“Charles, tell us about yourself.”
Charles: “Well, for starters, I'm just honoured that you offered to have Charlie and I come on your blog for an interview. And I wanted to thank Rebecca for the kind words. I'm so excited to have been offered the opportunity to be published in her 'Book of Cannibal's 2, The Hunger' anthology. I had fun writing this story. Charlie inspired me to bring together this twisted tale.
I'm new at this whole publishing thing, having spent many years honing my love for writing, before seeing any of my work published. I currently have six short stories accepted for publication and a Novella under consideration this year. I've always been a huge fan of anything thriller/horror/suspense, which came from my love of horror movies since I was just knee high to a grasshopper. So finally seeing some of my work in print is a real humbling experience for me.
All I can say about myself is that I'm a full time daddy, husband, and writer, with a great day job at the Family Service league which hosts the NYS office of Aging, in their Long term Care Ombudsman program, a resident advocacy agency that has oversight responsibility in NYS Dept. Of Health Licensed Adult Care Facilities. I'm the coordinator for this program, so I go in to a home whenever one of our volunteers I supervise informs me that there is an alleged incident of resident abuse or neglect to investigate. If I find out the allegation is substantiated, I bring in the State officials to continue our responsibilities to protect the resident.”
“What got you started writing?”
Charles: “I was always into movies as a kid. My friends and I would play out movie characters in our backyards. We also set up our first Halloween haunted house in my parent's basement. We were only about 12 years old, but we made a huge display of horrifying things that would pop out. We scared quite a few kids in our neighbourhood that year. I also read many frightening stories and enjoyed them so much, I started writing my own, and from that point on, I kept writing stories until about 14 years old, then I became a rebel and instead of writing, I started partying with my friends, but that's a story in and of itself.”
“You’ve started Hidden Thoughts, tell us about it.”
Charles: “This actually was something that started in my head a year ago with my day job. Since I have a sleuth of agencies, consumers and providers I work with to some degree, I decided it was time to begin getting more information out to those in recovery. I've also been fortunate to get some local and state funding for our non-fiction endeavours. Many of the resident council presidents that live in these adult care facilities are excited about our projects. My goal is to get some real stories of survival and inspiration from residents and people who live in the community to share how they successfully beat their illness and are now in recovery, living normal lives. I will be making these books available at conference and discussion groups, and since I already speak at different events throughout the New York Region, eventually there be some books that our attendees can purchase on their way out.
Of course I love anything dark with regards to fiction, so I also plan on opening some fictional anthologies down the road once this really takes off. I figure we can do some psychological thrillers and stories that deal with mental illness.”
“And what are you hoping that it will lead to?”
Charles: “I'm hoping to eventually have a bunch of books for the adult care industry, including an adult home workshop book series that will aid the caregivers looking to place their loved ones into an adult care facility. I want them to know what truly goes on inside, how to find the best home, and answer any questions they may have. I also want this workshop series to be useful to the Providers, so they can share their stories about issues and concerns they have in the homes they own or run.
Of course my ultimate goal is to have non-fiction books that will be geared to all the agencies that help in some way when they provide mental health services to the residents in these homes.
As for the fiction part, well that is more of a personal endeavour. I'm hoping to come out with some really good books that will provide some entertainment for the people we serve and even further out to the general public, so they can see what goes on in the minds of people who are normal just like us, they are just survivors with writing talents to share their fictional thoughts.”
“Your fictional writing... it’s mostly horror. What got you started in the field of the dark and disturbed?”
Charles: “As I alluded to earlier, I began watching horror movies since I was a kid. In fact, my first real scare was watching the Exorcist with my Dad. I must have only been nine when I saw it. I know, what father would allow their young child to watch such a terrifying movie? That is another story I could write. Anyway, I remember that as soon as she turned her head around, I ran out screaming. I was also a big fan of the slasher films of the 80's.
I also was a big fan of Dean Koontz and Stephen King growing up and I read many of their books. I just loved being terrified...”
“Where do you get your inspiration from, and how do you relate to your characters?”
Charles: “I'll let Charlie in the Box talk about this. Besides, he's been waiting to talk. Go ahead Charlie.”
*Charlie pops out of his box and waves, shows his trademark shiny, razor sharp teeth between pursed red lips, and begins* “Hello all. Yes, Charles and I usually get together and brainstorm on what our next story is going to be. Sometimes we play out the characters first, other moments we tend to spend time down in my dingy old box together, writing our deepest thoughts on paper.”
“Ok, Charlie. That is true. As for the second part of your question Mark, I relate with all my characters to some degree. Many have come from my twenty or so years working with the mentally ill, 12 of those years locked in a psych ward with some seriously dangerous individuals. Their voices are still hidden deep within my head. They all have stories to tell. The more I write down their stories, the fewer voices I hear.”
“Finally, where do you see yourself in the future?”
Charles: “I love to write, and I'm learning more each year. I want to see myself as a better writer in the future. I also want to continue writing stories people will enjoy, but stories that will question just how far one will go before they crack.
I'm hoping to hear good news about our Novella 'Redemption' that Mark and I co-wrote. I can't wait to share this great and scary story with everyone. From there, I have a few novel projects I'm still working on, so I'd have to say that in the future, I hope to see myself as a full time writer with books and short stories that I can share with everyone. I'll still keep my day job somehow.”
*Charlie in the Box interrupts,* “And I want Charles to sell an ample amount of books so he can by me a new and bigger box.”
Thank you, Mark, for the interview, and I also look forward to working with you in the future. We still need to share a virtual beer, since we are between an extremely large body of water and unable to sit at the bar together.”
Filing Words would like to thank Charles Day for joining us. In the future, Charles will undoubtedly be seen in both Hidden Thoughts, as well as in his short stories, novellas, and of course, novels.
You can find Charles at his blog: charlesdayfictionwriter.blogspot.com and will also find him around in the forums under his slightly twisted pseudonym, charlieinthebox. If you see him, say hi, but please don’t forget to drop by at Hidden Thoughts. It matters.