Today I'd like to welcome CS DeWildt, author of “Love You to a Pulp” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
CS DeWildt is the author of the books Love You to a Pulp, Candy and Cigarettes, Dead Animals, and The Louisville Problem. He is currently finishing a new novel. He lives in the American Southwest with his wife and sons.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
Yes. Because much like Steven Segal, my heart is Above the Law. However, I guess it depends on how much I love them and which law I’d have to break; and of course the likelihood of getting caught needs to be factored in. I’m not going back to prison for anyone, dig?
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
A six-pack and a woman to love and hate you. Simple pleasures that will kill you. Finding something that no one can do in the same way. Competing with yourself, pushing yourself in some kind of discipline, no matter what it is, that will leave a deep scratch on the surface of existence.
No.3 What motivates you to write?
Fire and sharp sticks in my eye and screaming children and insecurity and narcissism and beer and Hemingway and Carver and envy and stories that are too lazy to write themselves
No.4 Why do humans want children?
It’s the biological imperative. It’s not “want” so much as “compulsion”. Having studied quite a bit of biology, I tend to look at most things through that lens and parenting is no exception. The only thing that separates us from the animals is that we are slightly less likely to eat our young.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "Love You to a Pulp" ?
Finding a publisher was a challenge. I had 3 different places agree to publish it before the deals fell through. As for the writing, the greatest struggle was maintaining a balance between the violent content and the heart of the piece. It was a bit of an experiment for me, telling this kind of story while offering the reader reprieve through carefully crafted prose, creating something beautiful out of the dirtiest elements.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
That I don’t really know anything. That to really love someone you need to be able to hate them. That being trapped in the dark is the only way to know the glory of the light.
No.7 How did you come up with the title "Love You to a Pulp" ?
I wanted an original phrase that captured the essence of my main character. He is a violent man with no other way to show his love than with his fists. And of course there’s the “pulp” fiction aspect of the piece. It’s gritty and raw and violent. I feel the title captures all of the various elements in a single punchy phrase.
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
I like to think I handle it well, but I can occasionally get a little raw. I’ve gotten poor reviews, and that’s fine, but a poor review should contain some kind of substance beyond, “I didn’t like it.” Fine, but tell us WHY. The things a reviewer may not like might be just the thing someone else is looking for. If you are going to criticize an artist and their work you owe them details that go beyond your own limited experience.
But in the end, all criticism says more about the critic than the critiqued, and it’s easy to forget that. So I try to never take criticism too personally, and even use it when it’s helpful.
No.9 Why should people read your book?
Because it’s pretty much the most amazing thing ever written by man or beast. It’s a compelling story with break neck pacing and something to please/offend everyone: violence, strippers, killing, sex, more death, drugs, degradation. But it’s also a story about redemption and loss, and despite having a very “male” protagonist and plot, it’s also a tale of female empowerment.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
What is the universe outside of our ability to take it in through the senses? “Something” is an abstraction that can’t exist without our perception, so when perception is removed from the system, nothing exists. Also, because our species loves dichotomies.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions & the best of luck with your new book!
Check out “Love You to a Pulp" on
"DeWildt stands alone as a wicked wizard of crime fiction. Love You to a Pulp serves up heart and depravity in equal portions. Bold, brash, and completely original." -- Tom Pitts, author of Hustle "Chris DeWildt is the first honest-to-God heir apparent I've read to the rural noir master Jim Thompson." -- Joe Clifford, author of Lamentation
"DeWildt has a tendency to drag his characters, as well as his avid readers, through the most despicable of circumstances, yet with Love You To A Pulp, that tradition lets a little redemption seep in through the cracks. A balance DeWildt handles like a pro. This book is full of masterful imagery from a provocative author at the top of his game, piled high on a bullet train of violence that demands that once you start watching, you don't look away." -- Brian Panowich, author of Bull Mountain