Why I Like C. S. Lewis: An Interview With Robby Charters
Please welcome my next author, Robby Charters: I’m Robby Charters, age 60. Still very young. Next year I’ll turn 16. And I’m slightly dyslexic…
Genres you write or enjoy:
I mostly like science fiction. Of late, I’ve been paying attention to a few books outside that genre, especially ones that would fit into a category that I think ought to be made into a genre. I’ve proposed this in a few of my reviews, the “Homeless Children” or “Street Kids” genre. If you browse through my reviews on GoodReads or Amazon, you’ll see a few good examples. Also, you’ll find some older classical fantasy, by the likes of George McDonald, Oscar Wilde (The Happy Prince and Other Stories), Thackeray (The Rose and the Ring), and even a few by Tolkien that are outside his Middle Earth books (like Farmer Giles of Ham). I also like books in the Picaresque Genre (look it up on Wikipedia). But mostly, Science Fiction, because that’s what I write — for the same reason I like violin music (because I play the violin).
What got you into writing:
You know, I don’t think I even remember. I wrote my first book when I was about 11 or 12. I remember I was so proud of myself when I was finished. My mum held on to it, but made the mistake of giving it back to me when I was still too young to appreciate my even younger days, and I threw it away. It was an animal story, sort of like what C. S. Lewis wrote when he was that age. More recently, it was thinking back on that experience that inspired me to write The Story of Saint Catrick.
Your experiences (good and bad) with publishing and becoming an author:
They say, keep trying. They tell you about Hemingway, who sent his first manuscript to 100 publishers before getting his first book published. They forgot to tell you about Hemingway’s neighbour up the road, who was twice as good a writer as Hemingway, and tried 200 times to get a book published, and gave up. That’s why you’ve never heard of him.
That sort of sums up my experience with traditional publishers. But having said that, I did get Pepe (my book in the “homeless children” genre) published by a small press publisher. Then, I self published a few of my other books. When I found that my self published books were doing better than my published one, I ended my contract with that publisher, and did Pepe indie style.
I’m still trying different ways to get my books to sell…such as getting interviews on people’s blogs…
Role models that made you want to write:
My mother would have been my first one. She was a creative person herself, and prodded me on when I wrote that first one at age 11 (or 12). After she passed away, her twin sister, my aunt continued to be a good bolstering influence.
Other than that, there are authors like C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien.
Your words of wisdom to up and coming writers:
Keep trying. Don’t be in too much of a hurry that you don’t go over and re-edit and improve your story. Get people to read it, who aren’t afraid to correct your mistakes or tell you that something-or-other is a bad idea. Join a critiquing circle, like Critters.org
Your favorite authors and why:
C. S. Lewis: I was raised on his Narnia series, and later progressed to some of his others, such as *Out of the Silent Planet*, and *Till We Have Faces*.
J. R. R. Tolkien: I read Hobbit and the LOTR trilogy all the way through when I was 13 (perhaps finished when I was 14). That was quite an achievement, as I was a slow reader (and it was the first time I managed to keep my mum from reading bits of it to me), but I was so taken up by the Middle Earth thing that I kept at it.
I should also include Charles Dickens, W. M. Thackeray, … just good writers. Of more modern writers, I like John C. Wright, Cory Doctorow, John Scalzy, and a few others
One more thing that probably defines my career is the fact that my writing and self publishing has led me to my free-lance occupation of eBook formatting and book design. My website for that is, www.Robbys-eBook-Formatting.co.uk. My website for my writing is www.RobbyCharters.co.uk
Thanks Robby for your participation and help. I appreciate your knowledge and helpful tips.
I presently live in Belfast with my family. That’s where my dad was from, and where I have family connections. Most of my life was spent in Thailand, where I was born, and where my wife is from. I’ve done a number of things in my life, including missionary work, training and mentoring, teaching English, telemarketing (don’t hit me), working with homeless children, software testing and, of course, writing. In three of my books you’ll find a character named Boz. That’s me. Oh, and I also do freelance book design and eBook formatting.
Stay tuned for more
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