Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Author Interview- Robert Chazz Chute

1. Please tell the readers a bit more about you.

Thanks for asking. I have a background in traditional publishing. I trained as a journalist and worked for Harlequin and for several publishing companies that are now dead and gone. I didn’t kill them. It was suicide.

2. What types of books do you write?

Dark suspense, often twisted and twisty but never gory. It’s psychological horror that interests me. The world is strange enough without introducing more unnecessary blood. Gore seems too easy to me, like a cheat. But get a fear worming into your brain where you think, This could really happen! Then we’re having fun!

3. Who's your main audience?

Insomniacs, book lovers, the trapped and the hopeless and anyone who is interested in suspense with a weird sense of humor. Short people, the Scottish and albinos love me in particular.

4. When it comes to writing- what are your strong points? What are your weaknesses?

Strengths? I studied a lot of pathology, so I’m very much tuned into what’s weird and what’s real and where those two realms cross. Once upon a time, I heard two critics try (and fail) to articulate why they loved The X Files as I screamed at my radio. What made X Files work was that each script depicted an absurd situation that was made  more plausible by a context of real events that sounded crazy but was no less true.

Weaknesses? I keep that secret locked in a small box wrapped in razor wire, buried under a booby trap at the bottom of a deep well. Filled with acid. In Sudan.

5. What do you think of this term- Writer's Block? How do you overcome it?

I don’t suffer blocks. I suffer from procrastination. The difference is one happens to you (as I understand it) and the latter is a bad thing you do to yourself, like cutting or drug addiction or watching reality television. I’ve never been blocked. I’ve been uninspired very occasionally, but my solution was to write my way out of that silliness.  I don’t wait for the muse, I go to her.

6.    How many books have you written?

I have seven ebooks out: one novella (The Dangerous Kind), and two collections (Sex, Death & Mind Control and Self-help for Stoners). The rest are short suspense stories: Vengeance is #1, Corrective Measures,  Parting Shots, and Asia Unbound.  Self-help is also in paperback.

7.     How many are published?

All of the above. They are all available everywhere. I have three novels coming this year, all in various stages of production, mostly at the revision stage. This Plague of Days will come first, this spring.

8.   Are you self published or traditionally published?

I published it myself. I had already been part of the world of traditional publishing so it wasn’t a big leap. I’d been involved in production, editing, proofing, publicity and sales, so I had a pretty good handle on the task. I couldn’t give my children up to daycare, either. I’m a bit of a freedom freak. (Control freaks are sad, but my tribe of freedom freaks are quite joyous.)

9.    What's the hardest part of the writing process for you?

Getting started. There is always so much to do. The writing has to come first for it to happen, kind of like getting to the gym first thing in  the morning or that doesn’t happen, either. Once I begin writing, I can hold my breath and stay on the bottom of the fun pool for hours.

10.             What type of books do you enjoy reading?

I like suspense, some how-to as it relates to publishing, Palahniuk, Vonnegut,  Stephen King and very old dictionaries. I get lost in dictionaries and prefer not to be found. I’m reading a Latin dictionary now. It started out as research for one of my books but it’s pleasure, too. Oh my Thor, I just realized I’m a colossal dork. This is awful news.

11. Who's your favorite Author?

William Goldman. He’s the least appreciated American writer still barely alive. Everyone knows his movies (Marathon Man, The Princess Bride, All the President’s Men, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid etc.,...). What’s tragic is they don’t know his books. I’m a big fan of surprise and humor and Goldman has both. Lawrence Block once said that reading a novel by William Goldman is like watching card tricks while drunk. It was a high compliment, I’m almost sure.

12.             What's your all time favorite book?

Undoubtedly, The Color of Light by William Goldman. It’s about a struggling writer in New York. Sadly, some foolish publisher has allowed it to fall out of print, but it’s out there. You can find it and I encourage everyone to do so. I modeled my writing on his template of clever twists. The Color of Light is the standard by which I judge all other books. It’s the Bible, but with less begetting. is the author site for Robert Chazz Chute where you can find out more about his books and hear his weekly comedy podcast (also called Self-help for Stoners.) His site for writers is

The short stories are available on Smashwords here. You can buy the books on any digital platform. Here’s the Amazon link to get the collections, the novella and the Self-help for Stoners paperback.

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