Interview with Charles Rogers

What writers do you recommend?
I read Stephen King, John Grishom, Arthur C. Clarke, and Mark Twain, as do millions of others. There are others I read who aren't exactly household names. In my own writing group, Coffee and Critiquie of O'Fallon, Missouri, I've met fantastic writers. Three I must name are J. J. Zerr, Andrew Atherton, and the late Nick Nixon. Knowing these and the others in C 'n C is a privilege.
J. J. Zerr is a great writer. He has several novels that describe the life of military men and their families.
Atherton's Drafted is the most authentic, compelling, and soul-searing story about Vietnam since We Were Soldiers.
Nick Nixon was a well known band leader in the St. Louis area for many years. He was a great musician with a gift for story telling. Read his memoir!
Among mainstream, published writers, I'll name two: Pagels and Spong.
Elaine Pagels is a Biblical scholar and writer who helps me to find understanding and reality in contemporary Christianity. The single most important contemporary writer on religious topics, for me, is Bishop John Shelby Spong. Pagels and Spong appeal to both my intellect and to my tradition of faith.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I personally own a Nook. My sister uses a Kindle. I have friends who use iPads. I'm not aware of any particular reason to like one over another. Once I've gone to the trouble to learn how to operate something, I need strong motivation to abandon it and learn how to operate something else for the same purpose.
Describe your desk
I have a beautiful oak roll top desk that my wife gave me as a Christmas present more than 20 years ago. It is piled high with brief cases, computer stuff, books, and photographs. I would have to say it's messy. But, please, don't anyone try to straighten it for me.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up all over South and Central Texas. I'm a product of the public schools of that area. The time was just after World War II and just before the sexual revolution.
When did you first start writing?
I did some writing in elementary school. That didn't go very far. For most of my professional life I was involved in very dense technical writing such as specifications and training materials. I did some short essays and actually had one technical article published in a computer magazine back in the mid 80's. That was also when I started writing about my life as a goat rancher. In about 1991, when I was in my 50s, I decided to start writing about my relatives. The Hiram Enlow book took more than a decade to materialize. The book about my grandmother Myrtle is coming more easily.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've read in a couple of places about the trouble that some of the best known writers had getting started in conventional publishing. Stephen King and John Grisham both had good books rejected repeatedly before they became established. Today, of course, they both can expect millions of sales for everything they offer. I don't have the life time remaining to get discovered. Besides, I really don't seek to become rich and famous from my writing. My goal is to make my books available to my family and friends. As it turns out, my books have earned friends for me. It's pretty cool having a person say they enjoyed reading something I wrote.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords gives me, I'll repeat: they GIVE me, the tools to put my books on the web. Wow! Yes, I have to do a bit of work. I have to prepare the text file and get the cover right. But I have the computer savvy to do those things. I put in a little sweat equity and anyone with a computer or e-reader can purchase my book. Talk about power! I've achieved my objectives with each book on Smashwords. They are available for my friends. I realize that some writers sell hundreds or thousands of books. I don't seek that. I have no objection to making a buck when it happens. But for me, my success is that the books are available. Friends, family, anyone, can find them and read them if they choose.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on two new projects. The first is a combination of memoirs about my grandmother and her son my father. The second is to produce an illustrated edition of the Conversations With A Barncat book. I think that Conversations will make a very nice illustrated paperback.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I teach adult Sunday School and serve as occasional Liturgist at my church.
Published 2014-07-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Sermon At Deadman's Bend
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 47,510. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Biography » Religious biography
Hiram Enlow was raised in Adams County, Mississippi, near Deadman’s Bend. As a young man he moved to Wilkinson County where he married Nancy Ann Enlow. He became a regionally famous Methodist Episcopal clergyman. This book tells his story from the time of his birth until he was granted License to Preach. It highlights Hiram Enlow’s early years as an exhorter.
Conversation With A Barn Cat
By
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 4,640. Language: English. Published: April 2, 2013. Category: Fiction » Literary collections » American / General
This short collection of essays will bring a smile of recognition to those who love the people, the land, and the culture of the Ozarks. The author evokes the rhythms of a nearly forgotten life style. The overall tone is gentle good humor blended with love for the time and place.