Call me un-American

einsteinYesterday, after waking up to the unthinkable, I posted on Facebook that for the first time in my life, I was ashamed to call myself an American. Some people felt the same way and others weren’t happy about the results, but didn’t feel the shame that I did, nor are they required to. I enjoy a lot of the relationships I have with people who don’t think like me. Frankly, they probably get tired of me ranting and raving, but they’re too nice to say anything, so it’s the perfect relationship as far as I’m concerned.

There were the “how dare you” type comments throughout the day, of course. They weren’t mad that I was upset about the election. They were mad that I would do something as unpatriotic as to say I am ashamed of my country. And that is the problem with America in a nutshell. This unwavering pride that is impervious to introspection and to critical self-analysis. It’s called blind nationalism, and it has led to the downfall of societies throughout history.

By me admitting my shame, I’m saying we made a historical mistake. If that’s unpatriotic, then I am happily unpatriotic. I want to get better as a country. We don’t do that by refusing to examine policies and beliefs that have gotten us to this point simply because we’re America, and America can do no wrong. We have to allow ourselves to feel shame. Shame will either destroy you or it will rebuild you and make you stronger. I have faith that this country would experience the latter and not the former.

I am ashamed because Donald Trump is now my representative as an American to the international community. He is a man with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I am ashamed because 47% of my fellow Americans decided his brand of politics spoke to them. They overlooked, and in some cases celebrated, his destructive speech, behavior, and policies. They discounted his obvious lies because he echoed how they felt. He made up easily disproved facts and figures to support a candidacy that featured hate at its core. That is why I’m ashamed to call myself an American. That he could spur people to vote against the best interest of our country is shameful.  I’m not leaving America. I’m staying. I’m going to reevaluate my beliefs and actions, and I’m going to reevaluate my country’s. I refuse to be an unthinking nationalist. I am not a drone-American. If it is required that I constantly express pride in this country in order to call myself an American, even when I feel it has made a catastrophic mistake, then call me un-American. I will wear the name with honor.

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: