This week’s interview is with Alden Bauers, author of several paranormal suspense books currently available on Amazon. You’ll find his links at the end of the interview so make sure you follow him everywhere!
CJ: Alden, thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you are well.
Alden: I am, thank you.
CJ: I’m glad. Let’s get started, shall we? I know you’ve already got several books currently published but do you have any projects that you’re currently working on?
Alden: I do. I am currently working on the next three books in my Natalie Fitzsimons series. Each book follows ex-lycanthrope-turned-lawyer Natalie as her cases veer off into the supernatural or the occult.
CJ: That sounds like fun! Now, I know you have six novellas and a short story collection published. Can you tell us a little about your inspiration and how your family responded to you being published?
Alden: They were all inspired by different things. My novella, Mile 43, has perhaps the most amusing inspiration story. I was doing onsite PC repair and had to drive to a client in a remote location. To get there I had to drive a stretch of I-26 through the middle of rural Spartanburg County. At the time I was driving an old 2004 Honda Pilot that was approaching the end of its useful life. I thought to myself, “if this thing’s going to die, it will do it here, in the middle of nowhere.” From there I came up with the idea of a succubus preying on young men who break down on that stretch of highway. As far as being published, my children are far too young to read my work. My wife is supportive though, even if horror isn’t her genre of choice.
CJ: That is amazing. We always work better when the ones we love support what we do.
Alden: It’s definitely been helpful.
CJ: What type of writer are you? Are you a pantser, plotter, or both?
CJ: So you have a skeletal structure of the story and as you work through it, the ideas just fall into place?
Alden: Yes. I’m also flexible if the general idea for the story decides to go somewhere else.
CJ: How long have you been writing?
Alden: I’ve been writing since 11th grade when I wrote for the school newspaper. I also worked as the paper’s news editor in college. That’s when I started writing short stories in my spare time.
CJ: What types of books do you like to read? Are they in the same genre as what you write in?
Alden: I love to read horror, mystery, and suspense novels. My favorite authors are Stephen King, Lawrence Sanders, and Harlan Coben.
CJ: Stephen King is a very popular author among horror writers but I’m afraid I haven’t heard of the other two. I’ll need to go look them up. I know you have a day job. What is it and how does it affect your writing?
Alden: I have a day job as an in-home PC repair technician. This allows me to make my own hours which helps my writing a great deal. There are also times between clients when I find myself in a coffee shop writing.
CJ: I love writing in a coffee shop. It’s definitely something I’ve missed the most while on lockdown. Tell me though, how do you view writing success?
Alden: I gauge writing success in several ways. One is sales. If people are buying your book, you’re obviously doing something right. A slew of good reviews is another gauge. At the end of the day, if I can make my mortgage payments off the proceeds of my writing, I’ll consider myself a success.
CJ: All good determiners of success for a lot of people. What do you think makes for a good story?
Alden: I think interesting characters, especially antiheroes, are critical to a story. Combine that with an engrossing plot and you’ve got the elements of a good story. A good book is, to paraphrase Harlan Coben, one that you take to bed to read for 15 minutes and end up staying up until four in the morning reading.
CJ: I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve had to do that. A lot of people will say that the cure for writer’s block is reading a good book. Have you ever gotten writer’s block, and if so, how have you gotten through it?
Alden: I’ve gotten writer’s block plenty of times. Sometimes I step back and focus on one of my hobbies and come back with a fresh eye. Other times I just force it out.
CJ: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power that may have helped shape in your mind that you wanted to be a writer?
Alden: I really can’t pinpoint any one time. I was always attracted to journalism as a way of standing up for the little guy. It was writing news that led me to fiction writing.
CJ: That is a very interesting statement, can you elaborate on it?
Alden: Well, while I enjoyed writing news, I was constrained to just the facts. Writing fiction allowed me to flex my creative muscles and “get it out of my system” so to speak.
CJ: So it was the idea that you got to do something completely opposite of what you were used to. That makes sense. Now tell me, what was the hardest scene you’ve had to write so far?
Alden: The rape scene in If You Die Before I Wake. It turned my stomach.
CJ: Completely understandable. Do any of your main characters hold a special place in your heart?
Alden: I think Marty and Natalie Fitzsimons are my favorite characters. I’ve developed them the most and they’ve come to feel like friends in a certain way.
Alden: Stephen King, Actress Emily Perkins, and Lawrence Sanders.
CJ: That’s an interesting grouping. Why did you pick them?
Alden: Well, King and Sanders are my writing idols. Emily Perkins is an indy actress I had the pleasure of interviewing back in college. I’m a fan of hers and it would be fun to see where we are now in terms of our careers.
CJ: That would be a lot of fun I think. Last question. What is a strange fear that you have?
Alden: I am deathly afraid of ladders. I am petrified going up more than a few rungs.
CJ: Great! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. I really appreciate it and I know our readers will as well.
Alden: Thanks for having me