The Subconscious Interview with Chadwick Ginther

Pre­sent­ing The Sub­con­scious Inter­view, the oppor­tu­ni­ty for lit­er­ary sub­jects to both ask and answer ques­tions nev­er posed to them before, on any top­ic what­so­ev­er. Also, proof I’m always look­ing for ways to make my life eas­i­er.

Today’s Sub­con­scious Inter­vie­wee: Chad­wick Ginther, author of the action fan­tasies Thun­der Road and Tomb­stone Blues.

You may find the “con­scious” seg­ment of this inter­view here.

Ginther’s books are full of musi­cal allu­sions, yet appar­ent­ly no one has every asked him about it. Prob­lem solved!

What’s with all of the song titles?

Well, for one, I hate com­ing up with titles. But music is very impor­tant to my writ­ing process. I write to music, I make sound­tracks for my sto­ries (it’s about as close as I ever come to out­lin­ing) so it seemed a nat­ur­al thing. And while I’m not super­sti­tious, I was offered the con­tract for Thun­der Road on Bruce Springsteen’s birth­day, which didn’t seem like a coin­ci­dence that I should ignore.

If you had to choose one band or song to be the offi­cial sound­track for your writ­ing, what would it be?

It varies by project. Thun­der Road’s offi­cial song for me, isn’t the title song, but AC/DCs “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)”. Mur­der By Death is prob­a­bly the defin­ing band for Tomb­stone Blues. Their songs “Mas­ters of Reverse Psy­chol­o­gy” “Dead Men and Sin­ners” and “Until Morale Improves, the Beat­ings Will Con­tin­ue” all fea­ture as chap­ter titles, and were on my writ­ing sound­track. As I work on the third book in the tril­o­gy, the Corb Lund band has def­i­nite­ly bub­bled to the top (there are sev­er­al songs by them on my writ­ing sound­track). Ol’ Time Moon­shine’s debut EP is on heavy rota­tion (espe­cial­ly “She Dances in Grave­yards”) for anoth­er work in progress (and the first book of a new series) that I hope to fin­ish up this year.

So, if you like music so much, why aren’t you mak­ing it instead of writ­ing books?

I love music, but I nev­er took any for­mal lessons grow­ing up. As an adult I took some gui­tar lessons, but gave it up when I real­ized that I’d nev­er get much beyond doing some sim­ple call and answer four chord blues. For a time, before I set­tled on writ­ing as my cre­ative out­let, I pur­sued music pro­duc­tion, tak­ing some home record­ing and dig­i­tal record­ing class­es. Noth­ing came from it oth­er than a greater under­stand­ing and appre­ci­a­tion of the songs and artists I enjoyed lis­ten­ing too, how­ev­er.

I am also very thank­ful that there was no YouTube the first (and only) time I sang at a Karaoke night. If you can imag­ine Leonard Cohen singing “Sex­u­al Heal­ing” you might have an appre­ci­a­tion for the hor­ror.

The hor­ror.