Sunday, 12 December 2010

Charles Day: Revealing Hidden Thoughts

- An Interview

"Charlie’s enthusiasm spreads across the pages as he writes twisted and enthralling tales of action and horror. His personable characters bring his stories to life." ~ Rebecca Besser (Winter 2010) Writer and Editor, Living Dead Press.

Charles Day, a 43 year old horror writer from New York, specialises in dark and twisted horror. He has work pending with “Melting Snow,” from Blood Bound Books’ Anthology, Seasons of the Abyss, and “Delightful Fillets,” From Living Dead Press’ Anthology, Book of Cannibals 2, amongst others.

Currently, as well as his various authoring projects, he has just started Hidden Thoughts, a small press, predominantly for non-fiction based on real experiences with mental wellness. So we welcome Charles, and thank him for coming.

“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.

Thanks also go to Rebecca Besser, who can be found at her website, here and at Living Dead Press.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Opposite of Writers Block III: Research by Design.

Apparently it's OCD. I don't have that either.

I guess I should shut up and go back to writing.

Mark

The Opposite of Writers Block II: Kevin Strikes Back

So, my research has led me to hypergraphia - the inability to stop writing. OK, so I don't have it.

Did you know that the Reverend Robert Shields maintained a diary chronicling every 5 minutes of his life from 1972 until 1997. The hypergraphic work contained approximately 38 million words.

I got that from Wikipedia. I'm not like that. So the 'opposite of writers block' is an awful affliction, that obviously effects the lives of the people it touches.

I guess I've just got 'Kevin'.

Now, the question remains on what the name is of someone who pointlessly researches things.

Mark

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

What's the opposite of writers block?

I've had writers block. I think anyone who sits in front of a keyboard, picks up a pen, or holds a crayon between their toes has had it. Sitting there, looking at the flickering screen wondering whether to get hammered in the off chance that an epipheny may occur.

I don't have it at the moment. I've got the opposite of it. The questions is, what is it?

Other people have asked the very same question, I know, I googled it. But it always seems to be a sort of hyperthetical question, where the person that asks it has just simply got too much work to do, and not enough time to do it. (We all have that problem, and it's nothing to do with writer block.)

No. At the moment I've just got too much to say, with word counts that don't allow for it. Let me give you an example. I've got a max. word count on a story of 10K. I've written 5K. Having stopped to take a breath and see where I'm at, I realise that halfway through I've said little to nothing.  Sure, I've built elaborate scenes and interesting characters... but nothing's happened.

You may have noticed that I specialise in horror. I'm halfway through and I haven't killed anyone yet! These words just keep coming from nowhere.

Still, I mustn't complain. They'll be plenty of time to do that next time I do have writers block. So for now I'm just going to name this 'opposite of writers block' to what... I don't know... Kevin maybe.

Mark

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Quick Update...

Right, well, where to begin...

Firstly, the horror novella collection that I've been working on with Charles Day a.k.a. Charlie in the Box is now complete, and even over at an editor - who loved our query letter btw - for consideration. I'm hoping that Charlie will pop by in the not so distant future and do an interview with me, but for now here he is:

Meet Charlie in the Box.

Charles Day

You can of course find Charlie here: http://charlesdayfictionwriter.blogspot.com/, so go check him out, but don't ask for a hug!

I've finally made the big start on the Wicked Bag of Tales, and that is shaping up.

Daily Bites of Flesh is now available:


From Amazon (US) here: http://www.amazon.com/Daily-Bites-Flesh-2011-Horrifying/dp/1617060186/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1291453330&sr=8-1

And Daily Flash is available:


From Amazon (US) here: http://www.amazon.com/Daily-Flash-2011-Days-Fiction/dp/1617060100/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1291453485&sr=1-1

Well, that's all for now, but I'll be back.

Mark