C.J. Sutton is the next author to be featured in this 6Ws series. Dortmund Hibernate, a psychological thriller, is the debut novel for this Crooked Cat Books author who lives in Australia. It has an official launch July 18.
He shares his takes on writing and how it works for him. How about this fun quote: “Writers can commit crimes all day on the page. I can’t think of another gig with such freedom.”
Here are C.J.’s responses to my 6Ws — who, what, when, where, how, and why. (How does end with a W.)
Who is author C. J. Sutton?
That’s my alter ego. No, I’m not some superhero. I’m much better at being the villain, in a words-on-the-page sense. I live in Coburg which is a suburb in Melbourne (Australia) with my wife, our two rabbits, Florence and Leo, and enough books to sink a fleet. I’ve adopted this as my official author name, and it makes its debut with Dortmund Hibernate.
What does he write?
I tend to stray towards the dark, the disturbing and the psychologically challenging, but I also love to write about small towns with big issues. Everything is magnified in a rural town, and the location becomes a character in itself. My perfect scenes are when the troubled protagonist meets the smiling antagonist; I thrive for this dialogue, the push and pull, it’s like an exciting version of chess where one wrong move could result in death. I place high emphasis on dialogue because while others state “actions speak louder than words” it is words that lead to action. And words are the craft writers deal in. Currently I’m focused on promoting my debut novel (out July 18) and writing another novel which takes a completely different direction.
When does he write?
Whenever he can. Working a full-time writing job means I have to find both the time and the drive to write novels. The latter comes quite easily, but the former can be a challenge. Generally that time between getting home from work (5 p.m.) to before dinner (7:30 p.m.) is my best writing slot of the day, but I also type furiously on the weekends. I’m the kind of writer that could easily stay up all night, but once I’m asleep I don’t want to get up until my alarm shoves me out of bed. I am in awe of writers who can get up at 6 a.m. and start writing; my brain is sloppy, still waking up, searching for caffeine and a place to hide from the all-too-bright world.
How does he write?
With a coffee. There’s something comforting about a well-brewed hot drink, a friend on the shoulder that encourages you onward and gives you this energy of creation. To me it’s like petrol to a car; when there’s none left I hear a faint dinging sound reminding me to either stop or top up. I also need to hide my phone away, because there are simply too many distractions available on that little jerk.
Where does he write?
I have a space upstairs in my two-bedroom apartment that has a built-in desk and a hanging picture of Heath Ledger’s Joker; it’s a sketch made up by his quotes, with half of his face drawn as the Clown Prince of Crime and the other being simply Heath. The space is enclosed on three sides so it locks me away with my thoughts. I love a landscape, a pristine view, but I find I’m easily distracted and I’d probably watch the leaves fall from the trees or a dog chase a car.
Why does he write?
Because if I didn’t write I would probably be a character in Dortmund Hibernate locked in an asylum. Writing is my creative outlet and has always offered escape. Despite the darkness of my themes, I enjoy the freedom of creation. There are no limits, and a strong piece of writing can leave a name etched into history. Some work a trade, others deal in figures, but with me it has always been words and characters. How can one ever be bored when there are no boundaries? Writers can commit crimes all day on the page. I can’t think of another gig with such freedom.
About Dortmund Hibernate:
Psychologist Dr Magnus Paul is tasked with the patients of Dortmund Asylum; nine criminally insane individuals hidden from the world due to the extremity of their cases. Magnus has six weeks to prove them sane for transfer to a maximum-security prison, or label them as incurable and recommend a death sentence under a new government act. The small rural town of Dortmund and its inhabitants are the backdrop to the mayhem on the hill. As Magnus delves into the darkness of the incarcerated minds, his own sanity is challenged. Secrets squeeze through the cracks of the Asylum, blurring the line between reality and nightmare. And the most notorious man of all is strapped to the floor of his cell, urging Magnus towards a new life of desire…
Get your copy of Dortmund Hibernate via this link: mybook.to/dortmundhibernate
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