For this months interview, I interviewed a disabled combat veteran Chris Love whose pen name is C A Love. Now 35 years old, Chris lives in upstate NY with his wife and four children. Chris has been a stay at home dad since 2010. A hero receiving a purple heart, I talked to Chris about his debut book.
What books have you published and what is coming soon?
Hi Elizabeth, I've published City of Red: Part 1 / The Machetti Legacy. The next book is called Book 1…City of Red: Part 2. That is set for an April/May 2020 release. The Machetti Legacy will consist of six books beginning somewhat in 1940 and end in the 2020s. In addition to those two, I plan to release City of Demons: Part 1 and 2 and then City of Dead Kings: Part 1 and 2. So I have a busy time ahead!
You've got a plan for the next year ahead! Tell me a little about yourself!
I have lived in Theresa, NY for four years now. That’s located in upstate NY and I’ve been here Upstate since 2006, thanks to the Army. I was stationed at Fort Drum from 2006-2010. I exited the Army from combat-related injuries. By then I had already met my wife, Lila, and now we live in Theresa together with our four kids, Connor, Lucy, Charlie, and Henry, and Dallas, my cat. I have a few hobbies. I like playing video games, Xbox, PlayStation, that sort of stuff. I like to read, and occasionally I’ll get the urge to pull out a canvas and try to paint. I absolutely love Bob Ross and it's my goal to someday be able to at the very least make a tree like he does.
What got you into writing?
I have always been creative in that way. I never could draw. I loved to read when I was a kid, primarily comic books. All that ramped up my imagination and I began to write stories about my favourite comic book characters. I began trying to write fantasy fiction and formed the “dream” of being a published author in my pre-teen years. That again progressed later in life while I was deployed to Afghanistan. I began to write in my downtime, again fantasy fiction, but I never completed the story. Writing is very much a maturity process. It wasn’t until I was married and had the things that really matter speak to me (family), and then I began to work on what was the original idea for City of Red: Part 1. That was 10 years ago now.
It seems many Indie author's fall into writing in our thirties and forties. What’s the main thing you love and hate about writing?
What I love most about writing is just the actual sitting down in front of the screen and getting it all out. Sometimes I get so much in my head I’m buzzing in my mind and it's just such a relief to express all that.
What I hate most about writing is editing. I count proofreading in that as well. I hate all that. As an indie author, I had to do it all myself. I must have read my book ten times, forwards and backwards and out of order because I just got so burned out. Even then there are mistakes in it.
I agree self-editing is a major boo boo! But worth it in the end! Who is the worst villain you’ve ever written, and why?
So far, the worst villain I have written would be Mayor Thaddeus French. In the City of Red: Part 1 he is the mayor of Cold Harbor City. He’s a horrible, 1970’s thug/politician that abuses and rapes his own wife. As everything I write has greater meaning, the child born from that scene will eventually grow to become a main character in the series.
He sounds a dreadful power-hungry man! What is next on your list to write/publish?
City of Red: Part 2 is next and set to release somewhere in the April/May window. I’m working with Miblart now to produce another amazing cover. They did the cover for City of Red: Part 1. In 2-3 weeks it will be revealed. After that, I’m not sure. Part of me wants to jump to another story I have in the burner, then I also just want to stay in this world with these characters until the series is completed in full. One special project I’m working on is with my wife, Lila. We are going to publish a children’s picture book called Lovely Lucy Goes to School sometime later this year. Illustrations are about to begin. It will be available on Amazon once it’s published.
I have to say Chris, that is wonderful the project with your wife. Who is your favourite author, and why?
I would have to say, John Marco. Two reasons why. I found the first book in his bronze knight series on a shelf in a Burlington Coat Factory in Burlington, NC once. It was a time in my life where I wasn’t too happy. I found this huge book called The Eyes of God. I thought, huh, weird name, but the cover looks like fantasy fiction and nothing to do with, you know, God. I read that book in 2 weeks on my granny’s couch. On top of the emotional aspect that attaches me to his work, I love his writing. After finishing the bronze knight trilogy, I picked up his other trilogy, tyrants and kings. And I loved it.
Who encouraged you the most to write?
I wouldn’t say anyone actually encouraged me. Just a lot of positive reinforcement in my life. Such as, if I work hard at it, I can do it, stay out of trouble and you can attain it type lessons.
That's an in-depth revelation, keep writing to stay out of trouble. Are you as avid a reader as a writer?
I’m not an avid reader! I wish I was though. I never have time, or when I do have time to read my mind is working on my own story.
What’s your favourite genre?
Fantasy fiction is maybe my most favourite genre. I like to jump around though. I like westerns, horror, crime family drama’s, sci-fi, even some young adult books (primarily Star Wars).
Sci-fi is one of my naughty secrets, I am the owner of 90% of the Dragonlance books! Shhh I didn't tell you that! Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what type? Or can’t you stand background noise when writing?
I have listened to music while I write. Some music I’ve listened to are Imagine Dragons and Grace Vanderwaal. Grace is the young girl that won America’s Got Talent a few years ago. Her music is very relaxing and allows me to almost do blackout writing (where I’m writing basically without even thinking about what I’m writing). I don’t know if anyone knows what I’m talking about. You’re in such a zone that the creativity flows from fingers to keyboard with little to no effort.
I think most authors would understand the blackout zone, I know I certainly do. If you could interview any famous author who would it be and why?
Mathew Pearl. I’d like to ask him how he had time to write The Dante Club while he was attending law school.
Tell me a secret that none of your fans know!
I’m a gamer. I love video games. I have an Xbox one and am currently playing Dragon Age: Origins, Shenmue from the Sega Dreamcast era, Destiny 2, Anthem, all that.
Tell me what your main character would say about you!
Alfonso Machetti would say… “He’s an okay guy. A little f**ked in the head, but he’s good.”
You're not alone there Chris! Welcome to the world of mad, insane authors! Finally, any words of advice?
Three things. If you’re an indie author like me and have yet to publish your first book, I recommend two things. Amazon’s kindle direct publishing. To publish a book so easily is great, especially if you’re like me and took a decade to finish one novel. Also, I recommend Miblart to do your book covers. They are great to work with, the prices are the best I’ve seen, and their work is top-notch. Last, find beta readers to proof and edit your manuscript. I didn’t do this with my first book but I am with my second. It’s a serious blessing. I have two people beta reading my manuscript. What I did was assign them as beta reader one and two. The first gets the manuscript, I correct and edit based on that person’s recommendations (if I want), then that edited version goes to the beta reader two for one more once over.
Chris's Email:- email@example.com
Chris's Amazon:- Amazon.com
Chris's Facebook:- www.facebook.com/lovepublications/
Chris's Goodreads:- C.A. Love
Chris's Twitter:- @thewriterchris1
Chris's Instagram:- thewriterchrislove
Chris's Whatpad:- Chris Love@CALove84
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