Interview With C.A. Sanders

Tell us a little about yourself: I know that I’m supposed to say that I’m just a regular guy, and there’s nothing special about me. Special? Maybe not, but I’m sure as hell not a regular guy. I’m the odd bird, the black sheep, the guy that when he walks into a room, you say “what the hell is wrong with him?”

Yeah, I’m a little weird.

Do you read widely? Absolutely. I’ll read anything from textbooks to avant-garde fiction. If it’s interesting, I’ll read it. Because of this, I’ve wasted my time reading a lot of awful stuff.

Who are your favorite authors? Neil Gaiman, R.A. Salvatore, and George RR Martin are my current faves. Past faves include Russell Banks, Anton Chekhov, and John D. Fitzgerald. Since I love comic books, I have to include guys like Garth Ennis, Alan Moore, and of course, Stan the Man.

Who influenced you most? Two people: Manic Craig and Depressed Craig. I keep my bipolar syndrome under control with meds, so they don’t come out to play much anymore. When I was younger though, they ruled me. What I learned from it is that you can’t always trust your own point of view, as it might be the disease talking. I think that this has made me a better writer. It lets me get “outside myself.”

What scares you? Being forgotten.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? I was in third grade. It was the NYC program for the exceptionally gifted, and the teacher made us write fiction every day. She would choose one story from a student and read it aloud. When she read mine, the students clapped. I had an inkling before that, but that’s when I knew for sure.

Have you ever written something that you’re afraid to let other people read? Why? Of course. I write in my journal all the time, and only a few people are allowed to read it. Since I keep it in my bathroom (too much information) you have to be on a certain level of familiarity with me to gain access.

It’s funny, when I tell people that I have a bathroom journal, they think that I write down my daily shits. No, it’s because I have some great ideas in there. You should try it some time.

I’ve heard it said that writers are the sanest people on the planet because they get their daily stresses and problems out in a story. What are your thoughts on this? Is writing therapy? Writing isn’t therapy. Writing is slitting your wrists and smearing the blood on a page. But there’s the rub: when I don’t write, I go a little mad. So writing isn’t therapy, but it keeps me sane.

Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not? It doesn’t bother me, but I don’t over indulge in it. A lot of writers get off on super graphic scenes, which to me is little more than masturbation. I feel the same way about long descriptive passages that add nothing to the story. This is why every writer needs a good editor: to keep them from growing hairy palms.

What are your thoughts on the future of books? That’s an excellent question, and I have no answer. Right now the whole industry is in flux, and it’ll be interesting to see who wins. Until then, it’s frightening to be an author. Do you go with a publisher and possibly sign with a sinking ship, or do you self-publish and flounder among the several hundred thousand self-published books that come out every year?

How do you want to be remembered? As a good person, a talented writer, and a fantastic lay.

How does your childhood influence your writing? my childhood wasn’t pretty. I was bullied until high school. I came home with bruises that I hid from my parents. My eyeglasses were covered in tape because kids kept punching me. In junior high, it became a game to push me down the stairs. Even a couple of teachers used to make fun of me. It’s such a great feeling when the people that are supposed to educate and protect you take part in the harassment. Just fucking wonderful.

I don’t know how that influenced my writing. That’s for the readers to decide. It’s hard for me to analyze my own work.

Everyone has a quirk; what’s yours? I have so many, it’d be easier to ask what’s normal about me. Normal is boring, I enjoy being weird.

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