Author Interview: Bud Rudesill

It is not often that I meet an author who is also a geologist and a photographer. The combination makes for great life experience to spin into this historical yarn about a fashion photographer. Bud’s story also highlights how a novel can start by humble means and turn into something special. I hope you’ll welcome Bud Rudesill here on No Wasted Ink. Oh…and by the way, there is a little extra something on the lens of the camera in Bud’s headshot. Click to the larger version of the photo to see the surprise.

Bud Rudesill PortraitMy name is Bud Rudesill. Condensing the story of sixty-eight years of life—my life—is far more daunting than writing a novel, for the story of my life is a saga. I have pursued so many options, been so many places, and earned my living doing so many things. Life for me has not been the pursuit of a dream. It has been more like a dream composed of choices, opportunities, luck—good and bad—romance, and adventure. For me, those are the components of good stories. I never have to look far to find the material to spin a yarn.

I have heard stories, first and second hand, of people who settled the West. I sat in a room with a woman who had come West in a covered wagon as we watched the live television feed of Neil Armstrong taking the first giant step for mankind on the moon. I worked on a ranch as a young man where I heard three generations of verbal history of that ranch. I have a master’s degree in geology and have worked in Saudi Arabia where I was befriended by a Saudi who believed he was the first Saudi delivered by an American Aramco doctor. I learned computer programming on an IBM 1620 and am still reasonably computer literate. My great, grand uncle, Jack Wilkinson Smith, was arguably the father of California Impressionism. I’m not bad with brush and paint myself. And that is a sample of vanilla in a Ben and Jerry’s.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing fiction early in 2002 because back problems and consequential surgery was seriously limiting my physical activity. It was time for me to use my mind more instead of my body. Painting more was part of the solution. Writing was the other part. In essence I began living a large part of my life vicariously through my characters. The sum total of events and accomplishments of my life, plus the stories I’ve heard over the years told by others are the food for the creation of the characters and events that fill my literary works.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I guess when I finished a 135,000 word novel in three weeks. The novel wasn’t good enough to be publishable, but it had a lot of good story and writing in it. I knew I would be able to write good stories well at that point. It took me a lot longer to get very good at the craft.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Cutter’s Bizaar started as paintings in mid 2002. I got the idea of painting images of fashion models and I distorted them because the fashion industry is a distorted fantasy world. After finishing several paintings that I felt were a major breakthrough in my art, I started making up vignettes about the women in the paintings. I tied them together through a Wyoming born cowboy-turned fashion photographer. The vignettes became a modest little self-published/computer printed magazine and then that became a novel.

The story is about four decades at the end of the twentieth century of the fashion photography business and an unlikely fashion photographer.

What inspired you to write this book?

Well, I knew I had a good idea at the first showing of my paintings where I hung the vignettes with them. I had copies of the magazine at the second show of my paintings. Women were interested in the images and the stories. It took me almost a decade to realize how pertinent the stories were to the contemporary interest in fashion. It was another writer who is also a fashionista that got me watching the reality fashion shows and I quickly realized I needed to turn the vignettes into a novel.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I have a master’s degree in Geology, so I learned technical writing starting as an undergraduate. I would say that my style is to just tell my stories as well as I can—to communicate the plot, character development, emotion, etc. to the reader while maintaining tension and interest in the plot and characters. I would say this style contrasts mostly with writing that is more about the impact on the reader of the sounds and impressions of the words than the story they tell.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

When I was designing the cover for my little magazine I realized I could imitate the style of the title of Harper’s Bazaar and work a play on words, sort of, by misspelling bazaar and bizarre, placing the first name of my protagonist between the two As. The misspelled word added to the concept of an industry that is a bizarre fantasy world.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

My stories almost always have strong female characters and strong men that love them. Fashion models that succeed have to be strong, resilient, and smart. There’s a reason why the top models get paid a hundred times what top photographers get paid. So a lot of the novel is about the difficult situations models are subjected to, and how they cope and sometimes become extremely successful.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I know a lot about the cattle ranching life, my protagonist, Frank Cutter grows up with. I’ve been to the locations described in the book. I know a lot about modeling for artists and a little bit about shooting fashion photography. No, there isn’t an individual or series of events that the story is based on. Much of it is based on research and fantasy, but sometimes the view from outside looking in is more accurate than the view from the inside. In this case the target market is people on the outside, so a fantasy about a fantasy world is, hopefully, good art.

What authors have most influenced your life?

My life has been most influenced by people who have written scientific and historical works. My writing has been most influenced by the printed words of Hemingway’s stories of Africa, Joseph Conrad, and Erwin Shaw. The writer, in the common sense of the word, who most influenced my life, was Edward Dorn. He was an instructor at Idaho State my freshman year and I took my first literature class from him. It wasn’t his writing that influenced me, rather his teaching style and some of his lessons.

If you had to choose, is there a writer you would consider a mentor?

Yes. The first few sentences Ed Dorn spoke to the class I was in eventually had more impact on my writing than any of the many lessons since. It’s a long story, but the crux of his lesson was that it is not the grammar or spelling that is the most important aspect of the writing. The most important aspect of writing is to communicate something—an idea or feeling, knowledge, whatever—that is in your mind to another person. This applies to technical writing as well as fiction.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

I did. The painting is one of the first I did in the series that inspired the novel. I selected this illustrator because he works real cheap.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Writing fiction for me is one of many art mediums. I am an artist. I don’t make art because I’m good at it, because I like making it, or because I can profit financially from it. I make art because I’m compelled to make it. My life is nothing without satisfying my basic needs—food, water, sleep, shelter, sex, and making art. In my opinion, if a writer is motivated to write fiction because they want to make money by selling their product, they are involved in a nearly futile struggle. If a writer is compelled to write, they should write for that reason, and they should perfect their craft to the fullest extent of their talent and ambition. It is the process and end product, not monetary profit, which will sustain the needs of true artists.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

To my readers—thank you for having the courage to read something that isn’t recommended by people who make a living off promoting writers and/or their works. Thank you again if you critique me so that I can continue to improve my craft.

To my potential readers—I don’t employ the latest artificial devices to hook you in the first three lines of my stories. I’m old school and set my stories up with care so that there will be no confusion later on as to who did what, when, where, how, and why.

Cutter's Bizaar Book CoverBud Rudesill
Pittsboro, North Carolina.

I am an artist and photographer, and a geologist. I have done a fair bit of ranch work including some in the Valley of the Warm Winds, also known as the Wind River Valley, Wyoming.

Cutter’s Bizaar is available in paperback at by Create Space and as an eBook at by Kindle

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

From where famous author’s wrote their manuscripts, to general writing tips, to tossing in a little steampunk goodness, this week’s writer’s links here on No Wasted Ink will be sure to please.

The Creativity of Getting Things Done – Part One

Fantasy Writing Case Study: Trindall Grove

The Libraries, Studies, and Writing Rooms of 15 Famous Men

Are You Writing Your Novel Too Fast?

Steampunk heroes: Building a better leading man

Why Self-Publishing Is a Tragic Term

How Should You Refer to a Cultural Era?

Writer’s Survival Guide 15: Fighting Distractions

What to Do After You Get Fired From Your Freelance Writing Gig

2 Big Ideas for Self-Publishing Your Book

Book Review: The Warlock In Spite Of Himself

Book Name: The Warlock In Spite Of Himself
Author: Christopher Stasheff
First Published: 1969

Christopher Stasheff’s long love affair with television began at an early age. He started on staff at the University of Michigan as a paid student and moved up the ladder as his degree progressed into the Manager of the entire Student Staff. Once he obtained his M.A, he moved on to a position in the Broadcast Department of the University of Nebraska. At this point he switched his field of study and began to work on a Ph.D. In Theater Arts.

It was at this time that he read about a competition for unpublished writers of science fiction and fantasy and he decided to enter the contest. While he did not finish his manuscript in time for the contest, he ended up sending The Warlock In Spite Of Himself to Ace Publishers. They bought it and it was the start of a long career in writing novels. He has 44 titles to his name to date.

Stasheff continued to teach broadcasting at various universities for another fifteen years before he gave it up to become a full-time author. He is married with four children and with grandchildren on the way.

The Warlock In Spite of Himself, a title that plays on the old british novel The Doctor In Spite of Himself, begins when SCENT spy Rodney Gallowglass lands on the backwater planet of Gramarye in a spaceship that is disguised as an asteroid. Rod and his epileptic robot/steed/sidekick Fess discover a feudal world right out of a modern day renfaire. Sprinkled through the population are fantasy creatures such as witches, ghosts, werewolves, dwarves and elves that came about due to the psychic abilities of the people that settled on the planet. SCENT, a planetary democratic federation wishes for this world to be guided toward democracy and represented rule. Rod decides that the best way to promote this is to set up a constitutional monarchy that will foil off-world anarchists, a coven of home-brewed witches, and a man that wishes to become the dictator of Gramarye. Due to Rod’s use of technology that the natives do not understand, he is branded a warlock and uses this misconception to further his aims.

Sometimes you discover an author who has that perfect blend of interests and writing that simply comes together for you. I am a science fiction and fantasy buff with a radio/television/film degree. How perfect is it to find an author who was one of the first to combine a fantasy with science fiction elements, something that is commonplace now, but certainly not when this novel came out, but also an author who creates a fictional catholic saint of television producers and IT computer geeks? I adore the entire concept of St. Vidicon, an order of monks who wear a small screwdriver in a pocket of their robes. While there are customs and concepts about women and the way that Gallowglass behaves that seem right out of the 1950’s and might prove jarring to younger readers unaccustomed to old-fashioned ideals, still the story is charming and humorous. This is Stasheff’s first novel and the first of a long series of books about the Gallowglass clan. It is well worth checking out to see if you are ready for this unique adventure in reading. Prepare to be enchanted.

The Warlock Inspite of Himself Book CoverYou can find The Warlock In Spite of Himself at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local used book store.

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

This week’s links cover topics from why a coffeehouse is good for your writer, how to tap into your creative genius and tips for promoting yourself via the radio. Enjoy your start of summer with articles linked from No Wasted Ink.

Book Promotion: 7 top tips for promotion on the radio

The Top 25 Ways to Blow a Book

Study of the Day: Why Crowded Coffee Shops Fire Up Your Creativity

Free Sites to Promote Your eBook

Social Reading is Coming. Deal with It.

Kind of Training Do You Need to Publish a Novel?

The Best Free Apps For Writers

Becoming A Creative Genius With Phil South

The Power of a Deadline…The Importance of a Goal


Author Interview: Tami Parrington

I often fall into chatting with fellow writers on twitter and this is how I was introduced to Tami Parrington. Tami is an author that started with more traditional publishing of her work, but moved into self-publishing after a series of events changed her outlook. Please welcome Tami Parrington to No Wasted Ink.

Author Tami ParringtonHello, my name is Tami, and I’m addicted to words. I started actually writing down the stories I came up with in high school, although my active imagination began long before that. It wasn’t until my late 30s that I truly began a quest for publication of anything I’d written though.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

My plans for this year were to re-release Dark Side of the Moon, and complete a new book for the Demon series started with Hell’s Own. Dark Side of the Moon is such an important project for me. It was the second book I completed in my professional career. This was back when self-publishing was still considered only vanity work, and the wonderful world of indy authors did not exist. It had been accepted by a mid-sized publisher and made it to press (physical book only, ebooks weren’t widely considered much by publishers then even though some very good ebook houses were springing up back then). Unfortunately, less than a month after publication, the house it was published through went bankrupt due to some sort of crazy dealings in the financial world of the owner’s husband. Dark Side of the Moon was suddenly an orphan.

In those days, traditional publishers didn’t want a book already put out by another house, even if it had only been out a short while, and there weren’t a lot of viable options for a book with such a fate. Over the years I wrote more books and either had them published by other companies, or as the Indy world began to grow, published them myself. However, another unfortunate turn of events made self-publishing Dark Side Of The Moon difficult. The novel had been created on an old computer that died a rather horrible death, and the files were lost. At the time, since the original publisher had everything it didn’t concern me, but after the original digital copy was gone, I couldn’t do anything with it because all I had were paperback copies of the book, no manuscript on a hard drive.

That event and several more over the following years made me very anal about backups. I now have two external hard drives where I back up my novels, as well as saving all work to a cloud drive file. I never could bear the thought of having to retype the entire thing again. I do have a few problems with carpal tunnel thanks to decades of typing, so that much is not something I like to think about. Finally, I just decided it had to be done. I really like the story, and there’s so much of it that actually happens in the entertainment industry. I brushed it up, and updated it a little, but am just very happy to say that it is all nicely redone on my hard drive now.

How did you come up with the title?

Any Pink Floyd fan knows that Dark Side of the Moon isn’t original as titles go. However, it is just perfect for this book that deals with the music industry’s crazy fanatical side and its dark and sinister side.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

All of my work tends to have some message in it that I hope the readers can take away with them. What good book doesn’t? While the theme and message in Hell’s Own is wildly different from that in Dark Side of the Moon, or even Married to a Rock Star (book one of the Rock Star series), one thing I do want readers to know before they embark on a journey with me is that I don’t follow formulas and my heroes and heroines do not always make the right choices. In fact, they often do not. They are not “heroes or heroines” in the commonly thought of publishing view. People in real life don’t make the right choices all of the time. That doesn’t make them bad. It makes them human. I don’t even bother to try and make ‘excuses’ for my character’s shortcomings, as if to say, oh this person is doing this, but it’s not their fault. What I really want readers to come away with in Dark Side of the Moon, and perhaps any of the stories I write, regardless of genre or theme, is that good people make the wrong decisions sometimes, the struggle is to deal with them, try to overcome them, and to find the way “home” again to where you can make things right.

Are experiences in the novel based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

In Dark Side of the Moon, definitely. For a long time in the early to late 90s, I was very involved in a large, vibrant and powerful fan community–I saw that side of it firsthand. I also got to see a lot of the “business” side because I knew people who were musicians and caught up in the whole power and image struggle. The same is true for Married to a Rock Star, except that the story is not based on any actual events. Of course, Hell’s Own is not based on ANY actual events either. If you do ever hear about a demon flying about, trying to escape from the devil with the help of two humans please let me know so I can hide.

What books have most influenced your life most?

Wow, so many. I guess I’d have to go all the way back to when I was very young. Not the earliest, perhaps, but in my late childhood, early teens, the Walter Farley books (The Black Stallion series and others) had a profound impact on me. Those were, I think, the first books that showed me you could lose yourself inside a story, and that even fiction could teach you things about the world it existed in. Plus I just loved horses. Later, Anne Rice showed me that you could create something wildly new from an old character type. I think the entire “vampire movement” from Buffy to True Blood, and Twilight to Personal Demon have her to thank for that.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Not anymore. In the early 90s, I did signings, I did conferences, I did all that. Now, it’s not all that necessary, and I prefer it this way As a self-published author, most of my sales are in the form of ebooks, although some physical books do sell. Being self-published is still a big road block for authors who want to try and get into brick and mortar stores, although I am hoping that will change even more as the publishing world evolves. I’ve watched as the Internet has become such a powerful force in marketing, that for self-published authors especially, it is the best form of marketing. Connecting with readers through social media, blogs and reader dedicated websites such as Goodreads, provides a wonderful resource for both sides. If anything, I think the internet has made authors more accessible to readers, and the connection much more personal. You only get a few minutes at a book signing. Online you can have a long-term relationship if you want it, and even if you aren’t that committed, you can follow everything your favorite authors do much easier.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Follow your heart. Do what you love, and create what you believe in. You can hope, and you can want readers to love it too, but you’re not going to please everyone. You do, however, have to please yourself.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

What I would like to say most to readers is: Thank you! Thank you for finding the joy, for finding the excitement and for being such a big part of my life and the life of every other author out there. Without readers we’d be talking to ourselves, and we do that enough anyway.

Dark Side Of The Moon Book CoverTami Parrington, also known as T.L. Parrington, lives in Burbank, Illinois, a little suburb just south of Chicago. Along with her fiction, she is a full-time freelancer and spends her days happily writing and playing with her crazy dog and having conversations with her parrot so that no one thinks she’s talking to herself.

Dark Side of the Moon is available at the following sites: Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble.

Please follow Tami on Twitter at @TParrington or visit her at her website.
The book cover is self-illustrated by Tami Parrington.

Author Interviews * Book Reviews * Essays * Writer's Links * Scifaiku

%d bloggers like this: