The REAL C.T. Phipps Illustrious Peep Interview
So, Charles…The Charles Phipps, not those other Charles Phippses, what are you working on these days?
I actually go by C.T. Phipps because I went on Amazon.com and saw a huge collection of other guys going by the name. As for what I’m working on, I currently have three projects in the work. The first is the Red Room series which is an Urban Fantasy series involving spies struggling to keep the supernatural under wraps during the War on Terror (and are failing).
The second is Cthulhu Apocalypse which is the series which questions, “So, the Great Old Ones have risen. Now what?” Both have their first two volumes written and submitted to Permuted Press, so expect them in 2015. A third project which I’m still working on is the Lineage series, which will be my attempt to do a politics-heavy vampire story in the shadows of Los Angeles’ underworld. My wife is very supportive of all three, though she has her favorites.
How does it feel to be working with a larger publisher with an established brand?
Oh, it’s wonderful. The best thing about Permuted Press is not only do they know what they want but they know how to improve, brand, and market it. Permuted Press is a publisher which you don’t have to worry about mishandling your product and that’s a relief in today’s unstable markets. I have nothing against self-publishing but I’ve received an immense amount of support from my publishers and you can’t put a price on that.
This is always an inevitable question: what is your dream for being an author?
I’m living the dream as far as I’m concerned. For me, I keep my focus on the idea of trying to create the best stories I can and getting the chance to share them with people who will like them. I’ll be doing my very best to promote my work and see it gets into as many hands as possible but that’s because I have confidence in my work. Would I like to have huge success? Most certainly. However, that’s something which depends on the reader. I do hope, however, I’ll get the chance to do this forever.
Do you outline the hell out of your manuscripts, or are you more of a fly by the seat of your pants creator?
I tend to make a big long list of everything I want to see in the book, mostly “cool” things and the way I see the book progressing. Then, when I actually get down to writing the book, I throw all of that out as the book progresses in a way entirely different from how I expected. I think my characters have a strong say in where they go and often zig when I intended them to zag. Like so many authors and their creations, they talk to me and can be quite argumentative.
Do you find support from your readers to be motivational?
Readers are the bread and butter of every writer. If you’re just writing for yourself, you’re missing out on the heart I think. I find their opinions help tremendously and make me think more seriously about my characters and their interactions. One of my favorite moments was where a fan pointed out the subtext from a story which I hadn’t thought about. I believe every writer gives up sole ownership of his characters to their readers when they share it for public consumption. Obviously, my wife gets first crack at any of my manuscripts and her feedback is all-important.
Who are you, Charles? As Dr. Lizardo said, “Character is who you are in the dark.”
Hehe, a Buckaroo Banzai reference. Who am I? I am a lifelong geek who was probably trained for writing as much by tabletop role-playing games as English class. I love monsters in all shapes and sizes from decaying shambling zombies to pretty-pretty vampires (I’d make “they don’t sparkle, though” joke but that’s well and truly played out). I’m about as uncool as humanly possible but get to do the very cool thing of write about the superntural and worlds beyond. How cool is that? I think it’s very cool.
I have to add one frivolous question. Enrique Iglesias gets cake from his fans. Laurell K. Hamilton gets stuffed penguins. What would you like your fans to give you?
Greeting cards. My wife collects them and I’d love to get a card with some idea of what fans think of my books. Preferrably monster themed but not necessary. Fun filled fact: I met my wife on the Laurel K. Hamilton Fan Club forum.
You want to get to know him. Don’t bother denying it. Here’s where you can find him.