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An Interview with C. Enix Lee

To begin, please introduce yourself to our audience. What is your name? Who are you? What books have you written?

My name is C. Enix Lee, and I’m a writer from Cincinnati, Ohio. I have seven books, as of now, being published by Permuted Press. Five are the core series in a franchise of mine called “Chronicles of the End”, and two are standalone novels. “block” and “Angel Falls”. The franchise is a wild mash-up of everything I find cool in the genres of science fiction/fantasy/horror under one roof, in one universe, infused with influence from movies/comic books/video games/anime. The standalones are more traditionally horror, but with my ‘spin’.

What first inspired you to become a writer? And what compels you to continue your career as an author?

I’ve been a writer since the day I was born. As soon as I grasp the concept of telling stories I ran with it. I fell in love with certain books/movies as a child, and once I learned that actual people wrote these tales I knew that is what I wanted to do. From a young age, scribbling in crayon, I’d write my stories of cyborgs and monsters. I pursued this singular career my entire life without compromise, so now that I have the chance to be what I’ve always wanted there’s no stopping now. This is who I am. It’s in my DNA.

What is the first book you read that made you fall in love with literature?

As a kid I loved Arthur Conan Doyle. Three Musketeers was a big deal. As I got older I found Stephen King, Clive Barker, William Gibson, and Anne Rice. Salem’s Lot, Cycle of the Werewolf, Cabal, and The Thief of Always really blew my mind. When I got into my teens I discovered Bret Easton Ellis, Irvine Welsh, Chuck Palahniuk, and dove deep into Transgressive Fiction. I think even though I write these epic tales I’m a Transgressive Fiction author at heart. The monsters you find in reality are just as terrifying as the ones that are made up, and growing up in the environments I did I could relate to these twisted tales based in the real world.

What do you think is the most difficult part of being a writer? What is the most rewarding part?

If you can’t handle rejection it’s going to be rough for you as an aspiring author. Unless you’re a prodigy you’re going to get your work passed on by many trying to find a literary agent, or publisher willing to take the chance on an unproven talent. My words of advice…Take your shots, push forward, listen to the criticism, and evolve. It’s all part of the process. The most rewarding thing will be holding my book. Physical evidence that a lifetime of hard work has paid off.

What is your most recent work? What can audiences expect from this book or series?

Everything is recent. Haha. Until a few years ago I had only written books for myself. I was involved in independent films, and wrote many screenplays that were put into some type of production. There has been no Point A to Point B in my life. It has been an unbelievable rollercoaster ride that will one day make a great book. I had to hit bottom, dwell in a very dark place for a while, and eventually come out the other side enlightened. Somewhat. Haha. Audiences can expect my “Chronicles of the End” franchise to put everything they love in genre literature under one roof. Spins on classic monsters, literary icons, and all things ‘cool’ within a universe that is truly unique. These books will never end. The core of the series is five, but I have volumes of material ready to go in this world. I’ll be writing these books for the next fifty years. “The Future is Built on Ashes” is the first of the five novels in that core series, and it really sets up the world, characters, and conflict that will fuel the next four books. “block” is my Transgressive Horror Fiction novel that is truly one of a kind. A Faustian tale at heart about an author, Arthur Turk, who is stricken with writer’s block at the worst time possible. It’s a very dark, noir-inspired story with a lot of twists I don’t think the reader will see coming. With everything I try to be as original as possible even when dealing with beloved characters/themes. “Angel Falls”…you’re all just going to have to read that one. Haha.

What do you think are the most common misconceptions about writers?

In my case that I can spell.

Why did you decide to join Permuted Press?

Now that is an interesting story. It was during the time that I had decided to make the switch from films to books, and I went to a local bookstore looking for inspiration. I had already narrowed my options down to three different books, but couldn’t choose which to attack first. I was drawn to a book on the shelf, “Bestial” by William D. Carl, which was a Permuted Press book. More importantly a werewolf novel set in my hometown of Cincinnati, so as you could imagine my interest was piqued. I picked it up, gave it a looksee, and in the back I saw an Ad for Permuted Press with a website. Bought the book, went home, and got to work. I did my research, and realized that Permuted would be a perfect home for one of my three concepts. That was “The Future is Built on Ashes” which is the first of the “Chronicles of the End” franchise. I finished my final draft, at the time, of that, and sent it to Permuted Press first. The very first query I sent out. What followed was a year plus of ‘what if?’, and endless queries to EVERYONE. Not just “The Future is Built on Ashes”, but four other novels that spanned multiple genres. I would write a book trying to please certain audiences, or get the attention of literary agents writing what others wanted. Not what I wanted to. I stopped all that nonsense, and started writing books that I would want to read. Out of nowhere I got an email from Permuted Press saying that it had be purchased by new owners, and that is why I haven’t heard anything regarding my submission. They gave a six month window, and within that time frame I heard from Michael Wilson. They were considering “The Future is Built on Ashes”, and wanted to hear about the other concepts I mentioned in my query. Within a day of emailing back and forth, and me jumping and running around my apartment freaking out he officially made my dreams come true. I have these seven books coming out, but I would absolutely love for my entire literary career to be linked to Permuted Press. These guys are great, class acts, and they have a twisted sense of humor that makes me feel right at home. They have big ideas, vision, and a means to make things happen.

What are your dreams for the future as a writer?

Worldwide domination with Permuted Press. Haha. Short of that I’ll be just as happy released a couple books a year with Permuted Press. Them giving me some street-cred mixed with my gift-of-gab has opened some interesting doors for me in the indie film scene again, so in between books I’m working on a film project that should be released here soon worldwide. Really low-budget, but I’m not looking to get rich off anything. I just want to make my art, get it out there, and share it with like-minded fans, lunatics, of genre art. I have some book projects coming up that I am extremely excited to get to. “Angel Falls” is going to be something really special for me, and opens up a new universe I’m dying to explore. I don’t want to share too much, but it is a hope that I can bridge the gap between my novels and movies, and make them a shared universe. To get the whole story you have to read all the books, see all the movies, and then you’ll see the ‘big picture’. I’m very excited for these next couple of years.

Is there anything else that you would like for people to know about yourself and your work?

I think my audience will learn everything they need to know about me from my books. Get seated, hang on, and prepare yourself for a long insane wild ride. From the Sci Fi/Fantasy/Horror stuff to the Transgressive stuff that will come later if you stick with me from beginning to end you’re going to get a vast library of work that will cover just about every genre/sub-genre imaginable. I have a lot of stories to tell.

Do you have any events coming up such as conventions or book signings?

I’m in a strange limbo world where my work isn’t on the shelves yet, but a steady stream of my books will be released multiple times a year starting hopefully mid-next year. I’m waiting to get details, and once that happens I’ll be more active. Now I feel that it’s like, “Hey, guys. You don’t know me, can’t read my stuff, but I swear we’re gonna be cool.” I’m at the starting line, and just waiting to hear the gun go off. Can’t wait.

Where can people find more information about you?

Facebook, C. Enix Lee, for now. A lot of things are in the works, so this time next year I’ll be more active on social media. I’m an old-school kind of guy, didn’t grow up with this technology, I’m 34 and didn’t have this tech-bug that is essential for life today, never really felt the need to embrace it either before, but being a professional I’m going to try more. There will be a website for the film, but again…let’s talk here in a little bit. For now I’m keeping certain cards close to my chest.