Read Part One here.
Read Part Two here.
Read Part Three here.
Read Part Four here.
Read Part Five here.
Airship Ambassador: Looking beyond steampunk, writing and working, what other interests fill your time?
C.T. Hutt: I picked up a bad case of politics during my years in D.C. I’ve never been able to get that monkey off my back. I also ski, camp, garden, and tinker around in my garage.
AA: How do those interests influence your work?
CTH: Matthew Inman, writer and creator of The Oatmeal recently observed that creativity is like breathing. Artists exhale finished works and inhale distraction. We live in the golden age of distractions and I, like most, breathe deep. When I’m engaged in my hobbies is often when I have my best ideas. Getting my writing squared away gives me more time to ski, camp, and garden so it’s a regular motivational tool I use to tempt myself into productivity. At least, that’s what I tell myself.
AA: There’s only so much time in a day – what interests don’t you have time for?
CTH: I’d love to learn how to cook, but I never seem to have time for it. I find myself rotating through the same six or seven recipes every week and eat out more than I can really afford to. That’s life in the big city, I suppose.
AA: What other fandoms are you part of?
CTH: I used to get dressed up with my friends for every superhero movie, but they come out so regularly now my costumes are getting tired. I’m still working on my Professor Bismuth costume – he’s a character who appeared in the world of Havoc in the short story Walking Still. I grew up with Star Wars and managed to get through my mourning phase from episodes 1-3 in time to put together a fairly solid Han Solo get up for the release of episode 7. My favorite cosplay was years ago; you can see it’s a little rough around the edges, but I feel I pulled of a pretty decent Robot Nixon. Really, I’ll take any excuse to wear something fun.
AA: What is on your to-be read or watched pile right now?
I haven’t seen the new Star Trek movie, but I’ll probably catch it on the big screen if I can.
AA: Are there people you consider an inspiration, role model, or other motivating influence?
CTH: Stephen Graham Jones was my thesis chair at CU and an excellent teacher. His tireless writing ethic was an inspiration to me during and after the program. He recently had a breakout hit with his gritty werewolf novel Mongrels. Jones makes a habit of forcing genres to dance to his tune rather than letting them set the beat. I’ve never met another writer half as prolific or talented.
AA: What event or situation has had the most positive impact in your life? What has been your greatest challenge?
CTH: I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world, study my interests, and marry a wonderful woman. That’s a lot of positive in thirty-two years. My biggest challenges have been fairly personal. Like most folks, my past is a grab bag of highs and lows. I’m not trying to be evasive, but… actually I am being evasive. Pass.
AA: What is the best advice you’ve been given?
CTH: My family’s unofficial motto is “cold eggs ain’t fit to eat” it’s our version of “never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” it also happens to be a truism about eggs (excluding deviled, hard boiled, and egg salad). I think that staying proactive and pursuing your interests with diligence and even a sense of immediacy is as sure a course toward happiness as a person can set. Life is short, don’t let your dreams get all cold and slimy.
AA: That is very good advice. Three quick-fire random questions – what is your favorite steampunk fashion accessory?
CTH: My wife bought me a leather bracelet in Camden that uses a d-loop sailing bracket to fasten it. It looks like something a cowboy could wear just as easily as a steampunk road warrior. Conveniently, it matches my hat. I wear a brown Stetson most days.
AA: What is your favorite ice cream?
CTH: New York Super Fudge Chunk.
AA: What is your favorite fighting beetle?
CTH: Allomyrina Dichotoma
AA: When you do interviews, what is something that you wish you were asked about but haven’t been?
CTH: I feel pretty satisfied with the questions I’ve fielded so far. It’s fun to see the odd curve ball. I’d love to field the odd question about futurism or gardening.
AA: I’ll keep that in mind for next time! Any final thoughts to share with our readers
CTH: Thank you for reading, keep writing, keep making cool stuff.
Thanks, C.T., for joining us for this interview and for sharing all of your thoughts. We look forward to hearing about your next projects!
You can support C.T. and our community by getting your copy of Havoc’s Children: Dog Days of Thereafter here.
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