Dodge Winston was born in Oakland, CA in 1970. He attended Napa Valley College and Solano Community College accumulating 70 units when the desire to write full-time struck. Placing the pursuit of a higher education on the back burner, he wrote voraciously, knocking out screenplays, teleplays, treatments, news articles, and other works.
Dodge's read shelf:
Some of the things he enjoys are hiking, camping, hunting, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), anime, well-made movies (Sin City, End of Watch, The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Matrix, Looper), unique authors (Robert E. Howard, Karl Edward Wagner, James Patterson), topics related to society (Jeremy Rifkin, Jagdish Bhagwati). He is a creator at heart, an information junky and someone who thoroughly enjoys fiction and how it can mirror reality.
Dodge is married, has two children, is considering getting a dog for the family, and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find Dodge in one of three places - rehabbing the family house (room by room), working at the water quality control plant or taking advantage of slivers of writing time when all is quiet.
Q & A with Dodge Winston about his standalone novel, The Wastewater Plant
Q: Why did you write the novel, The Wastewater Plant?
Working at a wastewater plant myself, I can appreciate the eerie, palpable vibe when surrounded by darkness, lone concrete structures, and mazes of snake-like piping, especially when assigned to graveyard shift. It's the perfect place to center a horror/science fiction novel on. There aren't a lot of facilities where one can find dripping water, wet chains, lone silence, and the constant whir of machines to keep one on edge... wondering what may be stalking them. On a side-note, you should appreciate that stale, little cubicle provided by your employer a bit more. It's a safe bet for your mental health.
Besides the obvious, I also wrote this novel for those who not only work in the wastewater field, but for those who may be interested in this field as well. No, this isn't a fluff piece, but it is a way for me to help get the wastewater arena into the spotlight. How many shows and books have been created to show off police, fire, and the medical industry? Thousands. Now how many shows and books have been produced to show off the wastewater field? Yeah... none. No, it isn't pretty, but it's "green". Treating wastewater, recycling it, and creating energy from it is the future. The wastewater field is the original leader in the "green" movement. So writing a frightening novel about a wastewater plant is my way of getting some exposure for this sector. Writing. It's what I do.
Props to the men and women of the wastewater industry! Civilization needs you.
Q: If you could compare The Wastewater Plant to any movies what could it be compared to?
Ridley Scott's, Alien meets John Carpenter's, The Thing
Disclaimer: My books are in no way affiliated with the previously mentioned movies. They are just comparisons.
Q: What's your goal with The Wastewater Plant?
Actually my goals for this novel are the same for all of my novels; to sell quality stories, to entertain you, to make fans (rinse, wash, repeat). Ultimately, I would like to fulfill my dream of living off my earnings as an author. Big goal, chief!
Q & A with Dodge Winston about his Drake Eldorado trilogy
Q: Why did you write DISTORTION, the first Drake Eldorado novel?
I've always wanted to create a character that encompassed incredible physical traits - traits not found in many modern men unless enhanced with sports performance drugs. But he also had to have an intellect that was seemingly simple but in reality dangerously sharp and growing. And of course even though his traits appear caveman-like to most he had to harbor inner-demons that "modern" civilization seem to foster. With these traits I wanted to create a guy who stumbles upon something bigger than himself through his addiction, igniting the darkness that sifts about his persona.
I've always liked puzzles, and to me, life, the origins of life, and how we as a society have gotten from point (A) to point (B) has always fascinated me. I wanted to thrust someone into the depths of not only his "self" to discover who he is and what he is destined to become but also into the middle of a darker universal scenario that has been playing out on our planet since the dawn of man.
Let's just say that the web of life is vast. And even the smallest bug can shake that web and disturb not only the spider who created it but the entire construct.
Q: Why did you write AGENDA, the second Drake Eldorado novel?
The short answer is that Drake isn't done. Not by a long shot. A longer answer would be that Drake needs to find the root of the demons that abound in his world - our world. And the vehicle that presents itself (in the guise of "helping mankind") allows Drake to dig deep into a complicated labyrinth of globalists who aren't just people like you and I but demons. The integration of mankind and darkness, the stepping stone in Book 1, DISTORTION, continues on in AGENDA but at a richer, more detailed pace.
Personally, as a writer, I can't just let Drake go. He must find what he seeks. And it is the surprises along the way that steer him in various directions. There is more out there, waiting to strike us. And Eldorado will deal with the darkness the best way he can - with unrestrained violence. The question is will he fulfill his destiny that unfolds before him? His path is one I would dare not take on. But he relishes the conflict and the conspiracies. Without them his life would be the same as most men - a space occupier, a clock-watcher, a consumer. AGENDA is where the black coil begins to really unravel. And Drake Eldorado is there to treat it poorly, grabbing it by the throat, throttling it, making it suffer for the illusion it has cast over humanity's eyes.
Q: Why did you write ORIGIN, the third Drake Eldorado novel?
My intention for Drake Eldorado was to create a trilogy; a beginning, a middle, and an end. One book or two just wouldn't be enough to get Drake's full story across nor could it delve deep enough into the forces that fight over mankind and the path human civilization will ultimately take. There are particular things that perform well in 3's (the father, the son, and the holy spirit/punching in combinations/the triangle that creates the whole). Storytelling is no exception. DISTORTION and AGENDA has been built perfectly to compliment the climactic finale in ORIGIN.
In DISTORTION, Drake discovers another reality that parallels humanity's own, hidden behind an illusion that is cast over our eyes every day. Ultimately he struggles not only with himself and his place in life but with simply accepting the fact that he is something more than a mere man existing from cradle to grave.
In AGENDA, Drake has nothing to lose. Surrendering pieces of himself to the past, and burying them in favor of his new perspective, he goes after the dark forces with an insatiable desire to destroy those who would drive humanity into a wicked oblivion of no return. Just when he thinks he's doing the right thing for the right reasons he realizes that there is so much more to the "root of it all" than simply overcoming daunting odds as a ham-fisted, smashing machine - there is the education and the development of the spirit. The universe is rife with incredible life on so many levels. It's not simply just about mankind. This deeper awakening allows Drake to stretch his mind to new possibilities. It also drives him to track down and take on the deceivers who not only hide in our world but who also attack one another for the right to rule it.
ORIGIN is where all the pieces fall into place. Drake knows who he must seek out and annihilate. Crossing the four corners of the world he sets his sights upon "the one". Drake understands that his own life doesn't matter, that it is but a vehicle to complete his journey for this particular life. It is this supernatural resistance, along with other "friendly" yet nefarious forces, that the final battle for our world's throne will involve.
Writing this trilogy was more than just putting a great story together. Fiction is a snippet, a ribbon that runs parallel with reality. Fiction, written from the heart with something to say, does not stray from the real storyline of life. Today, with media-branded facts being proven to be false time and again, it is often our intuition that tells the true tale; that warns us of deception; that speaks to us from a place of truth. And it is the lie, the illusion that will drown our abilities out and suck us into a homogenous, global bureaucracy. Drake fights against the hellish manipulators just as we must today. I would hope that he is a hero for the people and terrifying to the power hungry.
Q: Does the Drake Eldorado series have to be read in order?
Not necessarily. But to get the full scope of Drake's growth - to understand how reincarnation comes into play - to follow his conflicted path... I would advise reading it in order.
Q: Where did you get the idea for Drake Eldorado?
He's a culmination of people I've met, characters I've read about, and observations in general. He's an anti-globalist if there ever was one who breaks new ground by cracking the code of what he has been and what he's designed to do. It's hard to pin-point a specific source where he came from. Writing is certainly a soup of both the real and unreal.
Q: What's the most difficult thing in writing the Drake Eldorado series?
Writing about Drake and the situations he finds himself in is easy in the sense that I don't struggle with it. He's here in our world, digging through the infinite sands of his mind, time, and the darker aspects of civilization. I guess I could say that he is a conduit from the fiction world of my mind (perhaps even beyond that) to the physical world of now. The theme of good vs. evil is an old concept. It's all in how it is presented. Sometimes there is a lot of grey in between the logically based black and white outlook. The most difficult thing... letting it go.
Q: If you could compare your books to movies or media what could they be compared to?
DISTORTION - Jacob's Ladder meets Hustler Magazine
AGENDA - Apocalypto meets Salem's Lot
ORIGIN - Black Rain meets The Matrix
Disclaimer: My books are in no way affiliated with the previously mentioned movies or media. They are just comparisons.
Q: You haven't landed a deal with a major publisher yet - why not?
Through years of knocking on doors I always got responses similar to, "We really enjoyed reading your manuscript but don't feel it would be a good fit for us at this time..."
In all honesty I think writing books is similar to writing for Hollywood in the respect that if you aren't producing material that tows the party-line of "pop-culture values" or political correctness then it won't be seen as money making propaganda. Clearly I believe my stories should be read by consumers. I don't write for corporations and what they deem "publishable", fitting their agenda. I write for me and hopefully for you too.
If any publishing house staff is reading this... I'm in no way against having my work spread across the globe by you.
Q: What else have you written and where can I get it?
Beyond all the screenplays, television shows, treatments, and articles, I've also written The Wastewater Plant. This is a scary read yet a fun ride about a Wastewater Treatment Plant and its staff stuck in the middle of a hundred year flood. The operators have a tough enough time dealing with one another and the fury of mother nature. But add an other worldly creature to the mix... things get rough, personalities clash, and people die in horrible ways. What more could one ask for? Pick up a copy today!
You can find my autographed books here at my site; unsigned paperbacks and eBooks at Amazon, and eBooks at Barnes and Noble. I also offer eBook freebies on my blog. Check there often.
Q: Where do your ideas come from?
I don't know. Sometimes I think we are all born with certain things to accomplish in the life we are given. Whether it's small or large we all have something to do here on Earth. My ideas, transcribed onto paper, just may be one of those things I need to do. Then again my writing could be sidetracking me from the things I am really supposed to be doing.
Q: Do you have any advice for writers who haven't landed an agent or a publishing contract with a major publisher?
I've tried the traditional route of sending in tons of queries. That hasn't worked. Now I am going a different route with my own press, Red Castle Press. My advice is to find the path that you believe will work for you. A path that you can traverse and succeed upon. You'll never know until you try. So quit wishing and start doing.
Q: What would you like to say to your fans?
Keep reading for fun, for knowledge, and to keep growing. But if you read my books, DANG! You're awesome! Thanks for coughing up the cash to support your reading habit and my joy of writing.
Thank you!!! SERIOUSLY:)
You can reach Dodge at dodgewinston [at] yahoo.com