I recently had the pleasure of interviewing author Charlie Kenmore. Before we head on down to the interview, where his amusing wit will be revealed to all, why don’t we take a gander at his debut release, Earth Angel.
There are seven parallel worlds known as the Seven Realms which are separated by a Veil. Six are inhabited by all manner of entities, some natural, some not. That may not be the case for much longer. The first portion of the High Sidhe Prophecy of the Sevens has been fulfilled. The Anarch, who is one with the Veil, has escaped. If she chooses, she can part or drop the Veil or she can lift the Veil in its entirety. The Seven Realms will converge. The laws of physics and magic will collide head on. Unless she is stopped, there will be nothing left.
Queen Amura has called for an assembly of the signatories to the High Sidhe’s Second Accords, a multi-realm peace treaty to consider how to deal with the threat of the Anarch. An Earthside TechnoWitch and other dark forces also are seeking to control the Anarch. Prince Dzhok (Jack) , High Sidhe Ambassador Salash (Jack’s oldest friend and lover), and Valkyrie Brunhilde set out to find and befriend the Anarch before all is lost.
So, Charlie, I understand Earth Angel is your début novel, but the subtitle suggests it will be part of a series. Did you have a vision when you started writing Earth Angel about how many books the series will end up comprising of?
CK: When I envisioned the Seven Realms, I had ideas for several different stories. There are currently four completed stories past Earth Angel. The sequel to Earth Angel is The Flow of Magic. Oceanus seeks to reconstruct the greatest tome on magic ever written to complete his life-long mission to resurrect Old Atlantis. Along the way, he kidnaps three of Jack’s daughters as part of his revenge. Next come two novellas, Que Sarah, Sarah and Play For Me (based on my screenplay). In Que Sarah, Sarah, a 9,000 year cycle is ending for the Goddess Bastet. She must find a new human vessel, but an old enemy is killing off all of the candidates. Ralph, a huge talking black cat, must escort Sarah, the last candidate, past Inter-Realm bounty hunters, to Bastet’s holy city before the cycle ends. In Play For Me, a young succubus with issues comes to the city for a little grand theft, homicide and sex to take her mind off of the impending death of her mentor. The fourth tale is Arch Enemies. Kellan, a middle daughter of Jack and Salash, and her friends have to help stop the return of Formori (ew!), a misshapen race that hasn’t been heard from in eons. The Formori plan to use the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, as a portal to bring something nasty and huge Earthside. Hopefully, the Muse will share additional tales with me.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? Or was there something in your life that triggered the decision to follow that path?
CK: I’ve written on and off for years. It is common knowledge that my significant other, D. Alexx Miller a/k/a “Alexx Momcat”, is a paranormal romance fanatic. A couple of years ago, while brainstorming on birthday gift ideas, I had an idea (note the lack of descriptive adjective before the word “idea”). Why don’t I just write her a paranormal romance? How hard can it be? I had written several full length screenplays, and a 20,000 word novella, along with numerous short stories. With a little over three months to go, I figured that I had plenty of time. I barely finished Book One in time for her birthday. Well, I got the paranormal part down. To my credit, there are romantic elements. However, to date, no one has accused me of writing a paranormal romance.
Hehehehe. Do you have any kind of routine you follow when you’re preparing to write? For example, I have a coffee to hand, my most comfortable trousers on …. What do you do to get into the ‘zone’?
CK: First, I top off my iced tea. Then I make sure some kind of snack is readily available. For serious grind sessions, dark chocolate is snack of choice. Next, I place one or more dictionaries and thesauruses within arm’s reach, aaaaaaaand, I’m off.
Who would you say is your strongest character in Earth Angel? And what characteristics make them as such?
CK: I’d probably have to go with Jack (Prince Dzhok). He gets the most face time. Although the Qpiad are far stronger and faster than humans, he is significantly weaker physically than all of his female companions. So he has to show his strength through compassion and leadership.
Is your writing ever influenced by TV or movies?
CK: All the time. I frequently see shows and movies and think, Wow, that was awful. It serves as a constant reminder that my readers deserve something better including better dialogue, internally consistent plotting and temporal consistency, and believable characters and motivation.
If you could host a twenty minute Q&A session with any author, who would you choose and why?
CK: Tough call, probably James Patterson. I met him at a book signing a few years ago.
Oooh, interesting choice. Okay, exposure time: What are the first three books on your bookshelf—top shelf, left-to-right?
CK: We have bookshelves and books everywhere. I can’t even find the first bookshelf, much less the first three books. At one time, we attempted to sort Alexx’s paranormal authors alphabetically. That shelf has four books by Amanda Ashley. The glass covered case that holds signed editions starts out with Jim Butcher’s Cursor’s Fury, Christine Feehan’s Dark Celebration, and Karen Slaughter’s Indelible.
I have a Jim Butcher on my TBR list. :) And finally: I’ve been known to run from anything that resembles sci-fi or high fantasy. How would you convince me to stick around and read your book?
CK: First, I’d appeal to your rational side. Earth Angel is sui generis, a singular, one of a kind creation. It incorporates elements of fantasy and science fiction, but does not fall readily into either category. The settings are not so far removed from your experiences that you need to put on 3-D glasses to imagine them. The science fiction elements focus more on the effects than on the workings of the technologies. Accordingly, you can tell yourself that you are not really reading a fantasy or a sci-fi novel.
Still not convinced? Then next I’d appeal to your romantic nature. Earth Angel may not be a typical paranormal romance, but it has romantic elements. Jack is a Qpiad (commonly misspelled as “cupid” in Earthside English). He is a Realm-class lover, who finds everything he is looking for in the heroines. The story ends at the reception for a double wedding. Seven Hells, the story was written as a birthday present!
If you are still pushing back from the table, I’d try sex next. Haven’t you ever wanted a lover who was a perfect fit every time, in every position, who guaranteed simultaneous orgasms? Haven’t you ever wondered about the consequences of having oral sex with an ice sprite? Honestly?
Okay, still not sold? Let’s try national pride. Some of the scenes take place in London, UK, Earthside. Jack drives a light blue 1973 Austin Marina by British Leyland.
If all of the above fails, then there is always duct tape.
Hehehehehe, okay, okay, you’ve convinced me this may be one to break the mould, LOL.
Many thanks, Charlie, for the interview. It was a lot of fun.
So … what about you guys? Has Charlie convinced you to give his book a go? It has romance … :)
Just in case, here’s where you can grab yourself a copy:
Damnation Books (you have to register-free)
Charlie is a 52 year old professional from St. Louis, Missouri with one very significant other (A.K.A. “Alexx Momcat”), two grown kids, and two cats. He enjoys collecting books, art and cooking. But with his double and triple stacked bookshelves sagging, he looks forward to the new era of e-publishing. An avid garage sale hunter, he is still searching for an oil painting by Edouard Leon Cortes (or anything from the Drip and Drool School like Pollack or Rothko that can be sold so he can buy my Cortes).