- What is the first book that made you cry?
I’m sure there are a lot of books I read as a kid that I don’t remember, but my first memory crying during a story was in The Road. Now, as a new father, the ending hits especially hard.
2. What is your writing Kryptonite?
Not having enough energy (because, let’s face it, we can always find time somewhere) to write as much as I’d like. I love being a husband and a father, I wouldn’t trade a moment of that, but things like my day job, household choirs, running errands, etc. can be exhausting. I accept them as a necessary part of my life some days, but they take their toll physically and mentally more often than not.
3. Who is one author you are friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Leah McNaughton Lederman. She’s helped (whether she know it or not) keep me motivated when it comes to my local literary and arts magazine, Of Rust and Glass, and seeing her projects motivates me to continue mine.
- If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Finish what you start. I have a hundred different projects I never finished. Then, I sort of gave up for about five years because I was discouraged. Now, I try to finish every project I start (still not all the way there), put it out there, and I’m seeing incredible results. I wonder where I’d be as an author if I started working in earnest right out of college.
- How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
My first novel-length book is through the final editing phases as we speak. The process has helped me see my work as not just mine but part of a bigger portfolio. It’s helped me accept that, eventually, I’ll have to release my story to the world.
- What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? If you have not made any money, dream about it?
I bought a six pack of beer, Jackie O’s Razz Wheat, with my first royalty check. It was small, somewhere around $10, but it felt great. And Razz Wheat is one of my favorite drinks now. Win-win, yeah?
- As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A wolf. My writing is a solo endeavor, and I’m entirely at peace with that. But I also realize I rely on the pack to take my writing from random lines in a notebook to published story. The latter still makes me a little uncomfortable, but I’m getting better at playing my role.
- How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Off the top of my head, I have one complete novel (sequel to my soon to be published piece, Morning Blood in Mio), four that are about halfway there (high fantasy, dark fantasy-horror, comedic supernatural, and a scifi-horror), and a list of follow-ups for most of them. The Morning Blood series has about 10 books planned at this point, for example. I also have a collection of short stories, all with an element of fantasy, I’m currently revising and editing called Catching Lightning. It’s around 60k words, and I plan to self-publish it in the next month or so.
- Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Wow, great question. And really tough to answer. I’d have to say the first time I read a Sir Terry Pratchett novel my entire perspective on what makes good (fantasy) fiction. My mindset shifted from scene setting and purple prose, to character building, humor, and worldbuilding. There’s something special about a story that is equal parts hilarious and endearing, but also has a depth of worldbuilding that makes you forget you’re reading a novel. I aspire to be half as crafty as authors like STP someday.
- How do you select the names of your characters?
Honest answer? Completely random. When I start a story, I tend to attribute placeholder names to all the characters because I refuse to get bogged down in those details to the point it slows down my writing process. More often than not, the character names stick.
- What is your favorite childhood book?
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!! I don’t think it made me cry as a kid, but when my parents gave me a copy for high school graduation, I definitely did. Behind closed doors. Without them knowing, of course. There’s something about Dr. Seuss. No matter how silly, his stories always leave a lasting impression on me.
Updated Book Blurb:
Curtis’ book will come out soon. See his featured work in the featured anthologies. https://www.amazon.com/Curtis-A-Deeter/e/B0849Q5CB5
Morning Blood in Mio
Chase Cross, “detective” ordinaire, rolls into town behind the wheel of an old woody station wagon. When he careens into the Our Lady of the Woods shrine, he grabs Mio, Michigan’s attention, especially that of Sheriff Grace. Luckily, his poor driving retrieves the recently deceased bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Stillman from the apex of the shrine. Chase must help Mio solve the murders and piece itself back together—but first he needs to convince the Sheriff to let him out of jail.
Meanwhile, the Devil and Death arrive for their honeymoon, bringing with them a slew of strange, pseudo-biblical occurrences: water to booze, plagues of amphibians and Ford Focuses, and cupboards filled with rice. Some might call it spontaneous omening; others will simply call it young love.
Even with the cards stacked in his favor—his friend Bob, a cast of statues that animate every night, an angsty Jesus as his guiding light, and God, herself—the blundering “detective” might still manage to muck things up. But he might also manage to drop the quotation marks.
Morning Blood in Mio has been compared to Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and Douglas Adams. It is set to release June 15th, 2021. Follow Curtis A. Deeter for updates, giveaways, sneak peeks, and links to pre-order his debut novel.
In the meantime, check out his Amazon page to find a number of anthologies featuring his short stories. You’ll find a bit of everything, from the high fantasy world of Nabybee to Chuck Palahniuk-esque flash fiction, to keep you busy until his book launch.
Updated Bio: Curtis Deeter
Curtis A. Deeter is an author of fantasy, science fiction, and horror with over a dozen short pieces accepted in various print and electronic formats. He runs a local arts and literary community in Northwest Ohio called Of Rust and Glass. When he is not writing, he enjoys spending time with his family and taste-testing craft beer at local breweries.