Book Talk with J & J ~ Interview
Jen: This weekend we welcome horror novelist C.A. Milson to Book Talk. C.A., Will you please share a short bio with us?
C.A.: I grew up in Brisbane Australia. At a young age I was fascinated with the world of writing, but I never really did anything about it until 1989. Since early 2008, I have spent a majority of the year traveling to places such as China, Russia and Japan. In April, I set foot back in my home country, Australia, after almost a 10 year absence. I now reside primarily in Samara Russia with my wife, Anna, and I spend my time writing and working as a recruiter.
Jen: Tell us about The Chosen and where it’s available.
C.A.: My first novel is called The Chosen. It is a Supernatural Horror, set in modern times. It is the story of Alex Manning who is “The One”, well actually Alex Manning is a nice guy, with anxiety attacks who has visions. He doesn’t know he is “The One” until he gets wrapped up in the investigation of the Jamiesonn house. Then he is drawn neck deep into betrayal, battling demons, freaky scary ghosts, and falling in love again tossed in for good measure. My novel can be purchased through Amazon.com and various other online retailers.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
C.A.: I first discovered writing when I was in grade 9, when I attended Kedron State High School. Instead of reading a book and writing a report on what I thought about the topic, I decided to pen a short story. In about 2 hours I penned a short sci-fi story, which was my first attempt at the world of writing. The story received top marks from my English professor, who also encouraged me to continue writing. That was the first and seemingly last time I put pen to paper. That was until the summer of 1989…. In 1989, I was living in Melbourne at the time, and once again I found myself writing. My first short story was titled “Shack of Evil”, a 9 page story based on the character Jamiesonn. The story idea came from a Hobbytex picture my mother had on the wall of her apartment. I was not automatically drawn into the world of horror, but after reading stories by H.P. Lovecraft and Misery by Stephen King, I knew that I wanted to write novels that would entertain and scare the audience. But like some beginning writers, I had no idea how to get storyline past the seemingly impossible short-phase and also written in the third person context. After writing “Shack of Evil” I went on to write an additional 25 short stories, all of different genres, including a children’s story. “Shack of Evil” would later become the base for what is now the trilogy of The Chosen, Bloodline of Darkness, and Prophecy’s End. In 1994, I wrote the first draft for what is now The Chosen. Some 14 years later, I saw the realization of my hard work come to fruition when my novel was published by Amira Press.
Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
C.A.: I tend to go with what I feel at the time and don’t stick to any particular routine. The thing I like best about writing is being able to see what will happen in later chapters, like seeing a movie that is being played out in my head.
Jen: Do you have a specific time or place that you write?
C.A.: A typical day for me will start with coffee. Coffee kick-starts my mind into gear and when I get around to it, I start answering emails, writing new scenes, and then editing those scenes if I don’t like it. There is this one chapter I wrote recently about a new character I decided to introduce, based on his life and his success with YouTube, but I scratched that entire chapter as it was too close to my own life. So I may yet keep that character and have him introduced in a different time-frame. I don’t stick to any type of schedule. That would put me into a category of being routine and then the flair for writing wont be as fun anymore. For me, writing comes from the heart.. from inspiration. I have to be inspired to write. Mostly, I find I write best when I have the headphones on and listening to my fav songs on YouTube.
Jen: What kind of research did you do for The Chosen?
C.A.: I have studied different theologies about the supernatural throughout my life and I have always been fascinated of what possibilities would lay in other spiritual worlds, so my writing maintains a basis of the cliched “good versus evil” and the “what-if” scenarios without coming across to heavy.
Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?
C.A.: Some of the writings of HP Lovecraft inspired me, as well as other great authors like Clive Barker, Deen Koontz. These people has proven themselves and are among the greats.
Jen: What five authors or people, from the past or present, have been important to you as an author? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?
C.A.: I cant think of five authors or people off hand, but the two who do come to mind straight away are H.P.Lovecraft and M Night Shyamalan. First off, Lovecraft was a master horror writer for his day, and even today he still remains the true master of horror. It is a shame that he wasn’t recognized for the genius he was until after his death. M Night is also brilliant. It seems that anything Shyamalan touches turns to gold. So my obvious question to M.Night would be; Would you make a film of my book?
Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
C.A.: One person I know said to me the other day, “When are you going to include me in your book.” That made me smile as she obviously does not realize that if I created a character based on her, the character would be, well, lets just say that the character would not last long in any chapter. Another person I know said that they wanted to sell the only autographed copy in existence (so far) on E-Bay!
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
C.A.: When I do have free time I travel quite extensively. This year I have traveled from New Zealand to Russia then to Australia via China, then to Japan then back to Russia. I think by now I have enough Frequent Flyer Points to go to Mars and back. When I am not traveling I like down-time by relaxing in front of my PS2 or listening to music on YouTube.
Jen: What’s next for you?
C.A.: Next for me is writing Bloodline of Darkness, which is the second in the trilogy in the life of Alex Manning – A man who is put in the middle of a spiritual conflict he otherwise wants no part of. Bloodline of Darkness is set seven years after The Chosen. Alex has forsaken his powers to live a “normal” life, and the forces of Tartarus have arisen to harvest the souls of humans and plunge the world into darkness. Alex once again must stand and save humanity but can he overcome the ever present darkness that also reigns in his own heart?
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
C.A.: I can be found online at https://authorcamilson.wordpress.com
Jen: Thanks CA for being our guest at Book Talk this weekend. Readers, CA is offering a copy of The Chosen to a random commenter. So, ask a question or leave a comment here or on the excerpt and you’ll be entered. The contest will end on Sunday, December 7 at 5:00 pm PDT. Please leave an email address on your post if you will not be subscribing to the post comments or checking back to see if you’re a winner.
Thank you J & J for hosting me this weekend. Chris