The Questions with Chuck Walsh: writer

A_Splintered_Dream_sm A long time ago (late 2012) and far away (Arkansas), I worked for a publisher doing book editing. I got assigned a baseball book by this dude named Chuck Walsh. And, except for my childhood crush on the Braves, I didn’t know a thing about baseball. Which I’m sure drove Chuck nuts, as I was all the time asking him questions like, “What is this {weird baseball term I don’t know}?”

Except, lo and behold, I fell in love with this book. Seriously. Fell. In. LOVE.

Because this book, A Splintered Dream, is way more than “just” a baseball book. It’s a book about second chances. And heart. And soul. And sadness. And love. And death. And life. And family.

And lemme tell you, I did not let Chuck off easy on this edit. We did the edit in sections (three to four chapters at a time), and we had up to eight rounds per section, just to make it perfect. To make it sing.

And then: disaster. The publisher went out of business. And my heart was ever-so-broken.

And then: a joyous day – A Splintered Dream was picked up by another publisher, and today, May 13, 2015, is its official book birthday. I’m totally crying tears of joy. (Or I will, when my copy arrives into my hot little hands.)

And in honor of the launching of this wonderful book into the world, Chuck has gracefully (gratefully?) answered The Questions. Do note that although he fairly faithfully obeyed my commands whilst editing, he did not this time: instead of seven questions, he answered 23.

In any event, enjoy:

The Questions

1. Tell the good readers of this blog how we know each other.

I have known Debbie for over two years now. She was assigned as my editor for my novel, A Splintered Dream. Debbie is an excellent editor who wouldn’t let me ever use anything remotely resembling a cliché.

(dSavannah note: In truth, I let him use a couple. When he asked nicely.)

3. If you could trade places with anyone for a week, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I would trade places with Bruce Springsteen. I can’t carry a tune or play a note, but can only imagine the feeling Bruce must get to have 20,000 fans on their feet, singing at the top of their lungs.

(dSavannah note: My hubs would be one of the fans singing along.)

7. What was the name of your first pet and what was it?

My first pet was a Golden Retriever named Mandy. She was the smartest, sweetest dog. I got her when I was in college and she went everywhere with me. When she passed away, it ripped my heart.

8. Your favorite book growing up? Your favorite book now?

My favorite book growing up was the story of Babe Ruth. I must have read it a dozen times. My favorite book now is The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy. I must have read it a dozen times. ☺ A tremendous work.

9. What is a guilty pleasure?

Eating a second piece of my cousin’s pecan pie (with Cool Whip).

10. Who was the last person you texted? What did you say? Did they respond?

My last text was from my brother, who asked if we were still running this afternoon. He began running with me a few weeks back and the first time he went I lost him. Yes, lost a grown man. We were sprinting the last couple hundred yards on the trail and it is quite winding. When I got to the end and turned to see how close he was to finishing, he was gone. I panicked and thought maybe he’d had a heart attack or maybe twisted his ankle. So I sprinted back and still couldn’t find him. I’m calling his name, again running back to the finish line in a panic. And finally he comes walking up from the entrance to trails. He had gotten far behind me and lost sight of the trail and began wandering through the trees like some kind of squirrel, ending up way off the beaten path. I gave him such a hard time, that when he ran with me the next time, he brought a whistle in case I lost him again.

12. Where is your favorite place to create?

The trails of a state park near my house. I run three or four times a week there, and it is on those trails where my mind creates the next scene; the next chapter; the next book. The key is getting home quickly enough before those creations fade from my brain.

13. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I used to be a night owl, but time seems to be converting me into a morning person.

(dSavannah note: I’m the night owl. Right, Chuck?)

15. What inspires you?

People inspire me more than anything. Family, friends, neighbors. It can be someone I just met, like an elderly man who is telling me about playing baseball when he was a boy; a woman who needed me to help find her cat, and she ends up telling me how she met and fell in love with her deceased husband sixty years ago. A close second to people providing inspiration is landscape, scenery. There is nothing quite like a misty mountain morning in the mountains of the Appalachians. There is nothing quite so awe-inspiring as the sun setting over the ocean. Settings and scenery infuse me with the desire to write deep in prose and setting. I want depth to my characters and depth to the setting. God created an incredible world, and I want it to be an integral part of my books.

(dSavannah note: As his editor, I can tell you in truth: he succeeds.)

16. Who inspires you? 

As noted above, it’s people who inspire me. More specifically, it’s my family, and that includes uncles, aunts, cousins. I was blessed to come from a lineage built on family closeness, built on hard work, but also built on a quirky sense of humor that has helped get through even the hardest of times. As far as inspiration from a writer, there is no question that that person is Cormac McCarthy. In my opinion, he is the greatest writer of our generation. I like to read some of McCarthy’s works before I begin writing, as he inspires me to be the best writer I can be.

20. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer ten years ago. I wanted to write something for her to show how much she meant to me. And that is how my first book, A Passage Back, was born. It’s about a man who has an accident after the death of his mother, and he finds himself in the past when he was twelve years old.

(dSavannah note: A Passage Back will be released in August 2015.)

24. If you could go back and give your 13-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?

Pay closer attention to the affections of girls who like you.

24a. What about your 20-year-old self?

Participate more in college activities.

24b. Your 30-year-old self?

Don’t take for granted the simple things such as eating dinner with the family, reading bedtime stories to your children, or playing baseball.

24c. 40?

Spend as much time with your parents as possible, and never take them for granted; never assume they will live forever.

29. You have 24 hours left to live. How will you spend it?

I’d spend it telling my family members how much I love them.

29a. Turns out you heard the doctor wrong: you actually have 24 years left. How will you spend it?

I will try and make the most of every day, to be thankful for each sunrise, to spend time with those I love. To go places I’ve never been. To walk more along the ocean; walk along the crooked streams of Tennessee.

32. Given the uphill climb to get recognition and sales why do you keep coming back?

I truly want to be the best writer I can be, and I want millions of people to think I am just that.

(dSavannah note: He’s not as full of himself as that last statement sounds. ;) )

33. Why do you create in your medium/genre? What about it speaks to you?

It speaks that I am passionate about my work, and I believe the characters in my books are ones readers should get to know, get to learn about what is in their hearts. That love can overcome even the greatest of flaws.

35. Tell me one random fact about you that not a lot of people know.

I was fortunate to work under Coach Lou Holtz and Coach Steve Spurrier, two of the greatest college football coaches of all time.

(dSavannah note: derp.)

43. If you could snap your fingers and be transported to anywhere in the universe, real or imaginary, where would you want to end up?

I would go to Tennessee, probably in the 1930s, so I could meet my maternal grandparents, more specifically, my grandfather. They passed away before I was born. Based on the stories I’ve heard about my grandfather, and based on how incredible my mother and her brothers and sisters are/were, he must have been a very special man.

47. What’s your favorite holiday?

Labor Day. It signals the beginning of college football, you get the day off, and you don’t have to buy anyone a present.

48. What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen? When was it?

The Exorcist (the original one). I was only 13 and it scared the crud out of me. I had nightmares for months. Just hearing the music would make me sweat.

About A Splintered Dream:

“I felt God had set me up for a life of misery. Like He held some grudge, standing on the mound on a baseball field in heaven, throwing a cosmic fastball at my head, smiling as I lay sprawled on the ground.”

Cape Jeffers has wanted to play for the New York Yankees ever since he tossed a baseball with his dad on the Little League field in the tiny town of Santee, S.C. He chases a dream that begins between dusty lines of chalk, on fields with crumbled fences, with bases dry and brittle, with endless summer skies of blue beyond the center field fence.

At nineteen years old, the top pick of the Major League draft, Cape carries the hopes of an entire town on his broad shoulders. And it seems nothing can stop the Cape Train on his journey to stardom.

The Santee Stallion meets and marries Kasey, an artistic southern belle, learning that life is more than just baseball. But when he looks into the eyes of his newborn daughter, he has no idea that his magical ride is about to crash.

The best-selling author of A Month of Tomorrows takes you on a journey full of heart and humor, family and faith, one that celebrates the fragility of life and the strength of the human spirit. More than just a baseball story, A Splintered Dream lovingly commemorates the bumps, bruises, laughter, and delight shared along the way.

About Chuck:

chuckChuck Walsh is a fiction writer from Columbia, South Carolina. He is the author of A Month of Tomorrows, Shadows on Iron Mountain, and Backwoods Justice. His fourth book, A Splintered Dream, was released today, May 13, 2015. And his fifth book, A Passage Back, will be released in August 2015.

His books cover a broad spectrum of story lines. Whether it’s time travel in A Passage Back, historical fiction in A Month of Tomorrows, or killers roaming the backwoods of Appalachia in Shadows on Iron Mountain and Backwoods Justice, Walsh’s books are stories deep in prose and character development. His novels strike all emotions, from the pensive reflections of a dying man, to the inner workings of a madman terrorizing women in the backwoods of East Tennessee. His writing is fueled by his love for family and settings, and most each and every character in his books are based on blood relatives. Walsh was blessed to have come from a long line of wonderful, charismatic, and oddly eclectic family members. And in each book he pays homage to those he loves.

Walsh lives with his wife, Sandy, in Columbia. Together they have three adult children and four grandchildren.

Find Chuck:

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dSavannah

About dSavannah

~ #disabled #spoonie fighting numerous, chronic, painful #InvisibleIllnesses ~ also #wife #feminist #ally #advocate #papyrophiliac #DogCatTurtleWrangler
This entry was posted in author, book launch, community, dreams, editing, family, fiction, giving to others, hard work, kindle, making a difference, passion, perseverance, publishing, The Questions, writershelpingwriters, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Questions with Chuck Walsh: writer

  1. patgarcia says:

    Hi,
    Thank you so much. This is an excellent interview and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. In fact, I am heading over to Amazon Germany to download the book on my iPad.
    It was great getting to know a little about Chuck Walsh.
    Shalom,
    Pat Garcia

  2. Laurie Smith says:

    Hi dSavannah, I followed a link Pat Garcia put up on Fb. I enjoyed your interview with Chuck, concise, pithy and to the point.
    Cheers
    Laurie.

  3. Mary B says:

    Making my way around on the A to Z Road trip! Stopping by to say hello and I hope to see you again next year, if not sooner!

    Mary
    http://www.JingleJangleJungle.net

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