Twisted Tales: Meet the Authors – an interview with C.A. Sanders

To paraphrase Forrest Gump (and his mom): “Twisted is as twisted does”- so grab your free copy of Twisted Tales, a Readers’ Choice selection of short fiction from Readers’ Circle of Avenue Park. Literary lies, epic yarns – it’s a collection of eclectic stories by authors from around the globe.
Twisted Tales 15LitLiesEpicYarnsFINAL

In today’s Meet the Authors series I’m delighted to welcome to the blog C.A. Sanders. A life-long New Yorker, he lives in the suburbs of NYC with a turtle that he has had since he was six years old. He is patiently waiting for MetroNorth service in his area. He is an unabashed geek and a Dungeons & Dragons addict. He is also ‘the most dastardly Skully player to ever live.’ If you don’t know what Skully is, he’ll be happy to teach you … the hard way.

Your story ‘Skully’ appears in the Readers’ Circle of Avenue Park’s recent anthology Twisted Tales. What made you decide on that story?
First of all, thank you for letting me ramble on your website. I’ll try not to track in any dirt.

I chose ‘Skully’ because of the anthology’s diversity. There are writers from all of the world in it, and so many different genres, and I wanted to share something that no other story in it covered. ‘Skully’ is a uniquely New York (pronounced New Yawk) story. I grew up in The Bronx (pronounced Da Bronx) during the 80s, and I used to play skully nearly every day. It’s a very New York game (though I’ve heard that they also play it in Philly). The Mister Softee truck, the GI Joes, and the tumbleweeds of cassette tape are all out of my childhood.  I wanted to capture the time and place, but with supernatural aspects. I’m primarily a fantasy writer, and I especially love combining fantasy with history. ‘Skully’ is a perfect example of that.

craig black and white
C.A. Sanders
 Did you find writing a short story easier or harder to write than what you’ve written in the past?
I cut my teeth (not literally) on short stories and news articles, so for me this was more like going back to basics. I think that short stories are harder to write because every word is at a premium. Because of that, beginning writers should always start with them. It teaches you discipline and proper word choice. Do the hard things first and the rest comes easy. It’s like one of my old writing professors said:  If you can’t write a short story, you can’t write a long one. I say the same thing to the people I tutor and edit…they don’t like when I say that.
 Who has been an important influence on your journey as a writer?
That’s a tough one. I’m tempted to list all of my favorite writers, but the truth is that you only get better with guided writing, that is, writing with someone more experienced to advise you. Because of that, I have to give the credit to the writing professors and editors that I’ve had over the years. I don’t think anyone suddenly woke up and became a brilliant writer. It takes hard work, a bit of talent, and helpful advice. The first two, I’d like to think I have, but I know that I’ve had the third.
 What’s your next project?
I’m finished up the second draft to the next book in The Watchmage Chronicles. The working title is Cold Iron, and it will hopefully be out in the fall.
Please share a little more of your writing background.

I’ve been writing since I was a little kid (I remember typing out stories on my gramma’s old typewriter, and I majored in Creative Writing in college. I never considered another career besides it. My first story was published in 1999. While trying to impress literary magazines with pretentious prose (and alliteration) I worked as a freelance journalist, mostly music, but occasionally hard news.

Finally, I got sick of both journalism and lit mags. I decided to write what I love: fantasy and sci-fi. My first novel, Song of Simon was published in 2013 by Damnation Books (now Caliburn Press). My second novel, The Watchmage of Old New York, came out in 2015. I plan on writing Watchmage stories for a long time. It’s historical fantasy, and there’s a lot of history out there (and more everyday).

 Where can readers reach you?
Wherever darkness lurks and evil must be avenged … or the local Taco Bell.

If you can’t find me there, you can find me here:

Website: – it’s a fun site, and I’m active on it. This is the best way to get the true, insane, C.A. experience.

Twitter: @CraigASanders.- I’m a little too active here. Expect a lot of silly memes.
Facebook: – I’m not very active, but try it anyway.
You can also buy Song of Simon here, and The Watchmage of Old New York here.
If all else fails, you can lure me into a trap with a trail of egg rolls or tacos. Pizza works too.
“The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” — Walt Whitman
Song of Simon from Damnation Books.  Available on site, at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or your local book store.
The Collected Works of Valerie Z. Lewis. Available at Amazon.
The Watchmage of Old New York Available on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and just about everywhere.
Visit my webpage for all things geeky.  We have punch and pie…
Twitter: @CraigASanders


Stay tuned for more Meet the Author interviews. If you like what you read in Twisted Tales you’re invited to leave a review on Amazon. Thanks!


Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Kurt Wallander and Japan Noir and you have a new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s Son and The Thief’s Mistake – and sign up for my monthly newsletter at


2 thoughts on “Twisted Tales: Meet the Authors – an interview with C.A. Sanders

  1. Lizzi Newton March 19, 2016 / 11:06 am

    I’m a huge Sanders fan. Being a New Yorker who has migrated South, a lover of New York history, especially the late 1800’s, I was immediately attracted to the Watchmage. Sanders has an incredible ability to blend fantasy and reality smoothly. His short story in Twisted Tales lives up to my expectations. I liked his references to Mr. Softee (I hear the music in my head now) and cassette tapes: brings back memories. Of course my youth predates cassette tapes, for me it was 45’s. (Not guns, vinyl records!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anita Kovacevic March 19, 2016 / 1:10 pm

    Got my copy of Watchmage as soon as Lizzi recommended it. Can’t wait to dig in!


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