Oliver Writers League
Featured Author Interview Questions
- Your name, place of birth. Charles W. Jones, Shoshoni, WY USA
- How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing strange stories since I was a child. I remember the first story I wrote in the first grade; it was about going out to the mailbox and getting a letter from my grandma saying that she was coming to visit, it was all fiction.
- What genre(s) do you write in? Horror is the main genre I write; at the moment I’m writing it would be called historical horror because the story starts in London 1666. I also have a penname that I use to write gay erotica; this has been slow going because it is, for the most part, not something that I really enjoy writing, but I’m doing it for a friend.
- What kind of feelings do you get when writing? I get excited when I write, like there is a driving force behind me pushing me forward, that is when the characters actually seem to take on a life of their own and they start making their own decisions. Sometimes my heart races when I’m climbing the climax hill as I wait to find out, like a reader does, what bad stuff is going to happen. Do you think emotion is necessary for writer? Emotion is what drives writing, without it everything would be boring. So, yes, emotion is necessary.
- If you were stuck on an island what would you bring? My Zune with unlimited battery life and tons of paper and pens.
- Where do you get your inspiration from? I get my inspiration from watching people interact with each other, places that absolutely make the hair on the back of my neck stand-up (which are a lot of places), things that are just ridiculous (like a giant inflatable pig at my workplace became the inspiration for the villain in Dreamwalker: The Second Plain) and shadows.
- Was your family supportive? Funny you should ask that. For my first book, no one knew I was writing it. I received a lot of strange looks when I announced that I was a published Indie Author. Of course now that everyone knows, they are very supportive and somewhat jealous that I beat them to it—come on brother of mine, I’m getting ready to publish my third book soon. Do you think it matters to have support? Actually, to me it doesn’t, which is obvious from what I said above. I write because I love it and want to share my stories with the world. Having support from family and friends is amazing though. They give me story ideas and tell people they know to buy my books.
- Have you ever been published? I am. I published Dreamwalker: The Second Plain on August 27, 2011 and then soon after An Unnamed Acquaintance, a collection of short stories and poetry. Do you want to be? Yes
- What other hobbies do you have? I like to draw. I went to Art School for my degree and now don’t really do anything with it.
- What do you find is the most difficult part of writing? Not getting distracted and staying focused.
- How do you deal with critiques? I handle them very well. I want to know what people honestly think about what I wrote. I should clarify, the only critiques I’ve received are from beta readers and comments from people on flash fiction stories but I take what they say with an open mind; they are the front end audience and if they don’t like something, chances are more will feel the same.
- If you could say anything to a young writer, what would it be? Don’t be afraid to get your work out there. If you like what you writing, others will too. Some people are not, of course, and that is just a fact of life, but if you don’t let the world know that you are talented, you’ve failed.
If you could attach an excerpt from something you’ve written I’d love to post it in our featured author space as well. 500 words or so would be perfect!
Excerpt from the forthcoming book Circus Tarot to be released on February 14, 2012.
“What are you doing out here, Knight?” A voice hissed in front of Darrin in the fading evening light.
He looked up—the red and white cloth in his hand—at a Clown with orange and green hair, wearing a puffy purple shirt and black and white wide striped pants. Darrin assumed the reason for the hissing sound, the Clown made when he spoke, was due to the pointy teeth in his mouth. He held a bucket in his left hand.
“Have you gone deaf, Knight?” the Clown snapped.
“Sorry,” Darrin replied and stuffed the cloth into his jacket pocket. “I didn’t…”
“Didn’t what?” The Clown demanded. “Didn’t know that you are in Clown Wood without permission?”
“In what?” Darrin answered looking around at the unfamiliar surroundings.
“In what, indeed?” the Clown became more agitated. He put the bucket down and approached Darrin. Saliva started dripping from the Clown’s mouth. The Clown stood face to face with Darrin. His breath smelled of rotten eggs and sauerkraut. “I could rip your throat out with my teeth for this trespass,” the Clown hissed at Darrin. “You know the rules.”
Darrin pulled the foil from his belt not yet raising it and said. “Where is Mary, Ace?”
The Clown squinted at Darrin. “She definitely is not out here, Knight.” He spat emphasizing Knight. The Clown hissed and moved his soft-overstuffed belly into Darrin. “Don’t you think you should be moving on?”
Darrin stared hard into the Clown’s eyes. He saw only darkness in them, no colour from the iris, just black. He held tightly to his foil, intent on defending himself if he needed, but still did not back away.
“I’m going to ask you one more time, Ace.” He said calmly, though adrenaline shot through his veins. “Where is Mary?”
The Ace of Buckets flared his nostrils making the gum paste that held the red nose cap pulse forward and back. “Not. Out. Here.” He repeated. “They aren’t kept out here in Clown Wood.” The Clown bounced his belly forward again pushing Darrin backward.
“Who?” Darrin began to ask, as the Clown pulled back his hips and belly from him.
“Have you gone stupid too?” The Clown snapped, launching his belly and hips forward slamming into Darrin. The force knocked Darrin to the ground. The Clown stood over him, looking down at him with a wicked smile. His sharp, pointy teeth glittered in the last ray of sunlight.
“Leave him alone, Ace,” a voice came from behind them. The Clown looked over his shoulder to see a boy and a girl Clown in matching yellow polka dot silk jumpsuits standing behind him, each holding a bucket.
“You know we’re in treaty right now.” The girl Clown continued. Darrin lifted his head, and looked between the Ace of Bucket’s legs at the two standing behind the Clown. The setting sun made their yellow curly hair look as though it were on fire.
“I don’t care about the treaty,” the Ace of Buckets hissed.
Darrin slowly pulled himself away, not letting go of his foil, from the Clown as his concentration was with the others. When he was a full body’s length away from the Clown, Darrin quickly stood, and ran into the trees. The Clown snapped his head around hearing the heavy footfalls of the Knight running from him and he hissed a giggle.
“I’ll see you again, Knight. And next time I won’t be so forgiving.”