C.A. Milson Interview at The New Author Part I
Posted by authorcamilson
Today through Wednesday I will be posting my interview with C.A. Milson as part of his virtual book tour. C.A. is promoting his book – The Chosen. This is his first published book and coincidentally it is book one in a trilogy. Book two will be released next year.
C.A. Milson is an author of horror/sci-fri novels with aspirations to expand into movies. Born in New Zealand C.A. has traveled extensively, worked in New York and currently lives with his wife in a little town in Russia. The interview will shed more light on C.A. the author. C.A. will be stopping by the site to respond to any questions or comments. Now for the questions. (C.A.’s responses in bold)
Your book – The Chosen – has the feel of a fantasy novel but the darkness of a horror novel. Was this your intention while writing it?
I think my intention when I started was to develop a story that had not been done previously. Now while there have been similar stories of supernatural haunting, I wanted to take that concept to the next level by putting a scenario of supernatural beings that wanted to see the downfall of humanity, although that concept has been done before by such classics as Hellraiser… But my idea was to add something a little different. The hero of the story really does not want this “honor” that he has been given. He has enough problems of his own to deal with, without having to decide the fate of the human race.
You have traveled extensively throughout the years. Did your travels and the multiple cultures observed impact your writing and/or the direction of your novel?
Some of my travels have allowed me to pick and choose personalities for some of the characters from people I have met in my travelling expeditions. Such as the character of Drake. He is a combination of some people I have known in my time, although not directly related to any one person in particular. He is the typical know it all wanna-be-never-will-be-in-his-dreams personality. You know the type… Knows everything there is to know about absolutely nothing constructive, and winds off big speeches with his self-deluded egomania. But when it comes to locations, the town of Winmont – where a majority of the story is set – is actually based on a small town near Torquay, Victoria. It so happens that this small town has about 1000 people, and some of the locations in the book reflect the town.
In 1989 you wrote – Shack of Evil – which would later be the base for – The Chosen. In a previous interview you stated the idea for – Shack of Evil – came from a hobbytex picture. Can you give us a little more detail of how a picture can provide the story for a novel?
That’s right Brian. The original idea came from a hobbytex picture my mother had on the wall. To sum up what Hobbytex is, is pretty much a velvet canvas and paint by numbers sorta-thing. Okay, so this picture has the outline of a rustic shack, and behind that was a full moon that had been colored yellow. I remember I was sat at the kitchen table staring at the picture, and ideas started to form. About how this particular ghost had been a victim of murder and now was bound to this rustic shack. His whole existence at that time was to reap revenge on those who killed him… Of course, that was the start of the journey for The Chosen. In the original idea there was of course, a paranormal investigator whose “duty” was to send the spirit to the “other side”… But, there was far too much humanity in the original character of Jamiesonn, and hardly any history behind who he really was. So although the story in itself opened the idea of dark fantasy, it was also something that I consider to have been “draft one” of many ideas. So from that picture, the foundation of Jamiesonn and his rage was formed.
The Chosen, as mentioned before, has a very dark side. Did the dark side of the novel develop from your imagination or evolve with your edits and rewrite?
I believe it is a combination of both. When I finished the original story of “SOE”, I read the story and though to myself “I can do better than this”. So I set about doing it again, but not until the early part of 1994. When I rewrote it in 1994, it was a two part novel, which I titled “Phantasmagoria”. Of course, it could not be released under that name as soon after an interactive game came out with the same name. Besides, I knew that the storyline, although good, was not perfect. There was a lot that I wanted to explore with the characters and give them a lot more depth than I had included. In particular the true nature of Jamiesonn; his darkness developed with A LOT of rewriting. I wanted to explore just what makes a person turn to religions that are considered by some as “taboo”. What I like about the version that is released is that the life of Jamiesonn has real background, and shows just why he became who he is now.
Part II of this interview will be posted tomorrow. Also, C.A. will visit the site too answer your questions and respond too your comments.
Brian, I have just been able to sit down and read the interview.
I have a question concerning the issue of C.A. not being able to use the name he chose for the second part of “SOE”: I recently published a book I had been working on for nearly 10 years (I was writing it from my personal journals) and when I was ready to publish the manuscript I was informed the publisher could not use the title due to another manuscript with a similar title. The title was the basis for the entire manuscript. It seemed to me searching my brain for a new title was more frustrating than the time it took to write the entire manuscript. How did this make you feel and how do you decide on a new title when needed? Thanks and I can’t wait to read the remainder of the interview.
Author C.A. Milson said…
When I wrote the two part book in 1994, shortly after an interactive game called Phantasmagoria was released, so to avoid using the name that was already taken I had to come up with another title. It wasn’t a case of a publisher telling me that I couldn’t use that name, it was more that I didn’t want to use “that” particular name. Besides, even if I wanted to release the book back then, I knew that the novel was far from being ready. It took quite a long time to come up with a new title, and it wasn’t until I rewrote it that I came up with the current title. Of course, my first thought was to title it “The Chosen One”, but I think that was done also. Sometimes finding a title for what it is your masterpiece can be frustrating as sometimes the title sets the whole base for what the story will entail. However… With that said, I do think it is always good to have one or two additional titles roaming in your mind, just in case.