Featured Author: Charlie Palmer has always lived in his own world (population: one), seeing bogeymen under the bed and shadows that linger in the corner of his vision. In 2013, after twenty-seven bone-numbing years of crunching numbers in the finance sector, he faced a health crisis and made the decision (crazy/prudent/delirious—remains to be seen) to leap off the conveyer belt and pursue his bucket list.
Top of this list sits a lifetime ambition to be a published writer. He is the author of several short stories and one novel, The Frail Deeds of Good Men, which is currently sitting with a publisher. Novel number two is in the works.
For him, writing is a cathartic experience. Nothing gives him greater satisfaction than the moment a page of scribbles comes together and sings, breathing life into his sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing, but always heartfelt dreams. Except maybe a decent curry. Curry makes him happy.
When not traveling the world following Formula One, trying new foods, and making new friends, you can find him in Colchester (England’s oldest recorded town) with his wife, two teenage boys, and a Labrador cruelly described by some as obese.
You can contact him on twitter on @charliejpalmer.
Featured Author: Charlie Palmer Interview
- How long have you been writing?
- What/who inspired you to be a writer?
- What genre do you prefer to write in?
- Describe your writing process. What comes first–character or plot? Do you “pants” it or outline?
- What is your daily routine as a writer?
- What are some of your biggest challenges you feel like you have to overcome in your writing career?
- Do you have a set number of words each day or a goal?
- How much time is spent on “the business of writing” – queries, seeking an agent or publisher, marketing/sales?
- Do you prefer short stories or full-length novels in your writing?
- Can you give some us some insight into your story?
- What advice can you give other writers?
LHP: How long have you been writing?
Charlie Palmer: At school creative writing was my favourite subject by a long chalk but there would be a gap of about thirty years before I took up the pen with renewed enthusiasm.
LHP: What genre do you prefer to write in?
Charlie Palmer: Character led crime I guess you’d call it, although no matter how hard I try to be serious, a little bit of humour always creeps in. The editor for my first novel, ‘The Frail Deeds of Good Men’ said it made her laugh and cry. It’s unclear at this stage whether this was a good thing!
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LHP: What/who inspired you to be a writer?
Charlie Palmer: The authors of any of the incredible books I’ve read. I’m an insatiable reader, so it’s a long list. Special mention to Miss Allen, my infant school English tutor. You never forget a good teacher.
LHP: Describe your writing process. What comes first–character or plot? Do you “pants” it or outline?
Charlie Palmer: For me, the characters are all important and generally the story unfurls as I test them and place them in challenging situations. I’ve tried being grown up and sketching an outline of the story but I get too many ideas as I get to know, and grow fond of these characters. With Frail Deeds I just picked up the pen every day and saw where it took me, and I can see it now when I read it back. That approach often manifests itself in an episodic story arc. When I began my second novel, I knew the beginning middle and end, so the end result should be tighter.
LHP: What is your daily/weekly routine as a writer?
Charlie Palmer: I try and write every day, although sometimes it’s just not possible. I have a clear idea of what I’m trying to achieve in the scene, then just go for it. There’s nothing better than when you get your ‘flow on’! It can become an almost unconscious process.
LHP: Are there any software tools, resources, or websites you use often while writing?
Charlie Palmer: I always refer to a thesaurus, but I suspect that’s normal. I like to have a picture in my head of what the characters look like. In the past I’ve found them in magazines, news paper articles or online. An internet image search of a scene or location sometimes gets the creative juices flowing.
LHP: What are some of your biggest challenges you feel like you have to overcome in your writing career?
Charlie Palmer: The thought of someone reading my work fills me with terror! Also, I’ve found literary agents need to be able to pigeon hole your work into not only a predetermined genre, but a genre that’s currently in vogue.
LHP: Do you have a set number of words per day you target? or do you set other goals to meet?
Charlie Palmer: I’ve forced it some days and ended up deleting everything! Other days I can produce two thousand words I’m happy with. It’s a lottery.
LHP: Do you prefer short stories or full length novels in your writing?
Charlie Palmer: I enjoy writing short stories because, once you have the idea, you can knock one out in a week. A novel can take up to a year to finish.
LHP: How much time is spent on “the business of writing” – queries, seeking an agent or publisher, marketing/sales?
Charlie Palmer: For me, very little … and quite possibly something I should address at some stage!
LHP: Can you give some us some insight into your story?
Charlie Palmer: I think most people are intrigued by the paranormal. An increasing number are questioning the mainstream religions and looking for answers elsewhere. Imagine a seemingly ordinary man, but one with the gift of presentience. Be honest, who wouldn’t want that? Now imagine this gift imprisons, not liberates him. This, is Owen Swann’s story.
LHP: What advice can you give other writers?
Charlie Palmer: Write as often and as much as you can. Growing as a writer and honing those skills is an organic process that takes hundreds of hours. My writing now is very different – better – than when I started.
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Charlie Palmer recently authored “The Gift” for Terrors Unimagined on sale now.
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