Greetings from the Ethereal Plane,
Let the interview commence!
CP: Can you tell us a little bit about your story “Dry Bones?” What inspired it and how did it come to fruition?
CS: I’ve long had a fascination with abandoned places, especially those in the desert. I’ve also had a respectful awe of how quietly deadly those arid locations can be. The two things just crystallized in my mind and this story popped out.
CP: While speaking of inspiration, what inspired you to become a writer? And what authors helped carve your path to horror?
CS: I suppose you could say lack of social skills inspired me. I read so much growing up that I kind of fell into it. So far as horror authors, I have to go with the old standby of H.P. Lovecraft and his contemporaries.
CP: What are your goals and aspirations as a writer? What does the future hold for Charles D. Shell?
CS: I’d like to get a publishing contract for any of my novels I’ve written. If not, I’ll continue to self-publish in an increasingly competitive market.
CP: Tell us something that not many readers know about you.
CS: I was in Military Intelligence for four years. Sounds sexier than it actually was.
CP: “Dry Bones” uses personification with its antagonist, giving life to something inanimate. Avoiding too many spoilers, what challenges did you face when writing this type of character?
CS: It’s always best not to give too many relatable traits to this kind of opponent. Cryptic monsters are the most terrifying.
CP: Do you have any other works releasing soon that our readers can look forward to? If not, are you currently working on any pieces?
CS: I will be publishing several of my Blood Calls books—including the sequel–in a new, shorter format for easier print-on-demand. Right now I’m working on a steampunk novel called Derek Stainthorpe and the Clockwork Cavalier.
CP: If you could meet and converse with any writer, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
CS: Again, I fall back to Lovecraft. I’d just like to let him know that his work has outlived him in a big way. He died thinking he was a failure. Never thought that was fair.
CP: What is your favorite novel or work, and/or author? Why?
CS: I don’t think I can narrow it down to a single book. I suppose my favorite author would be Roger Zelazny. His work so transcends simple genres that it crosses from science fiction, to fantasy, to horror without taking a breath.
CP: What is your writing process?
CS: Work out the beginning, ending and specific scenes I want in my head, then start writing and see where the characters take me in-between those points. Outlines are to me what crucifixes are to vampires.
CP: If you could give advice to new, young authors concerning the publishing world, what would it be? And why?
CS: Get a thick skin and find a way to market yourself online. I don’t know what the state of traditional publishing houses will be in ten years, so be nimble and flexible.
Read Charles D. Shell’s “Dry Bones” today in Hinnom Magazine Issue 002!
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