INTRO: Charlotte Boyett-Compo is the author of novels in the genres of dark fantasy, sci-fi, horror, paranormal, and suspense thriller. We have talked to her about The WindLegends Saga as well as other aspects of being a writer.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about how you came up with the idea for The WindLegends Saga?
A: As a lot of writers do, I suffer from migraine headaches.My physicians have experimented over the years with different combinations of drugs to prevent the headaches or lessen their severity. While I was taking one of these new drugs, I began to experience very vivid dreaming episodes that were in living,blazing color. During one of these dreams-in which I found myself walking along the banks of a beautiful, sparkling river-I encountered Prince The’ion Acet, Regent of Serenia. We sat and talked for quite some time and from that interlude, the tales of the Court of the Winds and The’ion’s ancestors were told to me.The next morning, I wrote down what I had dreamt and from there the WindLegends Saga was born. I’ve often wondered if that handsome prince from some galaxy far from our own came to me to have me tell the tale. My mystical side insists it is quite feasible!
Q: Which authors would you say have been your greatestinspiration sources?
A: I have always enjoyed the supernatural and other wordly.My fascination with horror movies as a child led me to a studyof the paranormal while in high school. I devoured anythingdealing with the occult, mythology, and legend. The fantasyrealms created by such authors as Asimov, Bradbury, and Heinleinfired my imagination and instilled in me a desire to createworlds of my own. I began keeping notebooks filled withcharacters and places and plot scenarios for tales I wanted totell. By the time I graduated high school, I had ninecomposition books filled with ideas, snippets of dialogue andoutlines for several novels.
Q: What has been the major challenges in becoming a writer?
A: Finding the time to write. When I was younger, I was family and it was difficult to find the peace and quiet necessary to create. Once my sons were in high school and more or less self-sufficient, my husband overseas on assignment, I write til I grew too exhausted to type another letter. novel was written on an electric typewriter, but the fourth draft was done on an old Apple 2C. By the time I graduated to my first PC, I had revised THE KEEPER OF THE WIND six times and the manuscript was three feet tall!! Realizing there were definite disadvantages to having so large a book, I began to whittle it down to three, then four, then finally six novels. My biggest challenge was knowing where to cut each book so that the story stood on its own. Each of my novels end on a cliffhanger anyway,so partitioning them in such a way to make the reader want to read the next one in the nine volume series (ah, yes, I wrote a FEW more pages after that sixth novel!), became a real challenge.
Q: Do you have a routine for writing?
A: At the present time, I am working as our parish secretary so my weekdays are taken from 8-5. I can only write in the evenings and on the weekends. I am an extraordinarily lucky woman in that I have a very supportive, wonderfully understanding husband who is more than willing to take on the household chores in order for me to pursue my dream. He has always encouraged my writing and prodded me when I was ready to give up as I struggled to find a publisher for my work. He refused to let me quit and has often worked an extra job so I could sit and write. On mydays off, I am usually at the computer in my office which has no windows to distract me, no phone, and is somewhat soundproof,by ten a.m. I work until around one, eat at my desk, then I feel I’ve finished for the day. That may be five or it may be nine; it depends on how well the creative juices are flowing.
Q: E-Publishing seems to be very “hot” these days, what has been your experience with this new way of getting published?
A: I have nothing but good things to say about epublishing.I believe this is the wave of the future. It might take awhile,but eventually, there is going to have to be a change in the way books are presented. The growing ecological impact ofwasting paper and natural resources will make epublishing more enticing. Already the bigger publishing companies are getting their big name stars into the market. As for writers, the royalties are so much better with epublishing. Itis common for 35-55% royalties as opposed to the meager 10-15%with print publishers. Ebooks don’t ever go out of print. There is no warehouse problems and weight shipping problems with ebooks. A reader can go to an ebook publishing site and book in a matter of moments or order the disk or cd rom sent to them. Storage problems with ebooks as opposed to a or paperback is another consideration for some people.
On a professional level, I prefer ebooks because the turnaround time from writing the novel, submitting it and actually getting it to the reader is about 1/3 the time it takes for a traditional publisher to get the galley proofs to the author! Eighteen months is the usual time for a print publisher. To me, six months is a much better deal.
One of the drawbacks with ebooks deals with the misconception that you have to have special equipment in order to read the novels. You don’t. You can read it on your monitor or you it out and read it as a manuscript. Most people like the convenience of taking a book with them and reading it anywhere.Unless you have a hand-held reader, you can’t do that with ebooks so that is another drawback, but you can take forty books with you in the same space as two paperbacks if you have a hand-held reader! The expense of the ebook readers is another issue.Right now, you can find some for as low as $200. With the increase in epublishing companies, you’ll see that go down just as VCR’s and CD players went down.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: I have three books coming out between now and the end of the year: WINDFALL, a dark fantasy prequel to THE KEEPER OF THE WIND and the premier novel in The WindTales Trilogy, is coming out in September; IN THE TEETH OF THE WIND, a psychological thriller, will be out in October; IN THE HEART OF THE WIND, a thriller, will be coming out in November. In January,WINDCHANCE, Book Two of the WindTales Trilogy, is due out. I have fans clamoring for sequels to both BLOODWIND, the sci-fi/futuristic romance, and NIGHTWIND, my erotic horror romance, the number one and number two bestsellers at Dark Star Publications (formerly Twilight Times Books). I hope to start on the sequel to BLOODWIND this coming weekend. I also have a vampire western and another horror novel planned for late next year. There are also the other eight novels in the Wind Legends Saga which are written and ready for publication. I am receiving fan mail every day begging for these novels.
Q: What has the Internet meant for you as an author?
A: It has made me as an author! I have spent countless hours in front of the monitor visiting speculative fiction and romance sites, introducing myself and getting to know the webmasters of these wonderful sites. I have visited message boards and left my name in guestbooks all over the world. I have joined email lists and done chats, interviews and articles for numerous websites. I have developed my own webpage that has received many, many wonderful compliments. At the present time, I’ve had over 2500 hits since I put my new counter on the website May 1. Before that, I had nearly 3000. Just from being connected to the WWW, I have been introduced to readers who would not have known of me otherwise. One of my novels was serialized before being sold to DLSIJ Press and I had hundreds of readers email me begging for the continuation of the series and a sequel.All in all, the Internet was a godsend without which I would not be speaking to you now. I can only encourage other writers to make use of this wonderful medium to get their voice out therefor others to hear.