CLUTCH -- AN APOCALYPTIC NOVEL ABOUT A BRUISER HERO

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Clutch Now I don't know if you know this or not, but most noted authors got their inspiration from reading inspirational literature. Ernest Hemingway was inspired by 'Playboy' magazine. Edger Alan Poe was inspired by 'Hustler'. Monty Python was inspired by paint drying on the wall. And my mate Chris was inspired by drugs. No. Not drugs. 'The Lord Of The Ring'. Damn. I always get those two mixed up!!!! Anyway, please check out a conversation me and Chris had only the other day, whilst reading tea from a cup.


C.E.L. Welsh On Amazon


1) What are your own origins Chris? And when did you know that you wanted to be a writer?   In the vast emptiness between Earth and Venus a rift opened and detritus from another place spilled in – including a lone meteoroid, which fell into a specific cosmic groove and hurtled towards Earth. It did not survive planet fall, but its passenger – a questing spirit looking for a new home – did, entering the skies over Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on December 19th, 1970. The alien energy zeroed in on a young life-force, itself new to the world, and joined it, becoming an amalgam unique in history.

Or something. I mean, I can’t actually remember my origin. So that story is as good as the one my ‘parents’ told me.

I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since around age 9 or 10 (there goes my memory again) at about ten pages into 'The Two Towers'. I’d read The Hobbit, loved it, the year before, and when I saw 'The Lord of the Rings' in my school library I nearly passed out. Hadn’t known they even existed.

I started with 'The Two Towers' -- 'The Fellowship of the Ring' was checked out -- but I couldn’t wait. You may recall 'The Two Towers' starts with Aragon running up a hill, conflicted, unsure and under pressure – does he run to the sound of Borimir’s horn to help, or does he continue up to use the hill’s special properties to locate the Ringbearer?

I didn’t know who these characters were, or what their importance was. I didn’t know the plot of the book. I just started in the action, and knew the character in front of me was faced with a terrible choice. And I loved it.

C.E.L. Welsh
Wow. I never thought of this before! But actually, I think my introduction to 'The Lord of the Rings' shaped my writing style a lot more than I was aware of.

2) In your own words how would you describe your comic book novel ‘Clutch’? Plus what formats does it come in?   To clarify, Clutch isn’t a comic book novel. It’s a regular-old novel. Except it’s brand new, and *I* don’t think there’s anything ‘regular’ about it, really. So… where were we?

Ah, yes – novel. Not comic book or graphic novel. BUT – that may come down the line soon, depending on how well our Kickstarter campaign goes! 

Clutch is a novel about choices, set in a world where many choices and freedoms that you and I take for granted are taken away from most people. A devastating meteor storm started 20 years ago, and although the initial bombardment did pass, the storm has not. Meteors still hit the earth (meteorITES, technically) daily, and all the old civilizations and ways of life are gone. Now people make do -- “best they can” -- and they often can’t. Add in to all the normal troubles in a post-apocalyptic society (lawlessness, starvation, general hell-on-earth…ness…) the fact that radiation from the meteors have caused animal populations to explode and mutate, and, well… the Wrecked Earth is what you have.

So Clutch himself is a bit of a bad-ass and tough guy. But he’s got a chance to settle down and make life kind of okay for himself and his adopted little bro, a teenager named Jorge. But, we can’t let that happen, right? So he gets wrapped up with a villain who is producing these monsters and can control your mind and… it’s pretty exciting. 

As for the formats? Well? Backers of the Kickstarter can opt for a pre-release PDF to read, and upon publication it will be available in all e-book formats (MOBI, EPUB, etc) and there will be a print version also.

Oh! And maybe an online comic. Maybe.

3) If your novel was a piece of music or an object, what would it be and why?   'Carmina Burana', because I loved it before it was cool to love it. You’ve heard the dramatic parts; it’s used in every other movie trailer. But the whole thing – that’s worth listening too. The drama, the low points, the crescendo, it all fits with different elements of the Wrecked Earth and Clutch’s story – even the parts I haven’t written yet.




4) If you could cast a ‘Clutch’ movie, who would you cast in it and again, why?   If Danny Trejo has a younger beefier brother -- that would be Clutch. In my mind, as I was developing the character, I saw Danny Trejo mixed with Robert Trujillo from Metallica. And maybe Jason Momoa.

Clutch
5) How did you meet up with your great artist, Danny Cruz, and what have you both learnt from each other whilst working in this collaboration?   Way back when DC Comics was running Zuda I was champing at the bit to get in. I eventually did, with HYDEBOUND, done with artist Thomas Leblanc. But before we started I combed the internet for artists to collaborate with, and stumbled across a thread where people were gushing over some of Danny’s work. I joined in, then contacted Danny and asked if he was up for a collaboration. He was, and we started a dialog, but we couldn’t nail down the time to work together (tough to do when you’ve got bills to pay and jobs come your way, right kids?). 

Over the years we kept in touch, and I eventually stopped pitching him MY ideas and said “Look, I want to work with you… what do YOU want to work on? Something that really would be fun for you and work with your style?” He was game, and he pitched me a character. I took it, ran with it, and created a world and a story to go with it that eventually became the Wrecked Earth and Clutch.

What have I learned from Danny? To keep doing what you are good at, at what you love to do, to keep learning and improving. When I first saw his stuff I thought it was the best. Then he got better.

6) What was the first comic book you have ever read? And do you still read mainstream comics?   An issue of Spider-man, over my brother’s shoulder while he read it. Can’t recall the story but I know it had Mary Jane in it and it was the 70’s. LATE 70’s!!!! Thank you.

I don’t read as many mainstream comics as I would like to.

7) From your kickstart video you stated that you’re quite a 'Harry Houdini’ buff. Now being somewhat of a swat on ‘Erik Weisz’ myself, I would like to know if you share any of his quality's? In either temperament or drive.    Had to look up “swat” -- thank you for adding that to my vocabulary! Wow, sharing qualities with Houdini… that’s a thinker. Okay, yes. Ol’ H.H. was all about spectacle, and story. He didn’t just say “hey, check me out, I can escape handcuffs!” No. He challenged people to bring their own handcuffs. He went into police stations and told the coppers to cuff him and lock him in their safe. He found the specific prison cells of infamous criminals and escaped from them. He was all about telling a story -- every time -- and that’s my focus as well.

Robert Trujillo
8) If your lead character was a singleton looking for a date, who would this date be, and why would he want to date this person?   Hard to come by dates in the Wrecked Earth on the average. but Clutch does connect with a young lady who is, in her own way, as tough as he is. Shelia is Captain of the Sentries in New Greenville, the town where Clutch has made his home at the start of the book, and she’s probably the only gal in town who could handle our bruiser hero.

He wants to date Shelia because she’s tough, but feminine and fun. She’s not vapid or shallow, but she’s not a mess, either. She’s real, and real people matter to Clutch.

9) During your time as an writer, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   Each success, no matter how small, has been a brick in the foundation I’m standing on now. There’s a lot of work yet to be done to reach the heights I have in mind, but the foundation is pretty stable. I’ve had to make myself do the work at times, when the sun is high and my back is aching and I know there’s a cold beer and a saved episode of 'Fringe 'waiting for me inside. But you keep at the bricklaying because you have a dream, and no one is going to build it for you.

The encouragement of my peers, family and friends – and the growing community of fans – lends me the strength to carry on when my will is weak. It’s so very easy to get lost as a writer, working away in solitude. It is important to look up from the Work In Progress, rub your bleary eyes, and Get Out, to mix it up with people and life. This will give you the energy you need to get back to the WIP once again.

Wow, Chris! What an inspiration you are. You make me want to strip butt-naked and run into the streets and scream 'Hallelujah' to the masses. However, before I do this, I must urge my dear readers to check out Chris's website, celwelsh.com, his Kickstarter campaign, whilst doing the tweet-tweet / face-face thing too. Bless.

Now who has some free lube spare?