Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Words with... Charles Colyott

Thanks to Charles Colyott for this interview

About Charles from his Amazon profile:
Charles Colyott lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere (Illinois) with his wife, 2 daughters, cats, and a herd of llamas and alpacas. He is surrounded by so much cuteness it's very difficult for him to develop any street cred as a dark and gritty writer. Nevertheless, he has appeared in Read by Dawn II, Dark Recesses Press, Withersin magazine, Horror Library Volumes III & IV, Terrible Beauty, Fearful Symmetry, and Zippered Flesh, among other places. He also teaches a beginner level Tai Chi Ch'uan class in which no one has died (yet) of the death touch.

What is your day job or are you lucky enough to write for a living?

My wife and I raise alpacas, and we both work part-time in a bookstore.

What books have you written so far?

Changes - A Randall Lee Mystery; Unknown Pleasures, a collection of short fiction; and Black (coming soon). 

Oooop... I've just been informed that Changes is free today and tomorrow... so what are you waiting for ? :)) - Vickie

What works in progress do you have?

The sequels to both Changes and Black, a YA romance and a suspense novel.

How long did it take you to write your book/s?

It varies. The first draft of Changes took about 3 months. Black took more like 9 months. Most short stories I can do in a day or so.

Do you write linear, or jump back and forth? Do you plan or write by the seat of your pants?

Usually, I write the story in a linear fashion and with minimal planning. I'm toying with some different outlining strategies now, just for time's sake.

Why do you write?

I'm not very good at much else really.

How long have you been writing?

Since I was a kid. People have paid money for my stuff since 2004 though.

Where and when do you write? ­ Do you have set times?

Since my youngest daughter was born, I lost my office... and anything resembling spare time. So, I write whenever and wherever I can.

Which character from your books do you like most/are most like?

They're all me when you get right down to it.

What/who inspired you to write and still inspires you?

I met Neil Gaiman when I was about 17. I worshipped the Sandman series, and I was super nervous and probably made an ass out of myself... but, strangely, Mr Gaiman was nothing but encouraging and gracious, and completely awesome. I fell off the writing wagon for a while in my twenties, but I picked up a copy of Stephen King's On Writing and that really put me right back into it all.

Have you ever based a character on someone from real life? And did you tell them?

Not exactly. I have had people think that a character was based on them though, and that usually didn't end well.

Fave things: animal? food? drink? film? colour? band? song? place? item of clothing?

I have lots of favourite animals, but cats and alpacas top the list.
Food – Chinese.
Drink – I like Mojitos a lot.
Film – Big Trouble in Little China.
Colour - Does black count?
Band - Too tough to narrow down to only one... The Cure, The Smiths, Afghan Whigs, Failure, to name a few.
Song – Untitled by The Cure.
Place – Shanghai.
Item of clothing – I have an old flannel hoodie that's been with me for something like 20 years now.

When you were a kid, what did you want to do/who did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to make comic books. Or train Killer Whales.

Would you say that your dreams have come true or are you still working on them?

Still working at it, but I can't really complain.

You’re walking in the forest and you bump into an alien librarian from Mars. He wants five book recommendations from you…

Tao te Ching – Lao Tzu
Ukulele for Dummies – Alistair Wood
The Girl Next Door – Jack Ketchum
The Gentling Box – Lisa Mannetti
On Writing – Stephen King

Which book do you wish you had written?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

Are you published or self-published? What is your experience?

Both. It's nice being ‘traditionally’ published because there's that validation there, but I sometimes write some genre-bending things... and that’s when self-publishing can come in handy because there's not somebody out there worrying over how to properly ‘package’ my writing in order to present it to some imagined audience.  My readers, typically, aren’t as concerned with my ‘brand’. They just count on me to give them a good story.
What advice would you give other writers just starting out?

 Don't give up.

What other hobbies do you have?

Tai Chi Chuan, playing ukulele (badly) and spending time with my family.

What would you like to achieve in the next five years?

 I would love to be able to write full-time.

If you won the Lotto or a major publishing contract, what would you do with that dosh?

Secret, secret things.



1 comment:

  1. A fun, entertaining post, Vickie and Charles! I wish you all the best of success, and keep at it :D


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