Interview: Flame Vine-Haselton (Oct 2017)

Lisa Haselton with Charles Porter

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Lisa Haselton, interviews authors and reviews books at She is the author of YA and adult fiction, favoring all flavors of mysteries and dark fiction, and is a regular contributor to the SinCNE blog and moderator at The Writer's Chatroom that hosts live chats with guest authors on Sunday nights 7-9 PM EST. Lisa interviewed Charles in October 2017 upon the release of his new book, Flame Vine: His Voices.


Interview with award-winning author Charles Porter

Award-winning novelist Charles Porter joins me today to talk about the second book in his Hearing Voices series, Flame Vine: His Voices.


Welcome, Charles. Please tell us about your current release.

Flame Vine is half a love story from the 20th century, its foot on the gas of American existentialism. It is the ongoing story of Aubrey Shallcross, a man who would be dubbed a schizophrenic by modern western medicine, but who functions normally as a lot of voice hearers do without coming forward and telling anyone for fear of being anathematized. It is a historical account, sort of a bildungsroman of Aubrey Shallcross’s life from the age of six until he is forty-two. The story starts in 1949 and goes until 1986. The chapters are ordered in decades through the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and mid 80’s.


What inspired you to write this book?

I am a storyteller, and was an incredible liar as a child.



What exciting story are you working on next?

I am working on the sequel to this trilogy in the Hearing Voices series.


When did you first consider yourself a writer?

In school. It was obvious that math was not my strong subject, and my adolescent love letters were pretty good.


Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I write maybe two to three hours a day, the rest of the time I train horses and do my farm work.


What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I seem to only be able to do it mid-morning and around 4:00 in the afternoon.


As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I grew up in the Florida ranch country in the time of TV westerns. So the handable standable truth to that question is, I wanted to be a cowboy—and I became one.


Anything additional you want to share with the readers?

Oh, maybe this. When you are in a dead-feel spot, or think you have to do something else to make things even better than they are in your life, ask yourself this: Maybe what you always wanted you already have.


Thank you for joining me today, Charles!

Excerpt from Flame Vine:

In the backseat of his father’s Chrysler on Sunday drives when he was a little boy, Aubrey would conjure things in the cane, but now as a grownup, it had his full shine. What was he going to do with this Leda girl he was running with? He craved her sex and conversation. She said she was tough and cold from the way she grew up, and he wasn’t going to question her about it. She said they should never say the word love to each other, the late build of his own thinking after his father’s death broke his heart and the Blind Spot Cathedral showed up in his mind. He was not sure he would ever pray or love again, and he made totems of what he thought might be a hip mental illness—schizophrenia— to live and underwrite whatever it took to keep him safe.

Illustration Flame Vine

Illustration Flame Vine

Illustration Flame Vine

Flame Vine Illustration Chapter 5

Illustration Flame Vine

Flame Vine Illustration Chapter 5