Today I’m delighted to welcome Charlotte Henley Babb to my blog page to answer some questions about her writing habits, and share some of her work.
What originally drew you to writing?
I loved reading, and when I read Little Women in the third grade, I decided to be like Jo March and be a writer. I liked being able to make up stories about fantastic things that did not happen in my life. There is a part of me that gets warm and sparkly when I say I am a writer, even when the words are not flowing as I would like.
Which writers inspired – or continue to inspire you – to write?
Along with Louisa Alcott, I read Robert Heinlein, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and I read all the science fiction I could get my hands on. I found that novels set in the English countryside in the 1700s or Agatha Christie’s mystery settings were just as alien to me as other planets. I enjoy seeing how others view the world, both my favorite authors and my favorite characters.
My current inspiration is Sir Terry Pratchett, with Neil Gaiman as a close second. I read Jim Butcher and John G. Hartness. I like Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency as well.
What most inspires your stories?
My primary inspiration these days is Netflix. I enjoy seeing how an arc for both a character and a series develops over a season, and I’ve had to limit my binge watching to have writing time. I consider how a story would change if different actors played the parts, women instead of men, older people instead of younger ones. I’m fascinated by the characters who live on the edge of society in the gray spots of the law, who sink to the dark side or who prevail despite personal losses.
Do you have a special time of day that you prefer to write?
I like to write in the mornings, but my day job sometimes gets in the way, unless I go to bed early enough to get up at five or so. I’ve learned to take some writing time when I get home from work before starting on something else. I’m not a night owl, so I want to be able to stay awake when I am conjuring.
Do you have any tips on overcoming writer’s block?
Are you an e-book person, or do you prefer to own a hard copy?
I read on my phone and on the computer screen as much as I do on paper. It’s not that I don’t like paper, but e-books are cheaper and don’t take up space. I have four boxes of books to carry off to goodwill or the library as soon as I can get them loaded in my car.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Elvira O’Sullivan has not only survived her nasty childhood as a prostitute, but has made an empire of women workers, providing them with housing, food and education, much like the mill villages in the south. Her workers produce items that her shopkeepers sell, and that she trades with others. Her airship brothel is literally the highest class (at least in altitude), providing not only pleasures of the body, but of information discreetly gathered and dispensed among her clients and for her own investments. She is a smart cookie, but she does not trust anyone, not even her bodyguard and partner, Zulie Mensah. Her great strength in her business operations is a weakness in her own life, one that she must face to accomplish her goal. She must learn that there is always risk of betrayal, and that there is no way to control all the variables.
What genre do you prefer to write in, and why?
I like fantasy, science fiction and steampunk. Each has its own flavor, like fine chocolates, an otherworldliness that I enjoy. I’ve never felt very comfortable in the mundane world, and often wonder if the mother ship will ever come and get me.
Have you ever been involved in a collaborative project with another author? If not, is it something you would like to do in future?
I wrote with a writers’ group on a shared world project, which was amazing fun until philosophical differences separated me from the group. I was devastated at the time, and since then I write on my own.
I’d be willing to collaborate with someone else if we could agree on a vision for the work and find a common voice for the project.
Do you set yourself a daily word target? If so, how often do you meet it?
I have at times set a word count, but I find that if it is only a mechanical thing, I tend to write rants and whines rather than useable storyline. I am working on keeping a schedule of writing every day for 15 minutes. I can sometimes write a thousand words in 15 minutes if I know where I am going to start. Sometimes it takes much longer.
What do you do to get book reviews?
I ask for them, writing to bloggers or connecting with reviewers on LinkedIn. I’ve done a number of review swaps, an “I’ll read yours if you’ll read mine” sort of thing.
What are your views on social media for marketing?
To misquote W. Somerset Maugham, there are three rules for social media marketing, and nobody knows what they are.
Brief bio of Charlotte Henley Babb, Author
Web designer, social networks manager, blogger, novelist, and online writing instructor, Charlotte Henley Babb has been writing since she was four, and now makes up fractured fairy tales for people who have survived beyond the love’s last kiss. Where the stories are for people over 20 who have survived marriage, divorce, child-rearing, post-graduate education, bankruptcy, empty nest, and widowhood?
Charlotte Henley Babb writes them.
Her first novel, Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the Veil, was published in 2012 and was awarded the Sharp Writ First Place in Fantasy and Science Fiction. It also received an honorable mention in the 2014 National Federation of Press Women communications contest for adult novels. She has self-published short stories in ebook and print format, doing the technical work, cover design, and layout herself.
Charlotte has taught English in high school and junior college, written procedure manuals, and edited association newsletters. She has presented at education and writing conferences on using the Internet, blogging, and writing science fiction. She brings to any project a number of experiences: technical writer, gasket inspector, wait staff, fabric and craft retail associate, craft artificer, secret weapon, and telephone psychic. Currently she manages the website, social media presence, and monthly newsletter for Sherman College of Chiropractic.
Work in progress 20 hours to Atlanta
When an airship madam arranges a secret meeting of colonial ambassadors, can she trust her crew and a rogue operative to keep her clients safe from his handlers, her allies, and an anarchist?
Giving up what’s left of her self-esteem for coffee, her last chance to redeem her life comes as a job offer to be a fairy godmother. But Faery is shrinking, the other fairy godmothers have disappeared, and nothing she does turns out right.
How can she put together the happily ever after each of her clients wants with her boss standing in her way?
$5.95 Kindle $15.99 Paper
Fairy Godmother Maven Morrigan has her own way of making the happily ever after come true for The Frog Prince, Rumpelstiltskin and Beauty and the Beast. Three fractured fairy tales to bring you a smile
$2.99 Kindle $5.99 Paper
Separate stories also available $0.99
Bubba and the beast: http://bit.ly/BubbaBeast
Fairy Frogmother: http://bit.ly/FrogMom
Five flash fiction stories of magical encounters in the modern world.
$2.99 Kindle, $5.49, Paper
Walking Off Heaven’s Shore
A ten-piece bucket of Southern fried flash fiction.
$2.99 Kindle $5.99 Paper
A short-short about a cup of coffee on a sunny morning and a decision.
Connect with Charlotte Henley Babb