Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Mystery & History Behind a Story with Guest Blogger: Chuck Waldron

Win an autographed copy
of Tears In the Dust
meet author Chuck Waldron

today at the Book Boost!

Here's what he had to say...

You Can Judge A Book By The Cover

Anonymous once said, “the beginning is easy, what happens next is much harder.”

For me, it started with a short story and ended with three novels. In between came the part I call writer’s sweat. We writers know the agony of staring at a blank page, waiting for exactly the right words. English author Neil Gaiman said, “This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It's that easy, and that hard.”

Then comes the magic, the moment our story comes to life and we want to share it with readers.

The writing seemed like the hard work, right?

Writing is the fun part of the journey for me and turned out to be the easiest part of my journey in connecting with readers. When I finished my first novel I sat back with a smile of celebration, unprepared for the steps that followed.

Editing and rewriting is demanding, tedious and absolutely necessary. In spite of the hours spent on that task it was worth the effort. I wish I had a time sheet of the hours spent pitching manuscripts to agents and publishers and it’s not a secret that emerging authors have a difficult time getting a foot in the door.

Many of us are now becoming indie authors, choosing to self-publish. As self-publishing gains respectability it’s important to make sure the interior content is well edited and has a good look. All that hard work demands not only a good cover, but a great cover.

Tears in the Dust was my first novel. Whatever prompted the idea to write it is long lost to memory. The setting was 1937, during the time of the Spanish Civil War. The story stretched from Vermont, through Canada, to Texas, on to Spain, ending in Canada. The story featured a man hounded by a detective.

That was some challenge for the cover designer. She looked at the elements of the story and came up with a moody look with a man seen through the lens of a magnifying glass, the perfect reference for detecting clues. The cover hinted at a car that was suitable to that era.

The cover is vital. It needs to reach out and grab attention.

In Julius Caesar, Brutus made what was called the unkindest cut of all. From a writer’s point of view, marketing is the hardest part of all. Few writers are born marketers and have the knowledge of, and talent for, marketing. Yet we are expected to market our novel, like actors thrust on stage, without a script.

It takes courage to walk into a bookstore for the first time, not to buy a book, but to ask them to sell one. Then there is the reminder that we sell books one-at-a-time, the old fashioned way. It is a joy to meet a new reader, autograph a book, and then hear back how much the story was enjoyed.

For those of us with limited funds we just don’t have the resources for expensive advertising and book tours.

Thanks to sources like The Book Boost a soon-to-be-famous author like Chuck Waldron can reach out to new readers. I am grateful for my time here at the Book Boost and encourage you to judge my book, Tears in the Dust, by the cover. Then sit back and enjoy the read. My joy of writing is only half of the process. The important half is when you are entertained.

A Note from the Book Boost: I've been on the same journey, Chuck. I can totally relate to the trials, tribulations, and ultimately the joy of seeing your book come to life. Thanks for joining us today and Congrats on the debut release. Please tell us more about your story.


Tears in the Dust is a contemporary novel with gleams of hope intertwined within the despair of life. Alestair “Alec” Ferguson beings a journey as a young man, off to enlist in the Spanish Civil War in 1937.

Samuel T. Harrison is a dark and warped detective. He is the dark and violent nemesis who makes his way into the ranks of the detective agency where his boss uses his violent talents. People disappear whenever Harrison comes to town.

The story chronicles Alec’s journey to Spain to fight in a war filled with personal loss and disillusionment. While in Spain, Alec falls in love with Tamarah, a convoy drive for the International Brigade. The war takes a heavy toll on Alec, and he learns just how high the cost of war can be. Disheartened, Alec fights on despite the damage done to his once strongly held beliefs.

When Alec returns to his home in Vermont, seeking healing and the redemption of his ideals, what he finds there instead, causes him to flee to Canada and live the rest of his life under a false identity.

But, no matter how far he goes, Alec cannot outrun Harrison, who pursues him through years and countries, only to catch up with him in a stunning conclusion to the story.


I turned to watch a truck slowly moving down the road, clouds of dust spraying into the summer heat. Behind that truck, I saw four other trucks following. At last, the lead truck came to a stop, brakes complaining with a harsh grinding sound.

When the dust found a place to settle, a woman in blue coveralls stepped out of the cab and my life changed forever. I watched her put a foot up on the running board to retie her boot, and when she straightened up, pulled a cloth out of an upper pocket and rubbed the sweat from her face. She turned around and looked directly at me.

I returned her look with an intensity that made her uneasy. I had my pack over one shoulder and was carrying my rifle casually in my right hand. She would later tell me that she had never seen such intensity in someone's eyes before. But that came much later.

I watched as she turned back to the truck and reached into the cab, pulling a clipboard from the seat.

She turned and shouted, “Up and in you lazy bastards, your ride is here!”

Her voice let slip one of the many accents I was growing accustomed to hearing in the International Brigade. However, I couldn’t place the accent, and simply waited there, sweating and swaying in the sun.

I had heard something else in her voice when she shouted—the sound of humor, a voice that conveyed sympathy and understanding. We men took no exception to her comment about being lazy bastards. We had heard that time and again from much lesser people.

I didn’t know why at the time, but for some reason, she turned to me. I was still staring wordlessly at her when she said, “You can ride up in the cab if you want.”

Want More Chuck?

Visit his website here: www.chuckwaldron.com

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Pick up a copy of his book today! Click here.

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**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

1 comment:

Debby said...

I think that would be such a wonderful feeling - to take something you have put your heart and sou into and be able to hold it in your hands when it is published.
debby236 at gmail dot com