Tell us about your publishing journey…
My 1st publication was in 1997 when I came in 5th place in a writing contest. The top 5 entries were published in a book. I continued to place and win all the way to 2006, after which I was considered too published to continue entering. I then looked at market publications and “sold” my firststory to Tesseracts 11 in 2007. (Tesseracts is an annual anthology of the best of Canadian speculative fiction.) I sold a novella to the same anthology the following year and it went on to be reprinted in Tor’s Year’s Best Fantasy 9 and also won an Aurora Award for short fiction. I sold various short stories and novellas since then with the 2013 novella anthology The Puzzle Box hitting the bestsellers list in Calgary and Edmonton, receiving 3 Aurora Award nominations, and winning one. In 2013 I also entered and won the House of Anansi Digital’s 7-day ghost story contest. I had 2 publications in 2014. The Necromancer Candle from Edge Publications is a collection of 3 contemporary fantasy novellas. I also experimented with self-publishing and published through CreateSpace a soft SF novel — Capone’s Chicago — that I developed from a short fiction series whose rights had reverted back to me. In August 2015 I have a novel coming out from Tyche Press called Much Ado About Macbeth about a high school drama teacher who sees too much of Macbeth coming to life in his classroom.
What do you love about being an author?
The best part is simply storytelling. Coming up with a new story that entertains, moves, and sometimes educates. People reading it comes a close second. :)
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
This is a very difficult question. What to eat is the easy part. Chicken wings. Who to share my wings with? There are so many. Sherlock Holmes wouldn’t be a bad dinner date.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
Another difficult question. I’m not a Hollywood star chaser and don’t even know the names of most actors. I think I would like to see talented unknowns cast in the parts. Actors who can bring the book to life and who don’t confuse the audience with their celebrity status.
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
I think I’d go to the future. :) Just to see how things turn out. If I had to go back, it would probably be tothe late seventies /early eighties because that’s when the best rock bands were touring with new music that still hits the airwaves today. Of course, I’d have to take back a wad of old currency to buy the concert tickets.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
I think my biggest regret is believing what I was taught in high school, that the only way to succeed is to go to university and get a business degree. Knowing what I know now, I would have gone to trade school and gotten a solid 9-5 job and spent more time with the arts and writing.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
I suspect I would be a shapeshifter. Preferably one that could pick when and what to shift into. There’s not much downside and lots of room for shenanigans.
Where do you write best?
At a writers retreat, with no distractions and lots of peer pressure. It’s hard to forget about your to-do list when you are writing athome. A retreat lets you focus on a project for days and days.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
I recently read Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrel. It is a brilliant historical thriller set in Victorian London. I pity the fool who doesn’t read this book.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
I suspect I would write mystery thriller. My fiction has a strong mystery component already, but I opt for oddness rather than thrills with characters who are more like the reader than they are James Bond.
Where can fans find you online?
I have a small website that lists my publications and some of the things I am up to at www.randymccharles.com
I also haunt Facebook a fair bit. www.facebook.com/randymccharles