Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Author Interview with H.O. Charles - The Fireblade Array

Where were you born and where do you call home? 

Born in Yorkshire. Now living in Suffolk. (Feel free to suffix England/UK, if necessary)

Tell us about something that has just happened or is about to happen in your life that you would like to share.

One of the handbrake drums on my car seized up, my laptop's power unit melted and my neck hurts.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?

Nation of Blaze: A murderer becomes king of his country and invests considerable expense in securing the affections of his reincarnated lover.

If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?

Artemi D'Avrohan (The Fireblade): "The world is full of idiots, so you might as well fight the worst of them and drink with the rest."

Do you have plans for a new book?   Is this book part of a series?

I am currently writing the third book in the series, The Fireblade Array.

How many pillows can you hold? 

Five hollowfibre, nine feather.

What books have influenced your writing?

Everything I've ever read, seen, eaten, walked upon or smelled has influenced my books. I read anything from science journals to popular fiction, history, social anthropology textbooks, Viz, 'classics', horror and psychology. I wish I could be more specific on who has influenced me, but it would be like recalling three meals I'd recently eaten and saying they influenced my chef-ery. Those meals may be prominent in my mind because they were either great or terrible, but they won't form the greater part of me. Most of me is made of chocolate.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?

Many people probably say this, but I'd have loved to have met Jane Austen. She comes across as very sarcastic, witty and probably a bit mean. She seems to despise many of her characters, which makes me like her even more.

Can you ASCII your own face?


       __\   P

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?

Few things compare to the musty smell of a paperback that's over forty-years-old. 

Could you express your love for bean sprouts in the form of a limerick? 

When I eat a sprout from Saxony,

It makes me get out my klaxon-y,

I give a big honk,

Sniff with my conk,

Makes me high, it only lacks an E.

Where do you prefer to buy your books?

Train station and airport shops: clinical and usually lacking the volume you're after, but always in the right place to sell you stuff. No place like them.

If you were to remake a film using only kittens which one would you choose? 

E.T.  I'd want to see them try to ride a bike.

Are you a self published (Indie) Author?


Which is more important to you; a regular income or artistic integrity?

Integrity when I'm poor, income when I'm rich.

What book would you like to read again?

Given more time, I would probably re-read everything I was made to study at school. My understanding of those books will have completely changed, and I'd expect it to be more fun the second time around. 

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?

Bit controversial and not quite a movie, but I thought Game of Thrones was better as a TV adaptation than as a book.

Patti Says:  Loved the Game of Thrones on TV so went and read the book.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?

Viz - Roger's Profanisaurus Rex (hardback)

Are there any Authors that have grasped your interest recently and why?

E. E. 'Doc' Smith, but for all the wrong reasons. My father gave me a copy to educate me on the follies of popular writing, and I nearly fell off the chair when I read the first page. He's very popular, but his style is... um... doughnut-y.

Who designed the cover of your book?

Me. I know. I should probably apologise for it.
Do you buy a book by the cover?

Never. All the books I've read have terrible, boring covers that I hate. I really can't remember one that I've liked. Nope. 

What "proper" job do your parents still secretly hope you'll get?

They want me to be Phil or Carenza off that there Time Team.

Do you have a book trailer?

I don't think so.

What are your thoughts on book trailers?

Does it go on the back of your car?

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Expect nothing in return for the hours of slavery you put into your work. That way, every sale and review is a pleasant surprise. Also, order your food online so that you don't have to leave the house and socialise. I find socialising is a terrible distraction as I tend to get drunk and have fun.

Do you write under a pen name?

Of course! No one I know knows I write and I want to keep it that way.

What date were you born? - you can leave off the year if you like. 


Do you ever get writer's block? If so, what medications would you recommend? 

Mint julep.

Inny or outy? 

What is the best way to deal with the Israel/Palestine situation?  

Everyone knows the answer is hummus.

Do you have a nickname? 

No. My pen name only has internet friends. 

Did you have a favorite toy as a child?

My brother's toys. Anything he had I wanted more than my own possessions. 
An early childhood memory - 

Dancing to the bells of a church in Florence.

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?

No. I sleep naked.
What are your pet peeves? 

People who promise something and never deliver. Applies to politicians, bosses and many more.

Also agents and publishers. I know I'm no Salman Rushdie or Hemingway; nor shall my work be deemed worthy of any description above (god forbid!) 'entertainment'. For I am supposed to be reverent and polite and all that to my more learned industry colleagues on the chance that they may one day work with me, but damn the sodding gits! Damn them all for their lack of responses and template emails. "Oh, we're sooo sorry we can't get behind your work and represent you... simper, blah, blah, platitude etc..." You're sorry are you? Sorry? Don't pretend you give a flying fragment of half-digested digestive biscuit! I'm sorry too! Why don't you take my manuscript, stick it up your poorly educated, over-commercialised, spreading arse, and then sit in the remains of the bloody tree you made me cut down so that I could waste all that paper? Yes, that's right. Sit on that freshly-sawn tree in Brazil and consider your self-appointed position of superiority, high above all those desperate, illiterate and idiotic authors. Feel its lignin-y proddiness and the rough tread of bark upon your thighs as you gaze at the humic remnants of humanity. Yeah, that'll teach you! What a bleak, pointless existence you and that tree had!

Well... do that or give me a list of all your contacts for a fiver. Just a thought. 

Any pets that you would like to tell us about, share a pic?

I had a budgie once. 

Patti says:  Was his name Pete

White wine or red?

Finish the white wine, top it up with red, call it rose, drink that and then add champagne.

Coffee or tea?

Both are water with brown rubbish in it.

So you like to cook?  Do you have a favorite food?

I like it better if other people cook, but I can rustle up a decent curry when required. The best sort of food is clearly Thai. Well, Thai and Black Forest gateau.

Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?

Chocolate, but it's even better with crunchy bits in.

What do you normally eat for breakfast, of do you skip it and get straight to work?

If there's something left in the cupboard I'll have cereal. Though, for the fourth day running my Special K Red Berries has been devoid of berries. This is not satisfactory.

What are 4 things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?

Plasters (I think Americans call these band-aids), shoes, a hat and underwear.
Patti says:  clean I hope :)

Sleep in or get up early?


Laptop or desktop for writing?

Your favorite gadget - 

A computer is always the best gadget: always more powerful, modifiable and versatile. Keys and locks are pretty cool too. I like those.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

In bed, on the sofa, kitchen worktop, bathroom floor, all day.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?

Charlie Brooker to chop up trees for a shelter, Anthony Worrall-Thompson to do the angling and Stephen Fry to do the cooking. Come to think of it, that is a celebmix of nightmares.
Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday?

Bali. I want to swing in the rainforest and then do a little surfing. 

One of your favorite quotes -

"They're eating her... and then they're going to eat me. OH MY GOD!" Look it up on Youtube if you're not familiar with that particular work of genius.

List 3 books you just recently read and would recommend?

William Blake: Complete Poems

Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol (finally decided to sit down to it after seeing a thousand adaptations - the original's brilliant)

Robert Bittlestone, James Diggle and John Underhill: Odysseus Unbound.

List 3 of your favorite movies?

Troll 2

Shark Attack 3
Fatal Deviation

An actor or a book character you have a crush on -

None at the moment. They've either been around for ages, have caterpillar eyebrows or come across as dull. 

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and really enjoyed?

The Hottie and the Nottie. I don't understand how a film can be vain, offensive, vulgar, poorly-written and hilarious all at once, but this film at all of that in abundance. I'd recommend everyone watch it for laughs.

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?  Feel free to add pics.

I've yet to see an actor both good-looking enough and accomplished enough to play Morghiad. He goes through the entire gamut of emotions through the series and his character changes considerably. I'd want someone who was very good at playing the inexpressive hero and also very good at portraying believable insanity to do him. Artemi's character is a bit more straight-forward, and there ought to be more handsome actresses around who could play her. Then again, they'd have to look wise. Unfortunately, it's very hard for young people to look wise and a little world-weary. I'd want the role to go to a real red-head though. It's asking too much perhaps, but as a genuine ginge myself, it always annoys me when the actors have their hair dyed a ludicrous shade of orange. 

Where can your readers stalk you?

My blog: cityofblaze.blogspot.com

Twitter: @HOCharles

Is your book in Print, ebook or both? Both.

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