To begin, please introduce yourself to our audience. What is your name? Who are you? What books have you written?
Hi, my name is Charles Thomas Phipps (C.T. Phipps) and I am the author of the Cthulhu Apocalypse and the Red Room series. I am also the blogger behind the United Federation of Charles and several other sites. I am a Master of English and former researcher turned full-time writer. *pause* I’m also an enormous geek into everything from Star Trek and Star Wars to Cthulhu and Zombies.
What first inspired you to become a writer? And what compels you to continue your career as an author?
When I was six years old, I wrote my first short story where a private detective goes to beat up some bad people and dodged through a bunch of traps like Indiana Jones. I doubt the grammar was correct since I didn’t learn how to write properly until college but the experience was a major rush. I think once you get a feeling you have stories inside you which you want to tell, there’s no stopping you. You’re a writer now and there’s no turning back.
What is the first book you read that made you fall in love with literature?
H.G. Well’s The Time Machine. I haven’t read it for decades but I remember it as the first real “book” I ever read in second grade. The Morlocks, the Eloi, the fascist government of the future, and the lifeless far-future introduced me to ideas I’d never contemplated. I think the next book I read after that was The Hobbit and it was all downhill from there.
What do you think is the most difficult part of being a writer? What is the most rewarding part?
The most difficult part of being a writer is the realization you’re not nearly as good as you think you are when you start out. I think every writer has about a 1,000,000+ words of fiction he’d like to track down and destroy. Once you master the craft, though, you realize you’re now able to share the worlds in your mind with the rest of humanity—and that’s a great feeling.
What is your most recent work? What can audiences expect from this book or series?
I’m presently working on two books simultaneously. The first is Operation: Otherworld from the Red Room series, which is where the secret agents of the titular Red Room deal with the most heinous supernaturals of them all—filthy, filthy elves! Grrr! Pointy-earred racist magical ubermensch! *grin* The second is When Strange Aeons, which is the sequel to Death May Die, and continues the adventures of John Henry Booth as he explores the burnt-out Wasteland following the Great Old One’s rise. This one was a real-treat to write as post-apocalyptic fiction and Lovecraft are a natural but rarely used fit.
What do you think are the most common misconceptions about writers?
I think there’s a general misconception that being a writer is like the song “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straights. People think that if they can get their book done, they can just let the cash roll on in. The truth is that writing is a job like any other and if you want to make a profession of it, it requires a lot of hard work.
Why did you decide to join Permuted Press?
I attended a seminar in Charleston, WV by a literary agent and pitched my book to her. She said it wasn’t the kind of thing she was looking for but directed me to Permuted Press. There, I found a wonderful literary group on its forums and they helped me hone my craft. I really owe Permuted Press and my fellow authors there (a lot of whom were in said group) for making me the writer I am.
What are your dreams for the future as a writer?
To drive my enemies before me, crush them, and hear the lamentations of a gender nonspecific group of civilians. Seriously, I obviously hope for success in my writing both in terms of people liking it as well as financial but also the opportunity to continue doing it indefinitely. I want this to be my life from now on as I’ve found my calling.
Is there anything else that you would like for people to know about yourself and your work?
That appearances can be deceiving and I’m actually quite good. Hehe. No, seriously, I’d like people to know that I respect my readers and am glad for each and every purchase. I hope you’ll like my work and if not, I understand it’s not for everyone. I welcome both criticism as well as praise.
Do you have any events coming up such as conventions or book signings?
Not as such. I am, however, active on social media and the internet. Who knows in the future, though!
Where can people find more information about you?