Yes, it’s true. I’m leaving Charleston.

wp-image-1078775557jpg.jpgI’ve lived in Charleston for 21 years. It’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere by 15 years. But I am moving on to Connecticut to reunite with my best friend and love of my life. We’ve been apart for 8 months, and we’ve spent that time getting to know each other again over the phone, email, and Skype. It’s time for the second draft of this play. Same cast. Significant rewrite.

I didn’t think I’d be sad to leave this tiny house, but I am. I’ve spent the best years of my life here. I’ve written about 14 novels, a half-dozen screenplays and a handful of stage plays. It’s my writing den.

More updates to follow, but I have got to get back to packing up. BTW – Anyone want to buy a living room set, bedroom set, and office set?


A new C. Hoyt Caldwell Interview



The “Real” C. Hoyt Caldwell


I loved doing this interview because the questions weren’t the typical “author’ questions. Nobody has ever asked me what is the one book I would require the president to read. The one problem with the interview is that they used an ancient picture of me that I created to disguise my true identity when I first invented C. Hoyt Caldwell. Because C. Hoyt can be excessively vulgar, I wanted to separate my two “author” identities. I gave up on the notion about a year into the experiment and let my freak flag fly. I’m posting my real C. Hoyt photo here to counteract the trauma of seeing that old photo.

Here’s a partial answer to my answer to the question: “What scene in Savage Reckoning was your favorite to write?”

It’s technically two scenes. I initially wrote it as one but broke it up into two parts in rewrites. It features Step and his girlfriend, Bones, in his house. Calling it my favorite makes me sound like a horrible person because it focuses on how tragic their lives are, but as a writer, exploring the destruction of a character’s life can be liberating. It gives you the illusion of knowing how real life works.

You can read the rest of the interview here: Interview with C. Hoyt Caldwell, author of Savage Reckoning

As always, Savage Reckoning is available as an e-book at the following online retailers:

The truth about locker room talk

raw-locker-roomsI’m going to write this in a word-salad manner so Trump supporters can understand.

Trump Translation: I’m going to use words, so many words, beautiful words. When I tell you these words, you won’t believe, there have never been words like this, used like this, the meaning, you can’t imagine, I’m telling you.

I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms in my day, so many locker rooms, the number of naked male genitals, penises, you know what I mean. I saw one, huge, very impressive, I mean I didn’t look, it was just there, what could I do? I had to, I mean it was a very big, beautiful penis. And I’m not gay, I mean look at my hands. You can tell. You can tell. I like women. I do. But there are no women in men’s locker rooms. You know what else hasn’t been in any locker room that I’ve ever spent time in, talk about sexually assaulting a woman.  Never. Not once. Zero times. When I was a teenager and maybe even on into my early twenties, we’re talking very young, so young, I had hair back then, not much, but I had some, each one, so beautiful. When I tell you I had very few but beautiful hairs, you can’t imagine. When I was young, there was, I mean we did objectify the female body, we used words like tits and pussy and ass. We did. We just did. Looking back, it’s not something, we don’t, I at least don’t think of that kind of talk fondly. What we didn’t do, I’m talking never, not once, zero times, did we ever describe how we’d like to sexually assault, rape or grope a female person. That’s, I mean you understand that’s a criminal act, right? It’s violence, so much violence. It’s, I mean that’s disgusting.

Translation for non-Trump supporters: Let’s be perfectly clear. Men do not objectify women. Boys may but not a real man. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against profanity. I use it. Frequently. I fucking love it.  But neither man nor boy has every bragged about sexually assaulting a woman in any locker room that I have ever been in. They’ve never discussed how they enjoy violating a woman, abusing a woman, or fondling a woman without her consent. Normal males do not do that. Men with a criminal disregard for women may, but I’ve never shared a locker room with an asshole like that.

To be completely transparent, in my role as an author, I have written about the female form. I’ve written about rape. And many other acts of violence. I’ve done so not out of a desire to do so. I’ve done it to reflect a culture that includes psychopaths like Donald J. Trump. I don’t write stories that make you feel warm and fuzzy. I try to write stories that open your eyes and challenge your belief system.  I consider myself an artist. One who will never run for public office.

So, to Trump I say, stop indicting every man by saying all men talk that way when they’re with other men. It’s just patently false. I have no doubt that you have committed multiple acts of violence against women over your lifetime, and you have frequently bragged about it to cowards who were too scared to act on the information and report you to the authorities. Why do I believe that? Because that very scenario was caught on tape. Pretend it was just bawdy talk all you want, but like most things that come out of your mouth, that’s a big fat fucking lie.

If anyone who reads this says, “Yeah, but Bill Clinton…” Stop. If your defense of a man who’s bragged about sexually assaulting women is to point out that women have accused the husband of his political opponent of rape, you’ve already lost the argument. It doesn’t negate Trump’s violence against women in the slightest. It just means he and Bill are no different. I’m a Bernie supporter who never cast a single vote for Bill Clinton, so your point means nothing to me. What matters to me, is that the GOP nominee is an admitted abuser of women. He’s openly confessed to a crime. And the saddest thing is people are trying to justify his crime by saying every man does it. Fuck you. This man doesn’t. Nor do any of the men I know personally.

C. Hoyt Caldwell Interview

crimenovelistAccording to OmniMystery News, I’m a crime novelist. I like the sound of that. It makes me sound like I know what the hell I’m doing. Here’s a link to an interview I did with them recently where I try to explain what it is I write about: A Conversation with Crime Novelist C. Hoyt Caldwell

Savage Reckoning is available at the following retailers:

What reviewers have to say:

“…there were numerous twists and turns along the journey that made it all a highly addictive read from start to finish.” – Carrie G

“Grab your favorite beverage, set back, and enjoy several hours of riveting entertainment.” – Vera’s Book Reviews and Stuff

“Savage Reckoning took me by surprise. I did not think that I would enjoy the book as much as I did. But, I found myself quite taking with both the story and the characters. Dani is a fantastic character and I love her colorful past and I especially hope to read more books with her (and several of the other characters in this book), The book is great, action-filled, amusing, mysterious and heartbreaking.” – Marablaise

“A strange story that grows in intensity and suspense as you read it. The characters are drawn from the hills, but represent people that have much in common with all of us. Dani is a deputy who uncovers a deep problem that involves people at high levels throughout the world. I enjoyed watching the development of the character called Step, who probably is key to the whole plot. This is a keeper!” – Kayak Jay


After the Hurricane (Images)

I made a choice to stay in Charleston, SC and ride out Hurricane Matthew. I wish I had an engaging story full of danger and intrigue, but the truth is I slept through it. It was a very uneventful hurricane. I did get up the next day and walk the neighborhood with my camera. I give you shots from Hurricane Matthew, Charleston Edition


But Someone Loves Me

i_love_gritty_tile_coasterMothers may hate me, but I am getting some love like from other reviewers. This review of Savage Reckoning comes from Just Talking Books.

What I liked: The setting, the characters, the sad plot but most of all the writing. Mr. Caldwell is an artist with words. The pictures he paints make you feel as if you’re right there as he’s writing it. I had never read anything by him before and as I mentioned, the reader will need to be in the mood for Savage Reckoning.

You can read the rest of the review by clicking below:

Mothers Hate Me

You Better Listen To Your Mama!

You’ve got some s’plaing to do, C. Hoyt!

Before I get into the bones of this blog post, let me make it perfectly clear that I understand that criticism comes with the territory of being a writer. Bad reviews are bound to be delivered, and for the most part, I receive them well. I hold nothing against anyone who doesn’t like something I write. This post isn’t a *criticism of the horrible woman who called Savage Reckoning “garbage” on Amazon. (I feel compelled to point out that the use of “horrible” was a total joke. I shouldn’t have crossed it out… That was a joke, too.) She is entitled to her opinion. I’ve been writing and publishing since 2005. I’ve gotten good reviews, bad reviews, and puzzling reviews, like the time someone simply posted “Got a free copy. Didn’t have time to read it. It looks like something I would have enjoyed” and then gave it a one-star rating. It was as if the reader was punishing me because she didn’t have time to read my book. What makes it even more puzzling is the fact that she wasn’t on a deadline. Not sure why she felt like she ran out of time.

The reason I titled this post “Mothers Hate Me” is because the two worst reviews I’ve received in 11 years both came from readers who identified themselves as mothers. In 2008, a mother of teen boys posted the following about The Pure.

Terrible………My teen boys love to read so I am always looking for a good series. I typed in teen fiction and this series popped so I bought all of them. After they were almost done with the series, I asked them what it was about. By the time their description was over I felt like I wanted to throw up. What had I subjected them to? I couldn’t believe the gore details they described. Sure that I had not subjected my Sons to this type of disgusting reading, I had them read aloud. I made them stop and took the books away. I cannot believe that these were in the teen section. Gross, Gore, Evil, Blood, Guts……….I’m so full of regret that I had ever bought these. The series should not be listed anywhere near teens. In fact, it should be labelled with a parental advisory. I think I’ll burn the books. I will use much more discretion with my selections from now on!

I filled this woman with regret because of my evilness. It doesn’t get much cooler than that. And, she wants to burn my books. I could not be more honored.

The latest mother who hates me didn’t think I was evil. My lack of talent and attack on hillbillies filled her with regret.

This was astoundingly poor quality. Try to imagine a Quentin Tarantino movie, but without any random attractive women or cutesy dialogue.

Just kidding. That’s actually a review of one of my favorite books, No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. It goes without saying that I strongly disagree, and I post it here for a reason. Opinions are not right or wrong. As an artist, you can’t take them personally. True, some reviews seem personal, but when people are moved to review a book or movie or any piece of art, they are going to express themselves with passion.That passion, when it is cast in a negative review, can come off as personal.

Here is what Mommy of Many on Amazon said about Savage Reckoning:

I received a digital copy of this book free via Netgalley.

This has to be one of the worst books I’ve read in a while. The writing is bad. The characters are bad. The story could have been ok but the writing and the characters dragged it down. It’s listed as a thriller but the only thing thrilling was being finished and trying to forget that I’d wasted hours of my life on this garbage. Far from being an edge-of-your-seat thriller, there was some mystery but the book was just so bad that I didn’t even care what was behind the disappearances.

If you’re the kind of person who believes that everyone in the south are hillbillies and you like to make fun of that, then you might find this book enjoyable. Otherwise, save yourself a few hours and skip it.

I tried to include a couple of quotes to demonstrate just how ludicrous this book is but by the time I filtered out all the words that Amazon was blocking, the quotes really lost their impact. Just download the sample and keep in mind, it only gets worse.

OUCH! The nicest thing she said is the “story could have been okay.” She is from Georgia, so I completely understand her lack of reading comprehension. ZING! Just kidding. Honestly, she’s not wrong. I do make fun of Southerners. I am a Southerner. It’s kind of what I do. We are a goofy people. I find our faults endlessly entertaining. But my protagonist is also Southern, and she’s smart as hell.

Here’s the point if you’re an author reading this. Embrace your bad reviews. They are badges of courage. Yes, Mommy of Many came off as kind of a dick, but to be fair, I wasted hours of her life. Who can blame her? I’d be a little pissy, too.  Besides, Savage Reckoning is  extremely profane, disturbingly violent, and extremely twisted. It would totally destroy my backwoods cred if someone who calls herself Mommy endorsed it. Frankly, my own mother probably would have hated it.

* – Okay, so maybe I was a little critical of Mommy of Many, but I seriously don’t hold her review against her. I was just having a little fun. It’s her opinion, and she’s entitled to it.  Have a good life, Mommy of Many.  Whatever you do, do not read book two. It features a “hickbilly’ (not to be confused with hillbilly) fucking a horse. I’m assuming that’s not your cup of tea.