How long have you been writing for?
Forever… well, at least since I could hold a crayon. My elementary school librarian was so impressed with my stories she would bind them for me. They were only a few pages long, written and illustrated on college ruled notebook paper but adding that slim plastic rung meant the world to me. I felt like a real published writer.
How many rejections did you receive before you first became published and how did you stay motivated?
I’ve lost count of how many rejection letters I’ve collected for various projects over the years, but for my first published book I only received one. The letter was hateful and came from a small press reviewer who admitted he only read the first few pages. It irritated me enough to self publish.
Favorite Author and book when you were a child?
Easy one, The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe. C. S. Lewis was a brilliant writer, I also enjoyed his Screwtape Letters.
What music do you listen to when you write?
I don’t often listen to music when I write. When the weather is nice I’ll crack a window and listen to wildlife. Nothing signifies summer in Georgia more than the chorus of cicadas. Though, when I do listen to music I prefer hard rock and metal.
Any superstitious rituals that you go through when beginning a new story?
I’m not a superstitious person, but I do have a ritual I must go through every time I sit down at my dining room table to write: The Gator Ritual. Gator is my orange tabby. He completely and honestly believes that he belongs with me at all times. So when I first sit down to write, I must first negotiate with Gator. He’s sweet but clumsy, and his twenty-three toes are a bit of a work hazard. It takes anywhere from five to thirty minutes to find a place where he’s happy, while still leaving me the ability to move my arms and hands.
Favorite book released in the last year?
I go through books like I go through water, but my favorite from last year was No Easy Day by Mark Owen. It’s a firsthand account of the Osama Bin Laden mission. It was a very insightful read.
I have eclectic tastes in books—mostly I’m looking for something new and exciting. A tome that takes me someplace I’ve never been, or will likely never see.
Favorite book released in the last 10 years?
I could never choose a book, but my favorite series published in the last ten years is Demonata by Darren Shan. The Cirque Du Freak series was great, but Demonata hits one out of the park! It starts with Lord Loss and only gets better. It is a young adult, but they certainly didn’t do young adult horror like that when I was a kid.
Favorite quote from a book that is not your own?
“If the real world were a book, it would never find a publisher. Overlong, detailed to the point of distraction-and ultimately, without a major resolution.” It’s from Something Rotten Jasper Fforde. His Thursday Next series is a fun read, but I’m still waiting for the sequel to his Shades of Grey. (Note this is Jasper Fforde’s Shades of Grey, which was released a full two years before the other, over-hyped, similarly titled one).
Favorite quote from one of your own works?
This was a really tough one! Most of my favorite quotes would give the whole story away… but I do like this one: “I was now trapped, stuck at some backwoods, hillbilly church waiting for Gmork to break out and go on a killing rampage.”
Advice for new writers who are struggling with character creation?
Always make sure that the character you create actually stays in character. Meaning that it’s important to make sure that each character has some motivating factor for his or her actions.
To be completely honest, I sometimes put my characters through those goofy internet personality tests to see if the outcome matches the character I’m trying to create. I seriously doubt I’m the only writer who does this, though I might be one of the few to admit it. I also made my own character worksheet. I fill one out for each primary character, and maybe a few important secondary ones. (I’ve attached my personal character worksheet)
E-Reader or Physical copy?
I prefer physical copies. They don’t take batteries and I don’t have to turn them off until I’m above 10,000 feet. I’m also rough on things, and it’s a lot cheaper to replace a book than an e-reader.
Though I will admit, as a writer, an e-reader copy is immensely helpful, especially when you’re in a bit of a reader wasteland. It’s wonderfully helpful to be able to send my best friend, who lives a state away, a copy through email instead of trying to print and mail her a hard copy.
But if I like the book, I always want a hard copy.
What first inspired you to become a writer?
I have no idea. I was the kid who always got in trouble because my book reports were over the maximum length. Writing is the only occupation I’ve ever wanted.
Tell us your favorite joke.
Two guys walked into a bar, the third one ducked.
Character Worksheet Charity has included her Character Worksheet. Simply right click and choose “Save link as” to download.
Charity Langley is the author of Wicked Intentions which you can buy here
You can find her Goodreads profile here
You can find her on twitter @Charity_Langley