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Interview with C.T. Phipps



He is an author of science fiction, horror, and superhero fiction from Ashland, Ky. He is a would-be supervillain and wishes to conquer the world. Unfortunately, he is just really bad at it. His most famous series are The Supervillainy Saga, Agent G, and The United States of Monsters Universe.
 

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
A.
I am a mystery wrapped in a riddle. Just kidding. I’m just an open book. I am a geek, I love video games, I am happily married, I love dogs, and I am a huge fan of everything urban fantasy and cyberpunk.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you in the near future? Any new project you’re working on?
A.
I just released A Nightmare on Elk Street, which is the third and final The Bright Falls Mystery novel and follows Jane Doe to the conclusion of her adventures. She’s a weredeer detective working out of a small town. It’s part of the United States of Monsters Universe.

Q.3 What inspired you to write The Bright Falls Mystery Saga?
A. The Bright Falls Mysteries
was inspired by a combination of Twin Peaks, Veronica Mars, and Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson. I am a huge fan of urban fantasy but feel like small rural towns are an underrepresented genre outside of Sookie Stackhouse. Bright Falls is a town in Michigan that is filled with werecreatures and more mundane secrets that our heroine is forced to investigate when her brother is framed for murder. Discovering she has a talent for unearthing the truth, Jane sets out to solve some of her home's bigger disasters.

Q.4 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
A.
I feel like the most difficult thing there is people trying to make it a larger deal than it should be. The best thing to do about writing a member of the opposite sex is to treat them as a person first and inform that character from issues they’d face as a man or woman. Don’t overthink it. We’ve all met people of the opposite sex, some may even be family, and we can draw from those experiences. They’re not aliens.

Q.5 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
A.
I tend to use 1st person narration and thus tend to center everything from the perspectives of my main characters like Jane Doe from Bright Falls Mysteries, Gary Karkofsky, a.k.a Merciless: The Supervillain without MercyTM, and Agent G (Agent G-shock). As such, I always have to make the characters encounter both the people they are and the person the narrator perceives them to be.

Q.6 Is it vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing? Tell us about your marketing campaign?
A.
I have worked hard to develop a social media relationship with my fans and try to make sure my book is available at a reasonable cost to the people who would want to give it a try. That involves lists, giveaways, participation in various groups, and trying to make myself available to my readers. It’s a hard but rewarding task in this era of massive competition.

Q.7 Is there anyone, you’d like to acknowledge or thank for their support in your writing journey?
A.
I’d definitely like to thank David Niall Wilson (Stoker Award winner, former HWA head) and my publisher. Also, Jeffrey Kafer and Arielle Delisle, the narrator for most of my audiobooks. All three are people who have helped make my books as popular as they’ve become. David taught me a huge amount about publishing and marketing, while my narrators really helped me reach out to their respective fandoms.

Q.8 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
A.
Almost thirty novels in my various series. As for my favorite, it’s a tossup between The Rules of Supervillainy, Agent G: Infiltrator, and I was a Teenage Weredeer.

Q.9 What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?
A.
That deer is opportunity omnivores and will eat meat if it’s available. It made for a lot of funny jokes about Jane loving steak.

Q.10 If you could, which fictional character (from your own book or someone else’s) would you like to invite for dinner and why?
A.
Of my character, I’d definitely invite Gary because that would almost certainly be the start of an amazing adventure and weird shenanigans. I’d also invite Jane Doe because she’d be the one character of mine, polite enough to not leave my house wrecked in the aftermath.

Q.11 Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
A.
I often find myself distracted by all the amazing possibilities of the worlds I’ve created. Rather than suffer writer’s block, I’ve got a history of starting on new projects before I’ve finished my old ones. I have to reign myself in.

Q.12 What fantasy realm would you choose to live in and why?
A.
I’d much prefer to live in a science fiction realm because they’d have indoor plumbing, cybernetics, and the internet. So, I’d have to say I’d prefer to live in my Agent G or Supervillainy Saga world. The latter has superheroes, too, in case I get thrown off a building or something.

Q.13 What draws people to horror novels? Why do we, as readers, like to be scared?
A.
I think people love to be able to engage with things they might not necessarily want to in their normal lives. Fiction is our escape from the mundanities of our normal life, and that includes the lows as well as the highs. Jane Doe lives in a world of monsters and more mundane evils, so that her life is pretty stressful, but it's sure as heck fun to enjoy her deal with them.

Q.14 Who designed your book cover? How did you select them?
A.
Rafaelle Mareneti is the designer for most of my covers. I especially loved their work with A Nightmare On Elk Street that is the third and final book of the Bright Fall Mystery Saga.

Q.15 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
A.
I am incapable of being non-sarcastic or snarky with my characters. I once commented on my “serious” books being absent of humor only for one of my readers to mention it was the funniest book they’d ever read.

Q.16 How do you select the name of your characters?
A.
The characters spring fully formed with their names from my head like Athena.

Q.17 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
A.
Oh yes, but I don’t read every single one anymore. You have to develop a thick skin as an author if you want to make it in your career. No book is for everyone, and sometimes there’s good criticism.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
A. Jim Butcher
, Kim Harrison, and Patricia Briggs. I have a type of fiction. Out of urban fantasy, it would be Neal Stephenson and William Gibson.

Q.19 What is your favorite book from other authors and why?
A. Neuromancer
is my all-time favorite novel, followed by Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. They’re just great books.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
A.
It has been a fantastic experience so far. I’m so glad to be doing what I’ve always wanted to do. The chance to share my worlds and characters with as many people as possible. The response has been great too. I hope to do this for many years to come.


Share your social account links -
Facebook -
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1491731877784498/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/ct_phipps/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Willowhugger
Blog - http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/


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