Jen: This weekend our guest is Charlotte Boyett-Compo. Charlotte, will you please share a short bio with us?
Charlotte: I have been married forty-three years to my high school sweetheart, Tom. We had two sons, Pete and Mike, and Pete has given us two grandchildren, Preston and Victoria. Tom was career military and when he was stationed at Offutt AFB in Omaha in the mid-70s, I became the entertainment editor for one of Warren Buffet’s Sun newspapers…thus beginning my professional writing career. I did freelance articles for various newspapers for the next dozen or so years and began writing my first real novel when Pete was a senior in high school in 1986. I sold that book in 1995 and it was published the following year. I discovered the internet in 1997 and my first e-format novel, Blood Wind, was published in 1998. Since then, I have written and published over 70 novels. I write for Cerridwen Press, Ellora’s Cave, New Concepts Publishing, Ravenous Romance and have books with Samhain Publishing and Phaze Books.
Jen: Tell us about Emperor of the Wind and where it’s available.
Charlotte: Emperor of the Wind will be published through Ellora’s Cave and it will be out in February 2009. For readers who have followed my WindVerse series of novels, this is the story of the Burgon, Ryden Bakari, the Emperor of Aduiadh Prime. I had a ton of mail from readers who have been clamoring for his story so I hope they will be pleased with it.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Charlotte: I wrote my first book when I was about twelve. My first novel, The Keeper of the Wind, was published in mass market paperback in 1996.
Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Charlotte: My sons have dabbled in writing but never for publication. My husband used to write poetry and was very good at it but he stopped doing that when he came back from Vietnam. Something sort of stymied his creativity over there. Since I’m adopted, I have no idea if the two sisters and one brother I know exist somewhere have been or ever were writers.
Jen: Have you noticed your writer’s voice has changed over the years due to your experience? If so, how?
Charlotte: It has matured but it hasn’t changed. I’m still writing tortured heroes and my heroines are not too stupid to be allowed to live. The older I get the more humor I find myself injecting into the storyline and I believe that’s simply life experience slipping in. If you take yourself too seriously, you tend to get pompous and boring, predictable. If you lean toward the absurd, your mental health doesn’t suffer from constriction of the most important muscle in your body.
Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Charlotte: I always go with the flow. I might have a rough idea of the story in my head but I will never plot it out or write it out in an outline. To me that’s the easiest way to box yourself into a story. If I write by a synopsis or strict outline, I get stymied. I get bored and chances are that story is going to do a 360° before all is said and done anyway. Most reviewers will tell you that there are myriad twists and turns in my novels; they never see some of the action coming and can’t predict where the tale will end. The reason for that is simple: If I suddenly get an insight into a character’s mind, I will let that character lead me where he or she wants to go. I am not rigid with my writing.
Jen: How many hours a day do you write?
Charlotte: 8-10 depending how my muse, Sean, is feeling. I write seven days a week.
Jen: What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?
Charlotte: I enjoy telling the tale of how men and women meet and fall in love. I love watching them spar and tease and fight then consummate a hot relationship. It’s the chase that interests me more than the victory at the end and I thrive on torturing my hero so he’ll appreciate the prize once it’s his.
Jen: Do you do anything special to celebrate a sale, new contract, or release?
Charlotte: My husband usually takes me out to our favorite Japanese restaurant, buys a bottle of Akadama plum wine, and then later we have a glass of plum brandy.
Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write? / Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?
Charlotte: I love dark fantasy because I love world-building. I don’t like chick lit. I LOATHE chick lit. It leaves me colder than yesterday’s dead tuna.
Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one that you identify most with?
Charlotte: I am very fond of all my Reapers but Kamerone Cree is my favorite. I don’t identify with any of my female creations. They’re just there to give the hero something to do. I thrill to alpha males who have the ability to shape-shift but a hunky Black Ops guy ain’t far behind in the mix. 😉
Jen: If you could travel back in time for one year, what time and place would you choose? And if you could only take 3 things with you, what would they be?
Charlotte: I would love to go back to the time of the Old West, perhaps Dodge City. An air conditioner with a generator and a pipeline into unlimited 20th century gasoline to run my generator.
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Charlotte: I read while I’m eating my lunch every day…that’s the only time I find I have available. When I knock off for the day, I make supper then my husband, son and I sit down to watch TV for awhile. There are certain shows I follow faithfully and usually something on every night of the week that I find entertaining. If there’s a really good movie with great special effects playing at the theater, we might go but it has to be one that interests all three of us.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Charlotte: I generally work on three novels at a time. Right now I’m working on one for Ellora’s Cave, one for New Concepts Publishing and a third which will be serialized then published in print on a large website. I am also doing an article for a major website as well as a short story for an upcoming erotic anthology. After that, it’s more novels and short stories for EC, NCP and one other publisher to whom I submit work.
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Charlotte: My webpage is http://www.windlegends.org. You can also find me at the organization for speculative fiction authors which I founded at http://www.iwofa.net.
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Charlotte: I’d like to know if there are any otherworldly creatures they would like to see stories written for? Some entity that they feel deserves to have a book. There are dozens of selkie and djinn stories, hundreds of vampire and werewolf and werecat books. Is there another interesting creature they feel would make good reading?
Jen: Charlotte was going to be with us this weekend, but a family emergency happened late this past week and she needs to be with her family. She was going to give away several ebooks, but since she’s not going to be here, we’re going to only give away one ebook of the winners choice to a random commenter. So, leave your comments by 5:00 pm PDT on Sunday, March 1 to be entered in the contest.