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#IndieApril Interview with Charles Simpson

The Rider by Charles Simpson

Today’s #IndieApril Interview is with Charles Simpson, an indie writer who spent 23 years traveling around the world as an Air force mechanic.

LQ: Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

CS: I guess I am the stereotypical writer in that I am an introvert and painfully shy (except when I have a few drinks in me). Over the years, though, I’ve learned to “blend in” to the world that seems to favor the extroverts. That “blending in” comes at a cost, though, and I am usually exhausted after social engagements.

On a more personal level, I married a woman who far exceeds me in every aspect I can think of, but not in a negative way. She pushes me to achieve things I might not have done if she had not been there, and by the way, she is an extrovert—so maybe opposites do attract? In addition to that, I am an animal lover, especially dogs. I may be an introvert around people, but around dogs, I am an extreme extrovert. We currently have two dogs, and they are always by my side.

I also spent close to 23 years in the Air Force as an airplane mechanic. During that time, I lived in Japan, Korea, Italy (which is where I met my wife), and Germany. Even though I have always been interested in writing, I believe it was my time in these different countries that gave me the perspective I needed to write characters that were much different than me.

LQ: What does your writing process look like?

CS: I am an outline person. But before that, I usually have an idea pop in my head, and then I refine it. Then, I lay out all the acts and chapters in a spreadsheet. After a few days, I head back and look at it to make sure the plot and structure are strong enough. Once I am satisfied with the outline, I start filling it in. I try not to get too hung up on the first draft and spill everything out. After that first draft, I go through a series of edits in this order: plot and structure, dialogue, setting and description, and then grammar.

Once I have exhausted myself, I pass the book on to some trusted readers for feedback. The first is my wife, of course, and then after that, I have a few people with different skill sets that help me out. It is fascinating to see how much of a team effort writing is!

LQ: What was your favorite book to write so far?

CS: The Rider is definitely my favorite book that I have written so far. Also, it is the only book that I have published.

LQ: Who is your favorite character to write about? 

CS: I love to write about characters who are so sure of themselves only to find out their certainty isn’t all that strong when faced with adversity. My character’s most significant flaws tend to be pride. Also, they only see things from their perspective and worldview and are hesitant to change even when forced to see that their way may not be the best.

LQ: Who are your favorite authors? Have any of them influenced your work?

CS: Franklin W. Dixon sparked my love for reading. I remember burning through all of the Hardy Boys books when I was in elementary school. Then there was Stephen King, Anne Rice, Lorenzo Carcaterra, Harlan Coben, and Delia Owens.

All of them have influenced my work. I know that Stephen King’s originality and compelling stories push me to come up with original ideas. Delia Owens and Anne rice changed me in the way they describe a setting and intertwine it into the plot without slowing it down. Harlan Coben leads the way in suspense and twists for me. And finally, Lorenzo Carcaterra’s smoothness and writing style is one that I try to achieve.

Charles Simpson

LQ: How are you doing during the current pandemic? 

CS: I am doing well during the current pandemic, and for that, I am fortunate. We began to move into our house right before everything started to shut down, and because of that, we have more than enough to keep us busy. I’m looking forward to getting back to work on my next book.

LQ: What are you currently working on?

CS: Currently, I am working on another book in the speculative fiction genre. The storyline is completely different from The Rider, but some themes are the same such as social injustice and situations where one could ask if the end justifies the means. I’m very excited about it, but at the same time nervous. I’ve received such great feedback and reviews from The Rider, I feel under pressure to produce something just as good, if not better.

LQ: Anything else you would like to share? 

CS: Just two things—One is that I ask people to support indie authors. There are so many talented people out there with amazing stories to tell. There are self-published books that change people’s lives—so give them a shot and support them.

And finally, I ask that people take care of each other during this pandemic. While this is a challenging time in our history, I feel it is also an opportunity for humanity to show that we can come together and bring some good out of this.

Source: http://loversquarrelreviews.com/2020/04/16/indieapril-interview-with-charles-simpson