Read Part One here.
Read Part Two here.
Read Part Three here.
Airship Ambassador: What do you think puts this story on someone’s must read/have list?
C.T. Hutt: I think if you enjoy westerns, science fiction, zombies, or fantasy tales, you’ll find something to enjoy in Havoc’s Children.
AA: If Havoc’s Children had a soundtrack, what would it be like?
AA: What are some memorable fan reactions to Havoc’s Children which you’ve heard about?
CTH: One review stated: Havoc’s Children is a swirling, sprawling, grueling mix of old-west grim survivalism, innocence taken, vengeance most brutal, politicking, shooting, brawling, strange religions, bizarre science, love, despair, hope, and (of course) a horde of murderous undead abominations controlled by some truly evil bastards intent on wrecking everyone’s day
I think that’s as fair a summary and endorsement as I could hope for.
AA: Yes, i suppose that does sum it up. What kind of attention has Havoc’s Children generated?
CTH: As of the date of this interview, ten of my readers have been gracious enough to leave reviews on Amazon. So far the reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. One of the most consistent refrains has been “where is the next book?” which I take as a good sign for the series’ future.
AA: How are new readers finding you – conventions, website, word of mouth, etc?
CTH: I released the book in March and have mostly been selling it by word of mouth. I’ve only recently began looking at how to professionally market Havoc’s Children.
Steampunk readers are a discriminating bunch. There are a lot of great reading options and most of the people who have a taste for the genre are makers of some sort or another. As an audience, they are wary of advertising and have high standards for quality and detail. I think the most effective way to get the word out about Havoc’s Children may be to have several hundred thousand individual conversations. I like to chat, so I think I’m up for it. My hope is that if I can sell folks on book one they’ll come back for book two, three, and four.
AA: For the aspiring writer, what lessons did you learn about having an editor, their feedback, and your writing?
CTH: If you want to write professionally, you absolutely need an editor, frankly, you may need several editors. The feedback that stings the worst is most often the best. Get your ego out of the way and do what the story needs. Normally, that means cutting phrases and even whole chapters to make things more streamlined.
AA: Have you been on book tours and to conventions? What has that been like, and the fan reaction?
CTH: I’ve been a regular attendant at Denver’s Anomolycon, but I’ve just gone for the fun of it. I’m weighing the pros and cons of going on a national tour, selling books and cards and having those conversations I mentioned in my previous answer.
AA: What do you do to keep a balance between writing and the rest of your life?
AA: OK, no balance. All too familiar a story for many people. Do you get to talk much with other writers and artists to compare notes, have constructive critique reviews, and brainstorm new ideas?
CTH: Havoc’s Children took shape while I was getting my MFA in creative writing at the University of Colorado. I benefited enormously from the input of established authors like Stephen Graham Jones and up-and-comers like Serena Ulibarri and Nick Kimbro. Writing is a solitary activity, but editing, storyboarding, and brainstorming require active input from other parties. Of course, I could have never pulled this project together without the tireless support and input of my friends and family.
AA: Some people might say that writers need to be readers, too. What do you think about that and what would you say your ratio of reading to writing is/was?
CTH: Time wise, it’s hard to say what the ratio is between reading and writing for me. I’ll say that reading is absolutely essential. I honestly don’t think it matters what you read, so long as you enjoy it (or hate it passionately). I’ve found important lessons in classical works, avante guarde experimental pieces, fan fiction, and penny dreadfuls. I’ve never met a writer worth their salt who wasn’t an avid reader.
AA: As a reader, what has made you stop reading something before finishing it? How do you try to avoid that issue in your own writing?
CTH: If I don’t have someone or something to root for, I often lose interest in a book. It’s fashionable in some literary circles to use writing as a sort of therapy, a public fish tank where all the world can flock to see your unique and beautiful angst. That type of self-indulgent balderdash gives me gas.
There are worse things than gas, I suppose. I don’t often stop reading something and never come back, but it does happen.
We’ll pause here in our chat with C.T. Hutt. Join us again when he talks about his specific writing process and experience.
You can support C.T. and our community by getting your copy of Havoc’s Children: Dog Days of Thereafter here.