Author of Seven Realms Tales including Earth Angel
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 52 year old professional from St. Louis, Missouri with one very significant other (A.K.A. "Alexx Momcat"), two grown kids, and two cats. I enjoy collecting books, art and cooking. But with my double and triple stacked bookshelves sagging, I look forward to the new era of e-publishing. An avid garage sale hunter, I am still searching for an oil painting by Edouard Leon Cortes (or anything from the Drip and Drool School like Pollack or Rothko that can be sold so I can buy my Cortes).
When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
I haven't yet. The first royalty check isn't due until December. Ask me again then.
What was the first fiction you ever wrote? Was it for publication? What reaction did you receive?
In the fifth grade, I had to write a twenty page story. I wrote about humans collected as exhibits for an underground society's zoo. It was well received by classmates. The teacher was a bit leery of it. There's no accounting for taste.
What author or book influenced your writing?
Anton Chekov--indirect action plays a major part in my writing.
What is your most and least favorite part of writing?
My favorite part of writing is completing a logical (within the context of the story) bridge between whatever outlandish place I want to go and the rest of the story line. My least favorite part of writing is revisions. The Muse is supposed to give it to me straight the first time.
Do you have a ritual you use to get you ready to write?
There are several rituals depending on the nature of the upcoming session. Universally-the iced tea must be topped off and ready to go. For serious hard-core sessions, chocolate must be available. The building should be devoid of any human presence other than my own (the Muse is shy). One or more dictionaries (real old-fashioned, printed paper page books) are set within arm's reach. The phone is put in the other room (although I rigorously have trained myself to ignore it anyway).
After writing for hours at a time what do you do to relax?
I: A) read something that is not work related; B) and/or play on the computer (after saving the day's work both to the hard drive, and to a jump drive-just because I'm paranoid does not mean that the machine is not out to get me); C) and/or feed the cat that has been climbing on me for the last couple of hours; D) and/or none of the above.
Where do you write?
At my desk in the bedroom.
Does your environment color what you write?Absolutely. I rely on my environment for inspiration. For example, the color-changing, miniature, button-nosed Adpagian Eathcrak from The Flow of Magic came from a loose button on my desk, a copy of the local Ad Pages, and an empty box of wheat crackers.
What does a typical writing day look like for you?
First, I start with a cursory review of whatever section I wrote last. I correct the glaring typos, then move on to the current day's work.
I don't work from an outline. So first I write whatever burning scene has been kicking around in my head since I last wrote. Then I try to figure out some way to connect it to whatever was written previously. Then I take the cat off of my shoulder, and remind her that it is still hours until dinner time. Next, I write a little bit more. Then I take a break, and go on Facebook looking for the love of my life to admonish her for not taking the cat to work with her. I inform the cat that it is only ___ minutes since the last time she complained that she was starving. I take her off my shoulder again, and write some more.
I stop working for the other cat who has climbed into my arms for attention. She is too big to hold and still attempt to type, and she refuses to be a lap cat. She has to have her head wedged under my chin. After a couple of minutes, first cat comes to investigate. Since they refuse to share, second cat gets indignant and leaves. So I try to write some more. But first cat is pissed that I paid attention to second cat, and stands behind me complaining. I try to ignore her, but she hops on my shoulder again, and loses her purchase. Her back claws rip into my shoulder. White hot pain shoots through... I'm sorry. What was the question again?
What are some of your pet peeves in life?
Extremism, I absolutely detest it.
What is your advice to aspiring writers?Find your own voice. There are innumerable books on how to write. But ultimately, it is up to the author to get the story out.
That said, pay attention to the basics. Before you send a piece out, proofread it for typos and punctuation errors. Don't be afraid to use a dictionary, particularly with terms that you don't use regularly. Malapropisms can be very funny, but they tend to ruin the tone of a passage. There is a difference between "arrhythmia" (irregular heartbeat) and "erythema" (severe redness of the skin) (yes, I've seen this mistake in a story). Remove unnecessary helping verbs and passive voice, and avoid comma splices and run-on sentences. Yes, it is your story, but the reader has to be able to read it. If your sentence includes, "began", "started" or "did", it usually can be shortened by using a simple past tense. "I began to feel excited"; "I started to feel excited"; "I did feel excited"--"I felt excited".
Tell us about the stories mentioned here today? How did they come about?
It is common knowledge that "Alexx Momcat" is a paranormal romance fanatic. A couple of years ago, while brainstorming on birthday gift ideas, I had an idea (note the lack of a descriptive adjective before the word "idea"). Why don't I just write her a paranormal romance? How hard can it be? With a little over three months to go, I figured that I had plenty of time. I barely finished Book One in time for her birthday. Well, I got the paranormal part down.
When is your next book coming out? What can you tell us about it?The next Seven Realms Tale, The Flow of Magic, is finished. No publication date is set as of this writing. This story is a sequel to Earth Angel. It reveals the true story behind a number of the world's greatest mysteries and legends including the cause of the Siberian Tunguska explosion in 1908, and the Sword in the Stone. Thanks Charlie For the awesome Interview! We look forward to hearing a lot more from you! Look For Charlie Kenmore's Book out September 1st!http://www.damnationbooks.com/index.php
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