Interview with Charles Kaluza

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I learned to read early and despite my poor school performance in reading, writing and spelling I managed to read our entire local library of young adult books. Because of my dyslexia I read in pictures not really seeing the words but rather a mental movie of the book contents. I find my writing to be the reverse process with the pictures in my mind which I try to describe with words. Kon Tiki was one of the great books of my childhood.
Describe your desk
My desk is an awesome piece of blue pine timber about 8 ft long and 2 ft deep and 4 inches thick. Unfortunately it is difficult to see the surface most of the time.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up just north of Minneapolis, MN and had the great privilege of spending summers in the wilderness of Canada. I wrote a short autobiography of this experience so my grandsons could vicariously experience a life which no longer exist. This has been published at Smashwords, "Growing up on Eddie's Island".
How has your medical background influenced your writing.
Almost all of my writing has a medical aspect and some of my books are built entirely around a medical issue. I write for the proverbial audience of one and I enjoy exploring medical ethics and the potential for future advancements.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I am working on a Sci-Fi which is tentatively titled "Tails and Fixers". It is the story of an emissary from Earth who is sent on a one way journey to a far distant world after a distress signal had been detected. The world was hit by a large asteroid and all life exterminated except for those who had sought shelter deep under ground in the Sanctuary.
When did you first start writing?
I have written many medical papers but turned my attention to fiction when my rheumatoid arthritis forced me to give up surgery. It allowed me to envision different worlds and explore ethical issues. My wife asked me where I go when I am not feeling well and just work on my writing. I thought about it for a minute before saying, "Somewhere where I do not hurt."
How do you approach cover design?
I try and visualize a cover that makes a promise to the reader of what is inside the book. I have learned that having professional help with the graphics is well worth the cost.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I write for the joy of writing and have not marketed my books in any significant way. Despite this lack of marketing, "The First Indigan" has been in the top 30 of over 2500 Sci-Fi books in it's catagory at Smashwords.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I tried the writing conference and agent route but did not enjoy the experience at all. I write for the joy of writing and decided life was short and I was going to spend my time doing what I enjoyed. The indie world allows me to explore what I am interested in and anyone in the world can find the books if they have similar interest.
What do you read for pleasure?
I still read the science and medical literature mostly for my own wonderment of the world. I will read almost anything when I am in the mood but prefer science fiction as a general rule.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has given me a venue to share my writing with others. The freedom to explore issues like the concept of biologic robots and the ethical issues of slavery have entertained my mind.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
The basic Kindle.
Published 2015-06-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Alaskan Sailing Adventure
Price: Free! Words: 59,730. Language: American English. Published: February 28, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Sea adventures, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
Four teenage cousins have worked and studied for two years preparing for an "Outward Bound" type sailing adventure in Alaska. They expect to see the scenery of Kenai Fiords National Park and do some fishing. Their captain has far greater plans for them and expects them to become sailors capable of surviving on their own.
Tails and Fixers
Price: Free! Words: 102,790. Language: American English. Published: September 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
Tails and Fixers is a Sci-Fi novel that deals with survival on a far distant hostile world. In the end it is a love story with both sorrow and great hope.
Growing up on Eddie's Island
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 29,270. Language: English. Published: December 4, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
This autobiography is of my experiences in the wilderness of Canada as I was growing up. This was a time before cellphones and the internet. We lived and worked much like our ancestors did prior to the modern technological development.
The Scarlet King
Series: Sacred Water, Book 3. Price: Free! Words: 103,450. Language: English. Published: January 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
The Scarlet King is the final book in the Sacred Water trilogy. In the third book we find that the ancient enemy of Those of the Red also seeks the power of the iodine. They are of the East and much feared for good reasons. Those of the Forest must come to the aid of their former enemy for the survival of their civilization is at stake.
Sacred Water, Book 2, The Time Before
Series: Sacred Water, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 109,420. Language: English. Published: August 27, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
The Time Before is the second book of the Sacred Water series and continues the saga of Daniel and Heather's struggles against those of the Red. The story begins with the kidnapping of Daniel because of his knowledge of the black powder. Their peoples face a full-scale invasion of their lands from those of the Red who are intent on capturing the source of the Sacred Water.
Medical Sci-Fi Short Stories
Price: Free! Words: 21,360. Language: English. Published: July 17, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
These short stories were written to explore some of the ethical issues medical advancements will bring forth. The scenarios are within the realm of possibilities for the not so distant future. The technological advancements will be significant steps but they bring to bear the law of unintended consequences. These works are published together for the first time.
The Alaskan Voyage of the Sea Shanty
Price: Free! Words: 22,550. Language: English. Published: July 12, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » By region
This is my story of healing and exploration while fulfilling a lifelong dream of sailing my own boat to Alaska. Sailing to Alaska is common enough but sailing in a boat you finished yourself is less common. The experience allowed me to grow out of my illness and experience life to a much fuller extent. This story is based on the short email accounts I sent to family and friends while traveling.
Half Brains, Sacred Water book 1
Series: Sacred Water, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 102,970. Language: English. Published: November 5, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction
“Half Brains” the first book of the Sacred Water trilogy, is set in a pre-industrial world. The people face extinction because their only source of iodine, the Sacred Water, is being stolen by an unknown enemy. My story opens with Daniel, the young Healer from the Forest, knocking timidly on a door in the Northern Palace. He had been summoned to evaluate the king’s daughter who
The First Indigan
Price: Free! Words: 103,690. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
The First Indigan, is a science fiction adventure exploring the science of creation. It is based on my own surgical and military experiences as well as my own response to loss. I especially enjoyed writing the sections on the head transplant which is technically feasible but as yet unperformed in humans. As is proper in science fiction, the science is pushed far beyond our present capabilities.
Brain Worms
Price: Free! Words: 67,760. Language: English. Published: September 28, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
This is a fast-moving medical thriller where the reader is involved in emergency brain surgery and a terrorist plot. Harry the neurosurgeon, gets dragged into the story and is forced to resume his old life as a Navy SEAL in order to save his wife and prevent the loss of thousands of innocent lives. The concept originated with an actual patient in my hospital.