Taken from Writers Unite
Introducing: Charles W. Jones
Meet Charles W. Jones. He is a horror author from America who has written novels such as “Dreamwalker: The Second Plain” and “An Unnamed Acquaintance”, which is a collection of short stories.
In this interview, we will be focusing on his personal experiences of writing horror, as well as his latest novel, “Circus Tarot” which will be released this February on the 14th.
If you have any further questions for Charles, you can visit his WU profile here. He is also on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads – all of which, you can access from his profile.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing strange stories since I was a child, but my first published novel was in August 2011. 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 grandmother. The letter said she was coming to visit; it was all fiction, my grandmother never sent letters and she never announced when she would be coming, she just arrived.
How did you come up with the idea for your latest book, “Circus Tarot”?
It actually came to me in a pre-sleep haze. For some reason my mind was replaying a strange version of an ad for the Barnum and Bailey Circus with the clowns throwing acid-cream pies into the audience. I pondered that for a few days, then one morning as I was dusting a shelf that holds my collection of Tarot Cards, it all came together.
Does the book fit into any sub-genres?
I think it might fit into the “bizarro” sub-genre, I’ve been told it is on the strange side. And (laughs) romance. It’s a love story of sorts. Why else would I release it on Valentine’s Day?
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Since I have a full-time job, my schedule can be on the hectic side. I scribble down things on my notepad after meetings, sometimes during,, and try to make sense of them on my lunch break. During lunch, I normally finish a lot of work on my writing.
What was the easiest part when you were writing the novel?
Allowing the characters to take control of their future. Is that strange? When I wrote Circus Tarot that is what it felt like; they used me to put their story down into words.
What was the hardest part when you were writing the novel?
Having enough time to focus on it or focusing on it at all. There seems like there is always something better to do.
Do you “write what you know”?
For the most part I do. I am familiar with the Tarot and I can do a pretty good reading, should say used to. However, all the different meanings were a little bit hazy, so I had to do some research. I’m just glad I didn’t use all the cards as active characters.
What do you think makes a good story?
Believable characters are important to a good story. If you can’t relate to the characters, the story is pretty much useless. I also like a fast paced sequence of events. I don’t like to wait very long for something to happen.
If you had to do it all over again, is there anything you would change, and why?
I would do more research in being a self-published indie author. There is so much information out there about the do’s and don’ts. Had I known more of them when I finished my first book, Dreamwalker: The Second Plain, it would have made things easier for marketing and networking. I finished the book, had it edited and published on Smashwords without a second thought. Then I started building my network and slowly began marketing myself; of course, I wondered why I wasn’t making sales.
What are your future/upcoming projects?
I am currently doing research for a historical-esque horror novel. Being from a small town in the United States, I did not learn a lot about history in school; not even sure I had a history class. Therefore, I am starting with a basic knowledge of happenings, etc and discovering that I know more than I thought, which is nice. Somehow, the timeline, which I worked out before I started research, lined up nicely to the events I wanted to match them with. The eeriest thing, though, was the location I picked for the beginning of the story. It turned out to be a location with a series of events linked to it that I had not originally planned to intertwine into my story but now, oh yeah, they are in. I’ve researched everything from housing to jobs to clothing down to the breeches. The story starts in London 1666 with the final scenes in present day Denver. It is about a man who loses his family to the plague and he becomes “undead” with some twists, of course. His name is Reynard Ashwin and he’s hungry.