Kindle Author Interview: C. Bawbeese

C. Bawbeese, author of Shapes and Shadows: A Murder Memory, discusses his book, his journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Shapes and Shadows: A Murder Memory?

C. BAWBEESE: Shapes and Shadows: A Murder Memory is based in part on an infamous killing that took place just over twenty years ago in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Though drawn from that murder case and trial, my book is pure fiction with no exact correlation to any aspect of that case; not of the actual killing itself, the characters involved, or the trial that followed. It is, rather, a transitional extension of those events, a transition and extension which all fiction writers will recognize as necessary to achieve what is hopefully a higher truth than what reality may give us.

DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?

C. BAWBEESE: The development always takes place during the writing or creative process. The differentiation comes from the opposing views, philosophies and goals of the individuals involved in the storyline. Whether protagonist or antagonist, those views, philosophies and goals, however subtle the difference, are always opposing.

DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?

C. BAWBEESE: The easy answer would be anyone who will buy the book. The actual ideal reader is someone who can critically analyze the writing and story, and have the ability to decide for himself/herself if my material keeps the interest alive and has both literary value and merit.

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

C. BAWBEESE: Difficult, as I'm sure it is for 99.9 % of those who undertake the journey. It starts with a bloated self appreciation of one's talent that is quickly deflated by the seemingly innumerable rejection slips returned, sometimes with, sometimes without, the submitted manuscript. The journey continues as a learning process; studying successful writers and learning the very difficult ways to deliver the written word correctly as a literary effort, not just an ego trip. As I said, it is a difficult journey, damned difficult.

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

C. BAWBEESE: Early morning to late afternoon. As many as five thousand words in a single day, all of which will be edited down to no more than a few hundred on the following day. That is the invariable routine as is always to end a day of writing knowing what the next day's first paragraph will be, whether it actually turns out to be or not. And always, always, drift off to sleep at night with the story line and characters in mind. A good night of dreaming has often changed the course of the story in important and significant ways.

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

C. BAWBEESE: Dozens! They range from Jonathon Swift to Twain to Dos Passos, Steinbeck, Hemingway and yes, by God, Grisham. all were and are great story tellers whose works I read again and again.

DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?

C. BAWBEESE: There are many, but in as for modern novels I can think of three, and I would hate to eliminate any of them. The first two are by the finest writers working in the English language today: Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith, and Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. In the vein of my work, though I've never tried to emulate him, it would be A Time to Kill by Grisham. His first novel and his very best. I've read it a dozen times and get something new out of it each time.

DAVID WISEHART: How did you create your cover?

C. BAWBEESE: Always working with a limited budget, I looked for Internet images in the public domain, then fiddled with the image and text until it looked right, at least to me.

DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?

C. BAWBEESE: Marketing and promotion is where I am a dead man. I consider myself a writer. The ability to market and promote my own work is beyond my capabilities.

DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?

C. BAWBEESE: My novel was first published in 2000 as a softcover. It sold moderately well, then went out of print several years ago. Kindle became available and seemed a natural because it will probably last close to forever.

DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?

C. BAWBEESE: Don't re-live my first experience and believe that his/her book will publish in the ebook format the same as if offered to a print publisher. It will not and if published that way will sell not a single copy. Go to and find out exactly what re-formatting has to be done to make the book acceptable as an ebook. Amazon, which will publish anything as a book, will not tell you so the author will have to do it on his/her own.

DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.


For 35 years the pseudonymous author "C. Bawbeese" has been a writer, producer, director, and on-air talent for radio and television. He has written two screenplays, parts of one appearing as a Hallmark Hall of Fame production, and one non-fiction work, Fishing Michigan, also using the pseudonym "C. Bawbeese."

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