Tagged: Illustrious Peep

Illustrious Peeps

C. T. Phipps

The REAL C.T. Phipps Illustrious Peep Interview

C TPhipps
The CT Phipps!

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.

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Les Amazones

Illustrious Peeps

Jake Bible

How often do you get to interview an Illustrious Peep with a surname like that? Not often!

Jake Bible
Jake Bible, sporting shades

Jake, it looks like you’ve been writing scary crap for a while now. What’s your inspiration?

Dude, did you just call my writing crap? I’LL KILL YOU!!! But, seriously, my inspiration has always been Poe and the fact my birthday is four days before Halloween. Horror and the macabre have been a fascination of mine since as long as I can remember. My daughter is the exact same way. She LOVES the stuff and always has.
Have you always been the writing kind, or did it come and get you by surprise? Does it hurt?

I have been a writer since elementary school. We used to actually write, illustrate and bind our own books in 4th and 5th grade each month. There have been periods in my life where I didn’t write, but since 2009 I have been full throttle. As for whether it hurts or not, the answer is: not anymore. It actually used to hurt if I wrote too long. I’d get tension headaches after an hour or two of trying to figure out a story. Those days are long gone. Just like anything else, you have to condition yourself. I can now write a 75K novel in 2-3 weeks.
In growing your readership, what have you done that has served you well? How do you self-promote?

I started my professional writing career by podcasting my novels for free. That is really what built my fanbase and platform. But, once I started to see success, I had to give up the podcasting. An hour of finished audio takes 5-8 hours of work. I need to use that time to write. My current self-promotion is basically Twitter and Facebook. I try not to get too wrapped up in the whole social media thing. It’s more of a time suck than anything else. I have a web presence and I keep churning out novels. That’s really it for my plan.
As a writer, do you find that you start the ball rolling and the characters themselves take over? Or are you more likely to plan a project from the first word to the last?

I plan some, wing it some, and then see where it all goes. Each novel is different. But, since I write a lot of dialogue and action, I do tend to let my characters have their say and go where they feel they need to.
Given your choice, do you prefer rifles with large clips and stopping power, spears, knives, or suitcase nukes?

Yes.
Tell me about the scariest critter you can imagine, fictional or otherwise.

Big cats. Seriously. I would gladly go all Liam Neeson and take on a pack of wolves over one, single big cat. You ever watch a small cat try to gut something with its back legs? Terrifying! No way I want to tangle with a cat that outweighs me by a few hundred pounds. No, sir.
I’m a firm believer in paying things back (and forward). What advice would you give to new writers that might not be found in all the helpful books on the shelves?

Be prepared for success. Have a plan for what you are going to do if things take off. Do not let success surprise you so you miss an opportunity. But, of course, the number one bit of advice is found in all the books: sit your ass down and write because it’s the only way you’ll ever succeed.
I have to add one frivolous question. Enrique Iglesias used to get cake from his fans, prior to Type 2 Diabetes. Laurell K. Hamilton gets stuffed penguins. What would you like your fans to give you?

Baseball caps. Not specifically caps of baseball teams (although minor league team caps are way cool!), but baseball style caps of whatever. I will admit that my pate is less than hairy and I have now entered the “wearing baseball caps as an everyday thing” part of my life. No flat brims, please! Hate those things. Nope, just a nice, old fashioned baseball cap. [Addendum: I love craft beer and microbrews, so hats from local breweries would be ideal!] A man after my own heart, on the craft brews.

Read your Jake Bible, but find him here first:

La pagina Amazon

 

Illustrious Peeps

Dawn Peers

Today I am depositing the moist egg of Dawn Peers on the fertile ground of Illustrious Peeps!

Dawn Peers
Dawn Peers

If I’m not mistaken, you’re in the UK. What is it like working with a US-based publisher?

Without having a basis for comparison here in the UK, I can still confidently (I think) say working with Permuted Press has been a breeze. It’s only a 5 hour time difference, so the majority of correspondence still goes back and forth at a reasonably humane time. I think that, as Permuted do have a geographically wide author base, they’re used to dealing with authors in different time zones. Certainly the entire process, from acquisition to release, has been a genuine pleasure. The one thing I do miss is the volume of conventions you guys have; they’re few and far between this side of the pond, and though I am making an appearance at Wyntercon in Eastbourne this year, that’s the only thing on my radar. I may have to make some time to come pay a visit to some of the big events in the US next year!

 

How long have you been writing?

Being one of those stereotypical “I’ve always wanted to be a writer” types, this is where I give you the cliche of ‘all my life’. I started writing full-length novels (well, attempting to write) when I was sixteen years old. I didn’t finish that first novel until I was almost thirty, thanks to life getting in the way, and developing Class A procrastination skills. That first novel I finished, I did release, though to more of a mute squeak than an indie fanfare. I learnt a lot that first time that I won’t be repeating again. I didn’t start writing horror fiction until that time, however now I can’t stop. It’s addictive!

 

Which of your writing projects is your all-time favourite? (Notice that Queen’s English spelling, will you?) Even if it has yet to be published.

I had a dream a few months ago about shadow people; it’s managed to evolve in to a novella that I’m chomping at the bit to get down on paper. That’s not really a ‘project’ though and I have to admit that first fantasy – which is going to be a trilogy – is still my favourite at heart. It’s an expansive world that I can let my imagination run riot around. I can do the same with zombie fiction – but there are always certain constraints within this genre that mean you still have to do your research and keep within certain boundaries. It’s fun of a completely different nature.

 

As a reader, what are your genre preferences?

Horror and fantasy; all the time, any time of the day. I was brought up on Brian Jacques and Tamora Pierce, then moved on to Katharine Kerr, Terry Goodkind and Terry Pratchett. I discovered horror through Stephen King (though the unedited The Stand was… long…) and from there discovered zombie fiction via Permuted’s own ZA Recht. Within these genres, I’m a sucker for a story with a strong female lead – anything that goes against the writing tropes of having a damsel in distress for the sake of it will get an automatic +1 from me. Life has evolved past the ‘token’ female in fiction and many women writing in horror these days know how to put these kinds of characters to the front of their work. It’s a great time to be in either genre, with some of the dystopian YA fiction being produced at the moment.

 

What would you like potential readers to know about you, as a person?

Apart from the amusing fact that I can’t watch horror movies (or, for that matter, TV shows)… I love discussing the theories behind books. So if you read GB and feel like you’d like to discuss any of the subject matter within it – why a certain character is a certain way, or why I based the story where it is – I am more than happy to discuss it. I was always curious about the worlds my favourite authors created, and in this day and age of social networking and availability, I think it would be great to open a dialogue with readers that wanted to know about my work.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Just write. Don’t read self-help books or blogs instructing you how to ‘be an author’; don’t spend so much time comparing yourself to other writers and wondering how you’ll measure up next to them that you never actually get around to finishing your own work. I spent a lot of time avoiding finishing my first novel because I was afraid of the inevitable ‘what if’. Also if you want to write just to make money, get off the train now; it’s probably not going to your stop.

 

What is your next big writing project?

Well GB is the first in a 5 book series, so that’s still very much a live project. However I’m going to be spending the rest of the year penning a YA fantasy trilogy (based in a new world from the one mentioned earlier). It’s from a fresh viewpoint compared to the writing I’ve done so far, and aimed at a different audience, so I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in to that one!

 

If you would like to make Dawn Peers part of your author-o-logical survey of peeps in the UK, you can spot her here:

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