Spotlight on Lenora Rogers



Today’s Portals and Pathways spotlight focuses on author and blogger Lenora Rogers.  She’s been working for several years on her novel The Haunting of Simone, and she also has a fascinating blog that can be found at  She’s a fascinating, friendly, talented and giving soul who’s been through a lot, particularly in the last few years.  Here’s Lenora.


1. How did you get started writing? I’ve always loved reading, especially history and the arts. I’ve been promoting authors for years and thought of writing myself but didn’t think I could. But a good friend named Victoria Adams encouraged me to start with a blog. Once my blog on history and the arts was set up, it grew fast. The next thing I knew, I started working on a historical fiction novel.

2. I know you have a large blog following. How did you develop your blog? I blog on things I’m passionate about like history and the arts. Seems there are many people interested too.  My blog followers grew rapidly.

3. What are some of your interests besides writing? Dance, painting, woodwork and many more.

4.I know that you’ve had some pretty tough health problems over the past few years.  Can you give an overview of what’s happened, just for our “Portals and Pathways” readers who don’t know? I had gastric bypass a year and a half ago and was also found to have gastroparesis, it’s where the nerve in your stomach help push your food into intestine which made eating almost impossibly. I went to a gastroenterologist and was also found to have hereditary hemochromastosis, an iron overload disease, also no cure like gastroparesis, so have phlebotomy treatments. I’m still strugging with health.

5. What are some of the things you do to offer support to other writers? I support writers by blogging and in my writers and readers group which has grown to over 21,000 members. I encourage writers of different genres to blog each other.

6. If readers who see this want to donate, how can they help? I have a gofundme link for donations. You can also donate on PayPal at or send a gift card by mail. It has been difficult trying to get healthy. I need help with meds and medical equipment and food and repairs on my car.


  1. What other activities do you enjoy? I love to go metal detecting with my brother on historic places. I’ve been working on my family genealogy for years. I help feed my elderly neighbors when I can.


  1. Any favorite authors you can tell us about? Favorite types of books? Music?  One of my favorite authors came by accident. I found a set of books that were translated from French to English in the 1800’s by author Honore de Balzac. I enjoy reading from many authors and doing reviews. I love to read horror and nonfiction. I love classic rock, blues, jazz and classical music.


  1. Do you have any advice for beginning writers? Follow your heart and find what your passions are. Just start writing when a story comes to you and don’t worry about spelling and other errors….fix that later. Writing and reading are one way I help keep my mind off being sick and getting depressed. It may work the same for you.  Also, always post reviews for authors to show your support.


Thank you so much, Lenora!





Today, the Portals and Pathways interview spotlight falls on my friend and fellow Dark Moon Press author Angel Rae, author of such books as the novel Magick Man and the nonfiction Conversations with the Dead.  She’s a kind soul who believes that connection is more valuable than isolated self-interest, and I agree with her!  Welcome, Angel!

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? I know, a cliched question—but everyone’s answers are always different, so it’s always worth asking

I have written poetry and short stories since I was a teenager but never considered being an “author” until I was approached by Eric Vernor. So, technically, the “urge” to be a professional writer didn’t come until three years ago!

What do you like to read? Have your favorite authors impacted your own work in specific ways?

Spiritual Nonfiction, Paranormal Nonfiction— Paranormal Romance (fiction) Erotic Novels.  J.R. Ward and Christine Feehan have been huge influences on my style of writing fiction novels.

Do you have any favorite books? 

Nature Speak & Animal Speak & Animal Wise by Ted Andrews.

The writer’s craft is often a solitary one.  Is there a value in community for a writer—writer’s support groups, online writing groups and the like?  What do writers stand to gain from interacting with other authors?

I have found author groups to be quite beneficial, in many ways. I love watching the achievements of other writers, feeling excited for them. What they can do gives me fuel to go after my own goals. Authors that support each other, expand together!

How did you find Dark Moon Press? It found me. I wasn’t even looking for a publisher! I was seeking information on how to get a book printed out or self-publish through by asking Michelle Belanger. She had a friend that owned Dark Moon Press and was more than happy to help me get started on getting my book into print form but asked what my book was about. I explained what I wrote and was soon asked to send my work to the owner, Eric Vernor. A few months later, I was a published author!

You use the pen name Angel Rae. Why Angel Rae and nor Angel Vaow?

Very few can pronounce my last name correctly and my middle name is Rae. When asked what I wanted my name to be, I panicked because I hadn’t thought about any of that! Again, I wasn’t planning on publishing any of my work! So, I thought quick and chose my first and middle name. I could have used my whole first name, but again, I didn’t want to take the chance on people not knowing how to pronounce it right. It’s Angelica, by the way!

What’s a subject you haven’t tackled yet that you’d like to write about? Horror! No doubt!

How would you feel about a film or TV adaptation of one of your books? Elated! Although, my fiction is quite “steamy” and unless it’s put on HBO or CINEMAX, it would be “chopped to bits” and I wouldn’t be happy about that!

Do you listen to music when you work? If so, what kind of music?  If not, why not? After several attempts at this, I cannot. I end up singing and losing focus. I’ve tried listening to Native American flute and drumming music, which I love to listen to, but again, lose focus if it’s a really good song. No music for me. Just throw on Netflix, pick a show and let it play in the background. But, it can’t be a new show that I haven’t seen. It has to be something I’ve seen a million times or it distracts me from writing.

Do you have any advice for writers who are just starting out? Don’t stop at one! Keep writing! Even if you can’t finish a book, move onto another, then go back to the unfinished one. Dedication is key! If you truly want to make a career out of writing, then the time must be put into it as if it’s a full-time job…with no vacation or sick days! Journal everything! Characters, scenes, places, names, topics, titles for future books–everything!



Spotlight on Kevin Eads

Today’s spotlight falls on novelist and teacher Kevin Eads, a fellow author of mine at Dark Moon Press.  Kevin’s an incredibly prolific guy with a lot of great, and frightening, ides–but I’ll let him tell you.

Tell me a little about how you got started writing.kevineads

I probably started writing when I was young as I had quite an imagination. It stemmed from growing up on a 40 acre farm in northern Indiana. I was drawn to the spooky and usual. I moved to the city in high school and started rapping. I even recorded three songs…two were used on an independent horror movie soundtrack. After finishing law school, I was inspired to start writing again, and I started writing horror screenplays.


After meeting Eric, (Eric Vernor, Dark Moon Press CEO and founder) I started to write short story collections and novels to submit to him, and now, 20 some books later, I am still at it.

You write in a number of different genres. Do you have any particular favorite authors?

While I write mostly horror, I have dabbled in pulp fiction as well, writing short stories with old 1940’s style private detectives.


My favorite author is probably Ian Fleming. I absolutely love the James Bond novels. I thoroughly enjoyed the way that Mr. Fleming could tell a story.


I also enjoy Edgar Allen Poe. When I was teaching, I always read the Tell Tale Heart to my students before I started class.


One thing that I don’t like is an author who uses too many words to describe anything. I don’t want to read a book that is 1000 pages long. You will lose my attention. Keep it simple but keep it interesting.


How did you find Dark Moon Press?



Eric Vernor was a student of mine at the college where I was teaching. He had recently started Dark Moon Press. We started chatting after class and connected with a love of classic horror films. I talked to him about some of my ideas and he was interested in publishing me. I was happy to work with him.


I will never forget when my first book “The Amulet of Elisabeth Bathory,” came out. While it is not what I would consider one of my best books…as I have improved with each and every year, holding it in my hands was an amazing feeling. I don’t think I can ever really describe what it was like to hold that first book, only that it was amazing.


I actually hope to start my own little publishing company one day, having been inspired by Eric’s work here at DMP. It would be something completely different though, as not to compete against a good friend of mine.

Is there a type of writing you haven’t tried or a subject you haven’t tackled that you’d like to take a shot at?

I had started writing a coming of age comedy set in a grocery store, but I was not able to finish it. I also took a stab at writing an action story, but have yet to finish

I like to play to my strengths, which are largely horror. I add to it of course and have elements of comedy in the stories as I find horror amusing. I also have added romance and political thriller elements to other stories as well.

What’s your favorite way to promote your work?


I like to promote my works in whichever ways I can connect with the fans. I love doing radio interviews and podcasts. I also love going to book signings and horror conventions.


What’s the most important piece of advice you have for new writers?

The first thing that I would say is not to give up. Getting started is rough and can certainly crush your ego at times. The creative process is difficult, challenging and rewarding. Focus on the reward at the end…keep your eyes on the prize. Also, find a good editor, and listen to them. Don’t let it hurt your feelings, instead, use what they are telling you to create a great work of art.

Do you have a particular writing process, or does it vary depending on the genre or subject you’re working with?

It really depends on what I am writing. When I am writing fiction, I run certain ideas through my head at night before I go to sleep. As I have a wild mind and imagination…I don’t sleep well. I probably spend an hour or so at night running the ideas through my head. I do this many nights before I am finally ready to get behind the computer and start writing.


If I am working on non-fiction, much of what I am doing is research. Just like when I was in law school, I have to motivate myself to get behind the computer and pull up some books, and start the research process. Don’t get me wrong, when I get started, I enjoy what I am doing. It can just be a challenge to get started.


Do you have a favorite book?

A favorite book…no I do not. I have quite a few that I like. As I mentioned before, I love all of the Ian Fleming James Bond novels. I find them all an exciting read. I also loved the Raymond Benson James Bond novels that followed in the 1990’s. Mr. Benson tells a story that makes me feel like I am reading Fleming.


As far as horror book though, I would have to say Stoker’s Dracula. I find it fascinating how he told a story through letters, diary passages, and newspaper clippings.


What are some of your interests besides writing?

I enjoy watching old classic horror movies, which should come as no surprise. I enjoy making beer and traveling, especially day trips to wineries, breweries, zoos, amusement parks, and museums.


I think again all that I described as interests helps inspire me as a writer.

What do you think is your greatest strength as a writer, and what one area you most need to work on?

I think that my greatest strength is that I never have a lack of ideas. I have been told by many people, including those who have worked in Hollywood, that I have many outstanding ideas. That though leads to my weakness. I am not a patient person and in the past I had put together stories before they were ready. It is something that I have obviously worked on. I also lack patience waiting on editors.



Spotlight on Eric Vernor



This time, the spotlight falls on my friend and my publisher, noted author, occult researcher and Dark Moon Press CEO Eric Vernor.  Eric’s a kind and fascinating individual with a broad range of writing interests and an unbeatable work ethic.  Welcome to Portals and Pathways, Eric!


  • How did you get started writing? Do you have any specific literary influences?


I started writing back in 2004 with Embracing the Darkness: Understanding Dark Subcultures, when I interviewed people of different alternative lifestyles, like Goths, witches, Satanists and other interests like modern primitives, black metal enthusiasts and BDSM. This was in part to dispel misconceptions that ‘different than normal’ was evil, as a guide for parents, teachers and law enforcement in order to understand the people they might encounter in their careers and also partly a historic reference for those in the culture to better know the particulars of their own background. It took off and I kept researching and writing other dark genres, like the paranormal, vampire history and other related topics.

My literary influences are Gavin Baddeley, who wrote Goth Chic and Lucifer Rising: A Book of Sin, Devil Worship and Rock’n’Roll, because he tackles similar themes in a journalistic fashion. Other influences of mine are Michelle Belanger of The Psychic Vampire Codex, and the fiction series Conspiracy of Angels. I am a big fan of Rosemary Ellen Guiley also.


  • Do you have a process for researching a topic for a new book?


Since the vast majority of my work is academic research or ‘dark sociology’, I typically start with an introduction relating my own reason for having an interest in the topic, then I begin with the oldest known reference to the subject and bring it forward into modern popular culture, while citing various books for citations of my facts and in order to bring it down to a relatable level , I make mention of contemporary films for my reader to connect the with the material.


  • When did you have the idea for starting a publishing company of your own, and what do you think are the advantages of that versus publishing with someone else’s company?


It sort of happened by accident. I didn’t want the stigma of its time period in being a ‘self-published hack’ because I didn’t want an editor’s mighty red pen to strike out one of my interviewees section, so to keep my material mine, I created an imprint called Dark Moon Press. An early mentor, author and now dear friend named Michelle Belanger designed the logo so it would look like a publisher put it out. It became successful and I kept writing, which eventually attracted more authors. Now in twelve years, we have branched out from occult books to science fiction, true crime, romance novels and paranormal with over forty authors, and 240 titles and sell in fourteen countries that I know of.


In being a publisher myself, I have much more freedom in what my book looks like, when it comes out (six months as opposed to two years with a typical publisher) and since I have been published elsewhere, I have a better understanding of what my authors needs are, and what isn’t being done for them that I can provide. As a small press, I can be more directly in contact with them for input, as well as direct contact with distribution like Amazon, stores , and libraries, which translates to faster sales, which helps all parties.  My writers get to help develop their book, from fonts, cover art input and get networking resources like radio interviews, lists of conventions and writers tips from me I share, because most of the time it is a sink or swim job. New authors don’t realize that their career is in their own hands, no matter who publishes you. Being a New York Times level Stephen King is nearly impossible, so I created a writers’ success course and book, So You Want to Be a Successful Writer, to pass on my decade of experience learned the hard way on how to make a good living off being creative instead of working as a labor of love at a hobby, while slaving away at a day job you hate.



  • How would you describe your work ethic? How did you develop that?


My work ethic is roll out of bed, check email and social media, then after getting back with fans, authors and buyers, I place orders for the day and throw myself into cover designs, book formatting, updating my web designer so she can build the publishing site quicker, and then any free time after that I devote to writing my own books, which amounts to roughly six per year.


I developed my work habits by trying to create a system that was efficient for a business and yet gave me time late at night to free my mind of the demands of publishing, so I could be creative without distractions. I paint to be more free flow creative; to loosen up (and it sells via social media to fans), so I am not bogged down with research all the time. I tell people, writing the type of books I do keeps my interest varied, but the method of doing it is much like a thesis paper in college that never stops, so you need something to unwind with.


  • Do you have any particular music you like to listen to when you work?


I avoid music while writing because it takes all my focus to not make mistakes, unless I am painting, in which case I love Nox Arcana, Evanescence and Nightwish. Melodic Goth music helps my mood and art flows easier.



  • What about your artwork? How did you get started with it?


I was always interested in art.  I come from an artistic and musical family. I started off with the Bob Ross method around ten to master backgrounds, and then incorporated figure study and portrait techniques into it to create fantasy and Gothic art, occasionally erotica.



  • Do you have any particular influences in the visual arts?


My influences in art are classical Renaissance artists for realism, and in the modern age, my friend Joseph Vargo was an early influence who taught me his stone techniques (it was a proud moment in my life when he agreed to write the introduction in my art book), the artist Brom, Frank Frazetta, and Luis Royo.



  • Do you have any advice for someone who wants to have a successful career in a creative field?


Never give up on your dreams, first off. Master your skills; either find teachers and mentors or use books and YouTube tutorials to develop techniques. Read the life stories of successful people to get inside their heads; the motivational thinking they share will keep your chin up during the lean years. Do it because you love it, perfect it, and learn marketing and social media tricks. Nobody can just get accidentally discovered; they work hard and get noticed because they fought for it.



  • What are your goals for the coming year?


To grow my business so that 75,000 libraries carry my company’s titles, that all my writers earn a good living doing what they love, and to finish my eighth book of the year. I also want to finish a horror film starring one of my writers, Hollywood actor Robert LaSardo (Nip Tuck, Death Race) and convince Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes, Z Nation)  he needs to take the role I offered him at a couple conventions ago! With Robert and John Dugan (Texas Chainsaws ‘Grandpa’)  already signed, Dark Asylum and its sequel, Hell Hospital, should take off in 2019.



  • What do you think is the best thing you’ve written?


I think Haunted Asylums is one of my best, but I also have a special place in my heart for Embracing the Darkness: A Decade of Darkness, which brought my debut book full circle in a retrospective new edition.



  • Bonus Question: You do a lot of personal appearances every year. Why do you think this is valuable?  Is it something you would recommend to other writers?


Absolutely needed. Without getting out there and meeting fans you miss that personal touch. Fans want to see you, shake your hand, and get that autograph with a smile to connect with you. The networking is vital to your career also, I have meet movie and television stars, the majority of my authors I sign were because I met them at events, and you can always learn tips at events from others who have been doing what you do.

Opening New Doors

Some of you may know that my publisher of the past several years, PDMI Publishing, announced its closing early this year.  Shortly thereafter, I began a search for a new publishing company.  It didn’t take long for me to remember that my friend of some years now, and fellow DragonCon panelist, Eric Vernor, was also in the publishing business, being the CEO of Dark Moon Press in Ft Wayne, Indiana.  Eric signed me without hesitation, and a new edition of my science fiction book “Annah: Children of Evohe, Book One”, is soon to appear from DMP, along with first printings of Book Two, “Annah and the Exiles”, and Book Three, “Annah and the Gates of Grace”, this fall.  Dark Moon largely specializes in horror and occult books, but they are dedicated to, as their website states, “teaching people that differences could be positive and frightening unknowns are merely adventures-in-waiting.”  That mission statement could apply to every book I’ve written.  In addition to this, I’ve known Eric for a number of years now and he is a kind man and tireless in his pursuit of creative excellence and success, for himself and the others he works with.  I’m happy to be a part of Dark Moon, and you should certainly check them out if you’re interested in the darker side of things or in diverse viewpoints and growth in thought.  You’ll find something to enlighten and entertain you.  darkmoonad

Checking In on Daven Anderson


I met my friend and fellow author Daven Anderson when I was first signed to a publishing contract with PDMI Publishing.  Daven was already among the stable of PDMI’s authors, and, since he’s a personable guy and we both write in the same general areas of science fiction and horror, he and I hit it off quickly.  His “Vampire Syndrome”, first in the saga of the same name, is a masterful and innovative variation on the ageless idea of vampires, featuring a protagonist named Jack Wendell, who I can just about guarantee is the only vampire with Down’s Syndrome you’ve ever encountered. I’ve had some good conversations with Daven at book signings and particularly at the Birmingham Local Author Expo and Book Fair in Birmingham, Alabama, home to the historic Tutwiler Hotel, which Daven and I both share a fondness for.  But enough small talk—Daven’s here.


CG: It’s been a little while since we sat down for a chat, and while I wish this was the Tutwiler Hotel, we’ll have to settle for a blog.  So, tell me a little bit about what’s been going on for you in the past year?
DA: I left the day job I held for 26 years, and started a new one. I embarked on a major upgrade and restoration project for my 1960 Plymouth station wagon. I helped transition my 92 year old grandmother to assisted living. Each of these three events constitute more transition in and of themselves, than I’ve had to deal with for many years.


CG: What projects are you currently working on, writing-wise?

DA: “Vampire Invasion”, the concluding volume of the Vampire Syndrome trilogy. From there, I can build on the Vampire Syndrome universe as I please. For instance, the main trilogy never touches on the existence of werewolves, and I have that outlined as a self-contained story. I’m also outlining a story about a young man who lives on a planet where the population is 92% female.

CG: As authors, we are always influenced by things that go on in our lives. We touched on part of this in the first question. Have you done anything really fun, or learned anything new and interesting in the past year?

DA: I finally solved a decades-old mystery this year. When I was little, my great-grandmother said “If the world’s ending, head for Shamballa.” In this case, “Shamballa” being the small mountain town southwest of Sedalia, Colorado.
Adult me, when driving through Shamballa, had always thought it odd that my great-grandma thought this nondescript mountain town would survive the end of the world.
It turns out that the town was founded in 1953 as the Shamballa Ashrama ‘survivalist’ compound, by metaphysicist/occultist Dr. Maurice Doreal.  The compound’s underground cave complex is, of course, not visible from a casual ‘drive-by’ inspection.
It was intended that the residents of the hundred-odd homes in the compound could take quick refuge in the (naturally lead-lined) cave in the event of a nuclear attack sometime around “the year of the Avatar, 1956.”
In the October 1946 issue of “Amazing Stories” sci-fi magazine, Dr. Doreal stated in a published letter that he was moving from central Denver to rural Colorado to wait out the coming nuclear holocaust.  That same year, he told the Rocky Mountain News that he had foreseen the advent of harnessed atomic energy, years before it became public knowledge, during a visit with the (predecessor of the current) Dalai Lama in Tibet.
The compound complex remains closed to outsiders today. It is rumored that Maurice and Sonya Doreal’s vast library of science fiction books (over 30,000 books as of the early 1950’s) remains intact in the complex.


CG: What’s the latest book you’ve read?  Movie you’ve seen?  Do you still find yourself challenged or inspired by things you see , read or hear in the arts?  How, if at all, has this changed since you first thought, “I could write a vampire novel”?

“Auto Biography” by Richard Harris, a masterful fictional recounting of the 57-year life of a 1957 Chevy station wagon, through the eyes of its owners. With its present (2014) owner, outlaw felon Tommy Arney, attempting to finish restoring the car and tracing its owner lineage before the FBI closes in on him. The car’s ‘descent’ from the sunny optimism of 1957 to its current dark, decrepit world is an obvious but very enjoyable metaphor.


CG: I know that you’ve been involved in writing groups in your local area, and I’ve done a bit of this myself, in Knoxville and online.  How do you feel writing groups help beginning writers, or even established ones?  In what way can they be a hindrance?

DA: The goal of critique groups is to get to “the level”.  Almost no one is at “the level” right out of the gate, so you benefit from the sage observations of those who are, or are close to, “the level”. Once you get to “the level”, their input can become detrimental, the work will become over-analyzed, and that’s when you have to move on.


CG: I personally feel like I grow as an author with each new book I write.  I hope my readers feel Annah’s Exile is a step forward from Annah.  How do you feel Vampire Conspiracy reflects a growth in your ability and craft as an author?

DA: Sex, specifically the depictions thereof. Jack doesn’t hook up with his girlfriend in Book One (although the relationship is gradually building during the course of events), because I didn’t want the “love story” to be the main focus. Yet, I also wanted to show that a person with Down Syndrome can have a romantic relationship with a “regular” person. So, Book Two, we have the “hookup” and Jack losing his virginity.

In my universe, the first Human Vampires were created 25,000 years ago, after an exploration vessel from planet Sek’Met crashed on Earth. Since vampirism is transmitted via semen or vaginal fluid, this means the first humans who became Human Vampires had sexual intercourse with said aliens. And when those aliens are super-lethal carnivores who resemble the Nosferatu appearance archetype, one might wonder how a human could possibly find one of the aliens attractive, let alone have sex with them. The best way to answer this was, of course, to have one of my characters have a sex scene with an alien, and the character’s inner monologue during the intercourse makes it clear the experience was as erotic for this character as it was terrifying.
CG: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our Portals and Pathways readers?

DA: Our books (your “Annah: Children of Evohe”, and my “Vampire Syndrome”) are recent additions to Wal-Mart’s inventory.
Of course I am overjoyed at this turn of events, but it does also highlight another thing I never would have expected.
I think I can speak for you, me, and every other PDMI author when I state that one of the most important reasons why I chose to sign with PDMI, versus self-publishing my work, was to have print versions of my work be available for purchase.
In my case, I always dreamed of having my book carried in a certain ‘mom-and-pop’ bookstore in Denver (known for their large selection of vintage books). When I inquired about consignment as a local author, the owner informed me she was shutting down the store’s local author section.
The only new books that store now carries are all titles from the “Big Five” major New York publishing houses.
This was hardly the outcome I envisioned years ago when I first signed with PDMI, that my once-favorite “hole-in-the-wall” store would not carry my novel, but Books-A-Million and Wal-Mart do.
No matter how big PDMI’s distribution may get, or however many books of mine sell, it’s still bittersweet that my initial dream (to be stocked in my once-favorite small bookstore) never came to fruition. A metaphor for how books matter more than money.


CG: Thanks for chatting, Daven!  It’s always a pleasure, my friend.

DA: You’re welcome, Clay.

A Conversation with C.F. Waller



I first made the acquaintance of Charles “C.F.” Waller when we both appeared as guests on the Speculative Fiction Cantina podcast hosted by author S. Evan Townshend.  He’s a personable and knowledgeable fellow, with a good sense of humor and a sharp knowledge of the craft of story. I knew then that I wanted to get ahold of him for a chat here on Portals, and he was kind enough to oblige me.  Waller is the author of six books, most recently a novel called Tourists of the Apocalypse, published in April of this year.


CG: Charles, I greatly enjoyed appearing on the Speculative Fiction Cantina podcast with you back in May.  Since I’ve never featured you on Portals and Pathways before, tell our readers a little bit about what inspired you to become an author, the particular genres that inspire you, and one or two authors who are favorites of yours.

CFW: Michael Crichton is my favorite modern day author (Jurassic Park, The Terminal Man, Prey), although he recently died very young.  I adore Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Grey, Henry James The Aspern Papers, James Joyce’s The Dead or anything by Dashiell Hammett.

I started writing screenplays, then realized no one would read one from a guy with no resume. With seven or eight novels published, I am starting to get some traction, but sticking to books for now.  I may or may not have a screenplay file open on my laptop somewhere, but that’s classified.

CG:  Science fiction is a genre that has been around for much longer than most people realize, I think, and shows no signs of losing its appeal.  What do you think is responsible for the ongoing appeal of SF—not only in the literary realm but in other media as well?


CFW: I’d like to think we crave it because of astounding advances in science that open our minds to new possibilities #OPTOMISTIC.  In truth, we are deluged with Star Trek/Star Wars/Marvel Universe movies at present.  I enjoy them, but am always looking for the small budget novel/movie with something to say.  My favorite small budget science fiction movie of all time is Primer, written, directed and starring Shane Carruth.  If you haven’t seen it plan on watching it 20 times and after the first time turn the director’s commentary on to catch up.


CG: As authors, we don’t write in a vacuum.  I know I always find myself inspired by the art that I’m currently experiencing. What’s the most recent book that you read and enjoyed?  Most recent film?  Piece of music?


CFW: I read so many pre-release (Beta version) books for other authors that I almost never read the final polished product.  The best thing I have read/seen recently was a movie/screen play by Alex Garland called Ex Machina.  I was so taken by it, I downloaded the screenplay to read.  It’s one of the most thought provoking works of the past few years.  I have watched it 20 plus times.


I laughed when you asked about music.  I listen to a lot of Taylor Swift.  Yes, I saw you all cringe!  #SHAKEITOFF


CG: What are some of your pastimes and passions outside of the world of writing?  Is there something besides being an author that you’ve thought about trying, but never have?

CFW: My wife and I play Yahtzee and watch a lot of Gordon Ramsey cooking shows.

I have had several careers along the way, but am happy to stick close to home these days.  If I could have a do-over on life, I might try running for political office although that might be a carryover from binge watching seven seasons of The West Wing recently.


CG: What’s your advice for any beginning writers who might read this?  Also, is there a particular book on writing that you’ve found useful?

CFW: There are a few things I wish I had understood in the beginning.

The first thing you write will be rubbish so keep writing new things and laugh about it later.

Make sure you cover is poster quality/professional and don’t publish a manuscript that’s awash in grammar errors.  It’s sad, but true that people buy with their eyes.

Don’t try and find a publisher.  Self-Publish and then write something else.  Don’t spend a year trying to promote and sell an early work.  Put it out there and move on.

You will get bad reviews.  Instead of being upset, read them and try to learn something.  If a book has all 4-5 star reviews, then only friends of the family read the book.  I cherish my 1-2 stars’ reviews as it proves that on the whole, the reviews I have are factual.

The best writing book I have found is the Fiction Writing Journal Handbook by Robin Woods and Tamar Hela.   It’s key to my writing process at the beginning.




CG: What projects are you currently working on?

CFW: My November release is in final edit.   It’s titled The Conduit: A Tale of Resurrection (The name tells you all you need to know).

I am working through the first draft of a Spring 2017 release.  It’s an Aeronautical themed techo-thriller.  I have been doing a lot of flying in friend’s private planes and receiving back stage tours in airports this year in preparation.  If the books as much fun to read, as the research was to do, it will be great.  It’s tentatively titled Waypoint.


CG: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our Portals and Pathways audience?

CFW: Sure . . . Cats over Dogs, Onion Rings over Fries, Palm Trees over Evergreens and always eat a second piece of cake.


Thank you so much for taking the time and thought to answer these, Charles—it’s much appreciated.


If you’d like to read C.F. Waller’s work—and I want to read it all—you can find his Amazon page here:

His website is located here:

And you can find the edition of “The Speculative Fiction Cantina” podcast, on which Charles and I were both interviewed, at this link: