Interview with Chris Bauer

FNF_SMTell us about your publishing journey…
Like Raymond Chandler, I began writing later in life as an unemployed oil company executive.I write the genre fiction I enjoyed reading.  I had started reading science fiction in grade school, followed by a period where I read everything Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote–my favorite his Mars and Center of the Earth series.  I reverted to science fiction, my favorites Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein, and transitioned to the Deathlands series, Raymond chandler, and Dashiel Hammett.  during the Hammett phase, I created two novels without success. Obviously agents couldn’t make THAT many wrong decisions, so I sought a writer’s group to polish my skills. Writers Under The Arch in St. Louis met at the largest privately owned bookstore, and the groups was all that a writer’s groups should be. The grup leader, Cindy Fehmel, set the tone with respect and tough love.  Successes and failures were share, and developed into writing lessons.  The ‘gestalt’ of the group proved infallible–every time I followed the combined advice, I succeeded in publishing the story. Everything I wrote would have been suitable for Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone. My latest stories are with Untreed Reeds, a first rate electronic publisher and marketer.  Having proven I can succeed in the semi-pro market, the urge to create novels again infected me. I have completed ‘Airships, Land Ironclads, and the Empire of New France’, and presently working on Odeille, the Sisters of the Air, and the Empire of New France.
What do you love about being an author?
Being an author provides the opportunity to create an alternate reality replete in the fine detail, which ultimately means I’m in total control  Being in total control is a nice thing.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
Philip Marlowe, in an L.A neighborhood bar. Sandwhiches probably.
If your book/ story was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
Liam Neilsen would be the Empire’s secret agent Max Jaeger. Alicia Vikandar, of Ex Machina would be Odeille–a young woman of apparent delicacy, but with brains, emotional and physical toughness, a sense of justice, and determination.
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
Neither. I want to hunt down and kill the sexy leads and blood hungry monsters. A far more meaning vampire is the king in Gearge R R Martin’s Fevre Dream–victims of a genetic defect.
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
The Victorian era would be an appealing time, not because of the straightjacket rules of social conduct among some social classes, but because of the tremendous technological breakthroughs. The period gave us the telegraph, the telephone, airships, the analog computer, and the flush toilet. Imagine going back with what you know know, and being able to create ti with gears and cogs and stem!
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
Don;t let anybody persuade you that your dream is foolish. I allowed that to happen, and I’m writing decades later than I should.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
None I know are totally suitable. Doctor Who, perhaps. Or a creature with the wisdom of Gandalf, the courage of Obi Wan Kenobi, and the capacity for horrendous violence when appropriate.
Where do you write best?
On a screened in porch on a warm but not hot day, with plenty of craft beers, and that special someone somewhere in the house. Reality is that I usually write on lunch in the office of my day job.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
‘The Master and Margarita’, supposedly Mick Jagger’s inspiration for ‘sympathy for the Devil’. There are multiple themes of good and evil, mischievous servants of Satan, and redemption, all cast in the Soviet world of the 1930’s.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
If you include both Urban Fantasy and Steampunk as my current gener, I’d like to write hard boiled detective stories a la Raymond chandler.
Where can fans find you online?
I have no online presence, but two of my favorite stories  are available on Untreed Reads.
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