this adventure. This is my third interview and I´m having so much fun elaborating the questions for each and every author and/or artist who comes to join me in this venture.
C.F.: Here you go.
Me: Looking through your profile I see that you've got plenty of awards. How does that sound in your ear, to have that feeling of satisfaction, and to be laureate with so many accomplishments? I am so jealous of you now.
C.F.: No one was more surprised than myself when I won last year. The contest entries were made more for the experience than any expectation of winning. When both books won it was surreal. I think the feeling is just validation. My friends tell me they like the work, but until someone outside of your circle validates that opinion, it isn’t real.
Me: It looks like a dream coming true. I was quaterfinalist once on Amazon Breakthrough Novel Competition. I´ve got a review from one of the jury there, but I did not win an award for it; so I couldn´t validate that experience until I saw how hard that is to get there.
C.F.: By the way, I always wondered how Authors got the nerve to put “Award Winning Author” in front of their name. Now I know.
Me: It was after suffering a near-death experience that you decided to write a novel. Tell me more about it.
C.F.: Spent a month in Egypt back in 2007 and on the way back over the Atlantic the plane hit “wind shear” and took three parabolic drops. People were bouncing off the ceiling and having drink carts dropped on them. An absolutely terrifying experience. I took out an exit sign on one of my bounces off the ceiling and brought it home after. It hangs over my bathroom mirror as a reminder to value and enjoy every day.
Me: And do you still travel by plane or that nearly crash caused you to avoid airlines completely?
C.F.: After the incident I flew quite a bit assuming the odds it would happen again was slim. I fly only when necessary now. I have a lot of anxiety about it.
Me: How do you research? Do you travel to places, or are you a "library rat"? By the way, being a sci-fi author myself, I do both. Isn't that the best excuse to go visit libraries around the world?
C.F.: I spend weeks just surfing topics and watching documentaries on possible subjects. As a rule, there’s a month of full time research invested in each novel. I’m a little agoraphobic and don’t leave the house much, thus no libraries.
Me: As a hurricane shutter engineer and living in the east coast have you ever had to face a real hurricane? And I am not talking about a storm, but THE perfect tempest ever?
C.F.: In 2004 before Hurricane Charley arrived I hopped a flight back to Michigan two weeks before it hit. There have been some storms, but never anything dangerous. I must not be too fearful as I live right on the water now.
C.F.: Palindrome was the file name on WORD FILE in the first draft. There were five or six drafts and the number (656) was just the file numbers. In that treatment for the book all the towns and some people’s names were palindromes (ie: ANNA, HANNAH or EVE) that fit into a plot line puzzle. For the most part none of that puzzle made it into the final cut. When it was later picked up by my publisher and re-edited I recommended a name change, but they liked Palindrome. Go Figure?
Me: I love the covers of your books. Can you please tell how was the creative process to decide which cover you would use?
C.F.: It’s a steep learning curve. For all the time I spend writing a book, the reality is a good cover can be the difference between selling and not. I just try to get the best art I can find and go from there. A good cover or book trailer can be a huge benefit. I recommend all authors do Book Trailers if only for the experience.
Me: I know this question will be hard for any writer to answer, but I have to ask you anyway: Which book do you feel the fondest of? Not necessarily the best ever written, but one that took you some time to overcome the fact that you have finished it and then felt a kind of near-death experience from it.
C.F.: I am always in love with the last thing published. With only five, going on six, published books each one is an evolutionary step. Anything written more than a year ago I wince when reading it.
My favorite is SOUTH FACE. The research was so involved that it sticks with me.
C.F.: Oddly FREE DIVE (the 3rd book I wrote) is far and away the pick of everyone I know. It’s flawed in so many ways, but readers love it. I had to cut the book some slack after it won a Readers Favorite Award last year. Standing on a stage and getting handed something has a drastic effect on your attitude.
Me: And you must be very proud of your achievements. The validations that you get along the way just prove that your works are worth every award they receive. Much appreciated you having the time well spent chatting with me. Hope to see you in many more adventures.
C.F. Waller Amazon Page