Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Authors Corner with Charles McGarry

Hey Everyone!

Today's Authors Corner is with the Amazing Charles McGarry who is the author of Breaking the Mold: Confessions of a Hippie Ex-Pastor and Dragon Shorts: A collection of Outlandish Tales

I want to Thank You Charles for being a part of this Interview Process.

Now on to the interview!!!
Always my first question, why do you write?

Charles: I write because I love to spin a tale, and also because it’s therapeutic. There is nothing
healthier for me than to escape reality for a bit, and I think that can be said of many people. I love creating a world where others can escape with me.

When did you decide to become a writer, and what was that process like?

Charles: I have always loved to write, but my decision to write full time came in 2010. I have always loved to read great fiction, and numerous ideas for my own stories just started flooding my mind. You could say my subconscious chose for me, haha.

So, what have you written so far?

Charles: My first book was about my exit from church ministry. I was a pastor for three and a half years, and decided there was too much that I could no longer support, so I left and never went back. My latest book is a collection of short fantasy fiction of various kinds. Some classic fantasy, some urban fantasy, and some weird off-the-wall fantasy.

Where can we buy our own copy of your books?

Charles: Currently they are available on Amazon in print and e-book for Kindle.

What genre are your books?
Charles: I primarily write fantasy now.

What kind of research do you do for your books?

Charles: I am a linguist. I studied Greek in graduate school, and am fascinated with the phonetics of language. Some of my tales involve incantations, or foreign languages. Most of what I researched was words. I wanted the phonetics of spells to be believable. I also wanted to use actual language in an appropriate way. For instance, one of my stories involves a phrase in Latin. I have no knowledge of Latin per say, so I had to figure out how a character would speak it. I also had to do a fair amount of research on
Egypt for that same story. Other than that I don’t do much research. With fantasy, so much is rooted in imagination that research is not as heavily needed as it would be for a non-fiction or historical fiction work.

What are you currently working on now?

Charles: I have two different novels I’m working on at the moment, as well as a short story that just kind of…happened.

Do you mind giving us a small insight in to these new works?

Charles: One of my books revolves around an assassin with arcane powers, and the other is about a malevolent dragon who seeks a way to create a horde of genetic crossbreeds
to terrorize his world. The short story is…well, a secret for now. I am toying with
creating a multiverse with my full length novels.

Why did you go with self-publishing?
Charles: It gives me the most control over my product. Other than necessary editing changes, I get to keep my story the way I want it without having a publisher tell me things I need to add or take out. I also retain all the rights to my book, which is huge for me. That’s not to say I’ll never go traditional. If the right deal landed I would consider it.

Since you self-published what is your editing process like?
Charles: Spell check first, and then two read troughs myself. I also have a personal friend who is my primary editor, and I also have some beta readers. I go through about ten or more edits before the final product is ready to go to print.

Tell us about your covers and how they came about.
Charles: The cover for the hippie ex-pastor book was just a photograph of my rope sandals turned into a cover with Amazon’s cover creator. I paid a professional artist for my cover on Dragon Shorts. I wanted it to depict a dragon who liked to read, and was sitting in his reading nook. I told him what I wanted, and he took it brilliantly from there.

Do you think the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Charles: Indeed it does! The old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” is unrealistic. With so many people buying online, the only way to know what you’re getting is by reading the descriptions and looking at the cover. If the cover isn’t appealing, then most people don’t bother going further. I have bought books with horrible covers, but I’m kind of an exception.

Getting your work out there is harder with Self-Publishing so how do you market your books?
Charles: That’s the tough part. I’m not naturally good at marketing, so it has been quite a learning curve for me. I do mostly Facebook and Twitter, and I find I get more activity from Twitter in general, but more sales from Facebook. What makes it especially hard is social media has a heavy focus on paid advertising. So those who don’t pay don’t get as much traction.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

Charles: Be consistent, and post daily. Don’t just post promotions for your book, or you might come across as a robot instead of a human. Let people get to know you. Also, don’t be afraid to pay small amounts for advertising. If you have enough money, budget a little for advertising.

How do you go about getting book reviews?
Charles: I post social updates asking for reviews. I am not a natural asker, but if you don’t they won’t. I also personally ask people I know who bought the book to do their review.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Charles: Reviews are reviews whether good or bad. I don’t want sugarcoating. If someone doesn’t like it I would rather they be honest. Everyone is different. All positive reviews makes me wonder if something is fishy.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Charles: Write what you want to and what interests you. Don't just write what you think others will like. If you don't like your own writing, it will usually show in what you put out. I want to write a book that I would also sit and read. Don't be afraid to be yourself. Authenticity is essential as a writer. For me, I had to keep reminding myself that only I can write my stories. If I don’t write then I am cheating readers out of a really great story. The biggest thing I ever did for myself was tell people, all the time that I’m an author. Not an
“aspiring” author, but a real author. That forced me to live up to the reputation I made for myself LOL.

Where do you see your publishing going in the future?Charles: I hope to publish at least one book a year, and make a good second income from my writing. My long term goal of course is to become a famous author. But, even if I didn’t, I would still write for the pure joy it brings me.

Last Question, how can my readers discover more about you and you work?
Website and Blog:
Twitter: @eccentrycdragon
Amazon Author Page:

As always please show the author some love and check out their work!


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