Interview with Indie Author Charles G. Turner III - Author of the Scuba Action/Adventure Clemency (The Saints Chronicles) - released in May 2012.
Charles G. Turner writes almost exclusively from his personal passions and experience to add realism to his work and enjoys living quietly with his family on a farm that has been in his family since the Revolutionary War, in Virginia’s Hunt Country.
Charles writes to a high level of detail which pulls the reader into the story, while developing believable characters and issues that carry throughout his work. He wants you to close the book feeling like you have been to another place and have come away having learned something, or wanting to learn more.
Interview with Author Charles G. Turner III
|Charles G. Turner III|
Charles G. Turner III: My writing background stems back to my education. I majored in English Literature in College. I graduated to a waiting job on Capitol Hill, where I wrote correspondence, speeches, and draft legislation for the House of Representatives. His led me into several other jobs that exploited my writing skills, most of the time on technical subjects. Along the way, I began to write novels. But in the days before indie publishing, I was afraid of the rejection and not confident in my ability to entertain. As a result, manuscript after manuscript piled up in a filing cabinet. Eventually I decided to take the leap into the world of writing for the entertainment of an audience, and I published my most recent work, Clemency, The Saint Chronicles Part 1.
Who are your favorite writers, your favorite book, and who or what are your writing influences?
Most of my writing influences are the classical authors: Hemingway, Steinbeck, Poe, and the like. I love writing about man versus nature and the technical aspects of modern science and technology as it interacts with our world.
"My characters interact with me during the day..."
Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
Generally my writing begins well after everyone around the house is in bed, and I write into the wee hours of the morning. I usually, when engaged in the process, write furiously for that block of time and exist on only a few hours of sleep a night until the first draft is finished. I then get up in the morning with the rest of the family to get moving. My characters interact with me during the day, so I change and edit or make notes before charging forward into the next night of writing until the work is finished.
What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
A story, with its core elements seems to flow easily for me. I can adapt for my characters and alter the plot pretty easily throughout the process. The hardest part for me is the editing. I just get to a point where I can’t see my own errors anymore and I become reliant on an objective set of eyes to clean up behind me.
When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I knew I wanted to write as a teenager. I had professors that had a strong influence on my interest in writing and encouraged me along the way. Through their example and their teaching regime, I really got a taste of the great writers that had come before me, and it inspired me write on my own. I owe my interest and success to the teachers that showed me the way.
Charles, please tell us a little about your debut novel 'Clemency - The Saint Chronicles.
Clemency is based on true events. It chronicles the tale of three divers who are hired to salvage the bodies of three dead men from a shipwreck far out into the North Atlantic. They face almost impossible odds and are presented with repeated challenges both in the water and out that propel them into a maelstrom of betrayal, greed, revenge and murder.
|Click to Read an Excerpt|
What inspired you to write the book?
My experiences as a diver compelled me to write Clemency. I want my readers to see a real-world environment that many of them may never have seen before, and be drawn into a story that was credible and believable. I want my readers to come away from Clemency having seen a world they never knew existed, and having learned something factual as well as having been moved emotionally. I think that Clemency presents a backdrop that helps move the reader forward into new territory, while exploring familiar themes related to the human condition.
Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
Anybody who enjoys a good thriller, extreme sports, SCUBA, history, or military themes will enjoy Clemency. I tried to tie the story closely to the facts, so that a reader gets not only a good story, but a good history lesson as well. I think the relationships among the characters also add to the depth of the overall work, and leave the door open for the sequels to come.
How would you describe the success of your book so far?
Clemency has been very well received. I’ve gotten numerous five star ratings, and had several great reviews in the news media. I have just returned from a signing in Charleston, South Carolina where I got a great review in the Charleston Mercury Newspaper, and had a discussion, book signing and reception hosted by the Charleston Library Society. It was a wonderful experience, and, as a result, more signings are being scheduled. During its first quarter, Clemency’s sales performed far better than I expected. It’s been a very exciting few months!
How long did it take it to write the book?
Well, having described the process earlier, I can tell you that I produced the first draft in nineteen consecutive days. After that, it was many months before I had what I was willing to consider a final draft in hand.
Please, tell us where you self-published the book.
I chose Abbott Press because of the wide array of services they offered. I also felt like it was important to have their connection to Writers Digest.
How smooth went the self-publishing process? Any issues? What are things to look for when self-publishing a book?
I had a reasonably good experience through Abbott. I think that as an author, you need to really be prepared to hand them a product that is as close to finished as you can get it. Their role is purely mechanical and needs to be treated as such. They can only hand you back what you give to them in terms of the quality of your writing.
"I hired TWO editors and one cover design firm."
Did you hire an editor and/or Cover Designer for your book?
I did both. I hired TWO editors and one cover design firm. I wanted the finished product to be as polished as I could get it before my readers saw it. Does it have errors even now? Of course. I woke up the other night and ran to a copy of the book, opened it to a particular passage and discovered an error. But that’s my fault, not theirs. As for the cover, the ‘stock’ designs were not what I wanted. I had a specific statement in mind for the cover, so I went to an outside source to get the cover done my way, and I’m glad I did. The cover is exactly what I wanted.
Can you give some tips for other Indie Authors regarding the writing and self-publishing process?
First, be hard on yourself. If you are hard on yourself, you will give your readers a beautiful piece of work that you can be proud of, and that represents your voice to the world. Second, know when to let the work go. Hard on yourself is one thing, but getting in your own way is something completely different. It will drown you as a writer and you will never publish anything, so know when you have done all you can do.
"[The Book] is based on my own experiences."
Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I am working on a as yet unnamed sequel to Clemency. In it, the characters come back together to create a mechanism that spells the end of terrorism as we know it. Again, it is based on my own experiences.
Are you planning to move forward as an Indie author or are you looking forward to have one of your next books to be traditionally published?
I really haven’t decided yet. I see an avenue whereby Clemency could be the flagship in a series that, as others have suggested, would make a great movie series. What I don’t know is whether or not a traditional publishing model would be a better avenue for these works or not. I haven’t researched that yet.
Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I think that is a distinct possibility, albeit a sad one. I have many friends who insist on holding the physical book in their hands, and the on-demand publishing model is certainly more cost effective than the traditional one. However, I fear that the allure of holding your entire library in your hand might be in our future.
Do you write full-time or do you have a day job?
I write full time.
How can readers connect with you?
Readers can keep up with all my latest writing and news at my website and connect with me via Twitter [see Links below]
Thank you so much for the Interview, Charles.
About the Book - Clemency (The Saint Chronicles)
What they thought would be a difficult but fairly routine mission becomes twisted with lies and perils, as the three unsuspecting friends find themselves deliberately drawn into a complex, high seas, high stakes historical take of betrayal, revenge, greed, and murder.
Links to the Author and the Book
Link to Charles G. Turner's Website
Connect with Charles G. Turner III on Twitter: @CharlesGTurner3
Link to the eBook Clemency on Amazon with Excerpt