I had the pleasure of meeting Charlie Kenmore, paranormal romance author, through Alexx at Momcat Reviews. Check out our chat below.
We all began our writing careers somewhere. What inspired you to write your first book?
I needed a birthday present for D. Alexx. She loves paranormal romances. I thought, I’ll just write her a paranormal romance. How hard can it be? I barely finished Book One before her birthday.
Ah, that is so sweet! I bet she loved it. So you write for love, but who inspires your style? If you had to choose, which writer would you consider to be your greatest mentor?
Anton Chekhov, the master of indirect action. He churned out “flash fiction” by the dozens.
I haven’t read anything by him. I’ll definitely check him out now. I’m interested in your book. Introduce the main characters to us.
On the “Heroes” side:
Prince Dzhok (goes by Jack) of the Qpiad (commonly misspelled as “cupid“ in Earthside English). He’s an All Realms Class Lover, with over 1980 children, including 22 with Salash, the High Sidhe Ambassador to the Court of Queen Amura of the Qpiad (Jack’s mother). He’s a human-appearing humanoid of average build and height. He’s much stronger and faster than any human, but much weaker than any of the heroines. His principal claim to fame is that he is always a perfect fit for his sexual partner, regardless of the species, size or color (yes color, since brown hamadryads and green hamadryads have different average lengths for their vaginal canals).
Salash, Jack’s oldest friend and lover. She’s got copper skin, flame red hair, and all chrome diopside green eyes. She may be short, but pound for pound, she’s one of the deadliest fighters in the Six Inhabited Realms. Her weapon of choice is a sword. It is always available, but Jack has no idea where she keeps it since she doesn’t wear a scabbard.
Brunhilde, the Valkyrie, a large, muscular warrior from the House of Odin. She was responsible for the custody of the Chosen before she escaped. Odin put out one of her eyes. She’s a long time acquaintance of Salash’s. Prefers to hit something first, and ask questions later. Her weapon of choice is a rune inscribed battle axe.
Vejamate, the Lithuanian Goddess, the Mother of Winds, a grandmotherly type. If something is in the wind, she’ll know about it. She can go anywhere there are winds.
The Gang at Halflings‘: Rowan-the eldest of Jack’s and Salash’s children, the bartender;
Khaarkh-Jack’s son by an Earth Elemental, 7’8” and 450 lbs, the bouncer;
KiKi-ik-Jack’s three-eyed, green skinned daughter by a wood nymph, the lounge singer.
Aithne and Birkita–Identical twin daughters of Jack and Salash. Salash’s youngest children, still live with her.
Alyxx, High Lady of the Qpiad, the Royal Court Healer. One of the foremost healers in the Six Inhabited Realms.
On the “Jury is still out” side:
High Lord Athol of the High Sidhe, Salash’s father, one of the foremost spymasters in the Six Inhabited Realms.
Queen Amura of the Qpiad, Jack’s mother, fond of Court intrigue.
On the “Villains” side:
The TechnoWitch, a human body stealing witch, who has her eye on taking the Anarch’s body.
Deimos and Phobos- identical twin who-knows-whats, raised by the TechnoWitch, proficient, amused by, and deadly with every kind of weapon, and every form of combat.
The Conspirators: Setekh, Shiva, Themis, Loki, Empusa and Pelactere.
Oceanus, the Atlantian–possibly the oldest living mortal in the Six Inhabited Realms.
Finally, on the “All of the Above” side:
Chosen/Anarch/Earth Angel–born into the House of Odin, intended to be sacrificed to support the Veil under the High Sidhe’s First Accords, so never given a name. She escapes into the Veil, and becomes one with it. Her escape from the Veil imperils the Six Inhabited Realms.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I’m an attorney. Writing fiction is not the same as writing a legal brief. I have to get out of my “attorney” head. So if you were to ask me, “Are you out of your mind?” I’d reply, “I certainly hope so.”
It must be hard to switch hats like that. To help with that, do you have any rituals when you sit down to write? Coffee, certain music playing, that sort of thing.
First, I top off my iced tea. Then I place a snack where it is readily accessible. I put one or more dictionaries and thesauruses within arm’s reach, aaaaaaaand, I’m off.
Simple and easy. I like that. What advice would you give to aspiring writers who dream of publication?
Keep writing. Pay attention to the basics (ie spelling and grammar), but don’t obsess over it, particularly in the first draft. Get the story down. You can always go back and revise (provided the Muse failed to give it to you straight the first time).
You will get rejected. Live with it. It doesn’t mean that the work isn’t good. It means that the work isn’t suitable, at the time, for the intended publisher. Earth Angel was rejected several times. Each rejection included some words of encouragement, but noted that the work was not a good fit for their readership. Just find a publisher that is in tune with your target market.
Yes, we all have that stack of rejections, don’t we? They’re just part of the business, though they still hurt. 🙂 Tell us your latest news and what’s next for you.
There are four more Seven Realms Tales under submission, including The Flow of Magic, the sequel to Earth Angel.
I have a short story “Custody Battle” in the Dark Carnival anthology from Timid Pirate due out at the end of September.
My darker and naughtier alter ego, Ken Charles has a couple of works under contract with Naughty Nights Press. The Mercies of Cinderella is due out in February. The Naughty Ladies of Cotton Glen is due out in April.
Damnation Books (must register-free)
There are seven parallel worlds known as the Seven Realms which are separated by a Veil. Six are inhabited by all manner of entities, some natural, some not. That may not be the case for much longer. The first portion of the High Sidhe Prophecy of the Sevens has been fulfilled. The Anarch, who is one with the Veil, has escaped. If she chooses, she can part or drop the Veil or she can lift the Veil in its entirety. The Seven Realms will converge. The laws of physics and magic will collide head on. Unless she is stopped, there will be nothing left.
Queen Amura has called for an assembly of the signatories to the High Sidhe’s Second Accords, a multi-realm peace treaty to consider how to deal with the threat of the Anarch. An Earthside TechnoWitch and other dark forces also are seeking to control the Anarch. Prince Dzhok (Jack) , High Sidhe Ambassador Salash (Jack’s oldest friend and lover), and Valkyrie Brunhilde set out to find and befriend the Anarch before all is lost.
Salash paused to give Jack a few minutes to consider her words and to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Jack took a moment, and then he saw the light. Unfortunately, it appeared to be attached to an oncoming train. Jack was no pacifist. Like Salash, he would kill to protect his children (and had). But as a pansexual high blood Prince of the Human Whisperers and Allied Kinds, “make love, not war” was not a mere platitude, but rather was the very core of his being. Jack knew that he would have little influence on the upcoming gathering in Paradox. This was not a symposium. It was a war council. And the outcome was fairly certain. His Mother and her allies would seek to kill the Chosen. And they would fail miserably.