Exclusive Interview with
Andrew W Baldwin
When did you start writing?
It took me several years to finish my first novel, Desert Guardian, because of all the obligations most of us share - work and raising a family - but I was able to focus a bit more in 2015-2016 and finished it in 2017.
What makes writing your passion?
The ability to put imagination into action, the process of creating something another person can experience.
How long have you been writing?
In some form or another, I suppose since I was sixteen years old, but most of my writing between then and adulthood was focused on college and then work product in my career.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Nervous relief. Then, rudderless panic. Then, once I'd begun my next novel, a sense of active peace, knowing I was finally seizing the opportunity to write creatively.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
A featured character in my first five novels is "Relic," a moonshining hermit of Canyonlands National Park. I've spent a lot of time on the Colorado and Green Rivers (and others in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming) and I've often imagined meeting someone like that in those remote canyons.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I spend a lot of time "in my head," thinking of characters and story lines and when I'm done just dreaming about it, I'm ready to sketch it out on the page.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
Practice, practice, practice. Then read all the tales you can by writers whose craft you admire.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Keep going. Even if you're on the right track, if you just sit there, you'll get run over (Will Rogers). Your journey is your destination.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Yes. Writing is a form of art, so I think of it like a painting. Even a painting with great colors and style won't ensure that I like it, and that's fine. Art is highly subjective and you're going to find some who won't like what you've done. But if the review is a worthwhile critique, keep it in mind for your next project, and improve.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Sure. Except for the murder or mayhem, my "Relic" novels are often based on real locations, experiences, and challenges.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I'm not sure how to answer this one. I think my characters all have traits that are shared either with me or with people I've known.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
For marketing purposes, the cover is the first thing the reader sees and it's the first opportunity for them to say "I'll pass." So, make the cover a good one.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I enjoy feedback but can't say I've had many chats with readers who I don't already know.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Energized for my next project!
Who is your favorite author? Why?
This is a tough one. Cussler and Smith for their grand adventures. Edward Abbey for his prose and passion for the outdoors. Nevada Barr. Christopher Reich. I could go on...
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Fame is not always a blessing. I'd prefer to have readers really like what I do, work to experiment and improve my writing, and earn a living doing it.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I've had the temptation but decided a while ago that it would be a waste of my time. If I'm getting better with each book (which I really hope is the case) then the path is forward, not backward.