Friday, December 9, 2011

Remington and the Mysterious Fedora by Chuck Waldron - Interview: Pump Up Your Book Tour Stop

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


Tell us about your current release.

Remington and the Mysterious Fedora had one of those accidental beginnings.  A young, writing friend casually remarked that he had never seen a manual typewriter.  Could it be that something as ubiquitous in my school and working life was now destined to be a museum exhibit?  With that thought I started to imagine a character, like my friend, who found one.  He just had to have a fedora to go along with it.  After all, didn’t all the newspaper reporters in those period films wear fedoras while they typed? 

Tell us about your next release.

In the dystopic near future young Matt uncovers a horrifying truth, far beyond anything he can imagine.  He has to make a choice.  Does he have the guts to lay bare the facts of the story?  He starts a new blog called Vérité, claiming to be in search of truth, a scarce commodity in his world.  A tipster warned him of a plan to destabilize the country by causing social unrest, then using that as an excuse to implement a plan that will rid cities of people deemed undesirable, unwelcome.  As the events unfold, Matt finds the city he loves dramatically changed.  Riots and civil unrest have taken a toll.  Familiar landmarks have been damaged or destroyed.  Afterward the city’s infrastructure is slowly being restored, but something called Cleansweep is moving quickly to fill the vacuum, implementing surveillance, taking targeted people into custody, and much worse may be happening than arrest and detention.  This is intended for the thoughtful reader, a novel that will hold the reader until the end, to learn Matt’s future.  Will it be hope, or only despair?  Will the future be a place where a predetermined matrix will be used to screen citizens, judging their value to society?  Will he become an analog man in the digital age, able to defeat the high-tech world of his enemy by using low-tech methods?  Readers, who enjoyed reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and similar stories, will like The Lion’s Head Deception.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Someone once said, “the beginning is easy, what comes next is hard.”  When the idea for a novel starts to take form in my mind, there is often an ‘ah ha’ moment that points to a beginning.  Characters start to populate the story outline and there is the hint of the dangers the characters will face and have to resolve.  There may even be a glimpse of how the story will end.  Then there’s the sweaty part.  That’s what I call the 92% of a writer’s work, figuring out how to make it interesting to get from the beginning to the end.  That’s where a writer has to be prepared for the heavy lifting; the discipline needed to keep putting one word in front of the other.   

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I am fortunate to have a respected colleague with an ability to tell me where my writing weaknesses are.  I also belong to three writing groups focusing on critiques.  Sometimes it’s painful to have glaring mistakes pointed out, but I have learned to listen well.  The author always has the final say and can always reject criticism, but to do so is risky indeed.  Compliments about my writing are great, but well-aimed critical comments…priceless.   

Plotter or Pantser? Why?

Plot is important, no doubt about that.  But, for me, plot is like an outline or a triptych.  That said, I need to write by the seat of the pants and I guess that makes me a Pantser.  When I try to follow a rigid plot line my stories keep taking unanticipated twists and turns, directions I hadn’t predicted.  Sometimes I look back at the original outline to find my characters kept pretty much true to the overarching plot, but fortunately I felt free enough to let them take the lead.

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

With apologies to Bogie in High Sierra, “formula, don’t need no stinking formula.”  I’m working on my fourth novel and tried to think about a formula.  Like I said about being a Pantser, I have a storyline in mind, but my characters take over.  I live with characters for days and even weeks before they come alive to me.  Their age, gender, profession, personality, and other things that make us up, are the breath of life for my characters.  Sometimes I tell them what to say and do, and sometimes they tell me.  I like it when my characters hit a brick wall, bounce back, and figure a way around.

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?

Writers learn the craft by writing.  If they’re lucky they get some respectful criticism that will help them improve.  Some learn by earning a degree in fine arts and all the technical aspects of the craft.   Readers value a good story, well told.  To become a writer of a well-told story, write, write, and write some more.  Then get trusted criticism and start rewriting.

Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?

There are so many on my list: James Jones, Winston Churchill, Richard Ketchum, and Harper Lee come to mind at once.  But it you held my hand over a flame to made me pick, I would say John Le Carré.  His novels unfold like the layers of an onion, each layer yielding more of the story, until the essence is revealed.  Impatient readers drawn to a fast pace, choosing something in the style of a Ludlum novel instead of one by Le Carré, will miss a nuanced storyline.  At the end of one of his books I am left with the feeling that not a single word needed to be added or taken away. 

What would we find under your bed?

Plot Bunnies.  Some people think they’re mythical creatures, but they’re real.  They are the ideas for the stories that refuse to go away.  Once a plot bunny came from under my bed and began to nibble at my brain with a story idea.  I woke up and start typing.  Blot bunnies aren’t scary.  They’re magical creatures helping us in our quest to write a novel.  As a bonus…they chase dust bunnies away.

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!



U.S. born Canadian novelist, Chuck Waldron is currently working on his fourth novel, a dystopic story 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 begin to whisper a story to him, the young man has a strange adventure indeed.

The third novel, Served Cold, spans decades and stretches from the quiet countryside of rural Ontario to a serene artists' studio in Arizona, with lots of murder and mayhem in between. 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.

He and his wife, Suzanne, divide their time between Kitchener, Ontario and
Port St. Lucie, Florida

"I grew up 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 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 novel number four well underway. Do they share anything in common? Each has its own unique voice and tale to tell, some in the old style and some in the flavors of Chunky Monkey and Marshmallow-Cherry swirl. Yet, at their heart, my stories tell a tale of the human condition – the good, the bad and the ugly.

My literary roots, planted in the American Midwest, thrived when transplanted – over thirty-nine years ago – to the rich, cultural soil of Ontario. Warmed by a Florida sun, I now divide my winters between Port St. Lucie and Port St. Joe. Those roots have grown to become the life I’ve always dreamed of having: writer, dreamer and storyteller. Who could ask for more?"

You can visit Chuck at and at  Visit him at Twitter at and Facebook at 


Monday, December 12
Tuesday, December 13
Wednesday, December 14
Interviewed at Review From Here

1 comment:

Admin said...

Thank you for hosting Chuck today, Laurie!