Author Interview: Carl S. Plumer

Question #1: What made you want to become an author?
It’s in my blood. It’s all I can think about. Writing is breathing. My dad was a writer, teacher, and actor. That’s a lot of creativity in one person! I write, draw, and am somewhat musical, so I guess I got his genes. (Can’t act my way out of a paper bag, however, but I’ve always wanted to play a corpse in a movie or tv show. No acting required! But the corpse is always on screen with the stars, you know.) I love to read, so that’s the bottom line. I read constantly as a kid: comics, MAD magazine, and books. I always loved horror and (perhaps not so strangely) true life horror stories, like the one about the soccer team crashing in the Andes and turning into zombies—er, I mean, cannibals.

Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
I would have to say I write horror, that would be the foundation upon which I build my personal, cheerful, optimistic, and (depending on your sense of humor) funny stories. I love paranormal stuff (in movies and novels only; as much as I’d love it all to be real, I’m a skeptic and none of passes, as Carl Sagan would say, the Baloney Test). I read paranormal books all the time, they’re just so much fun. I really like what Christopher Moore and A. Lee Martinez have done with the genre, turning it on its head and adding humor (while maintaining suspense). That’s what I hope I’m doing with my books.

Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
Oh, boy, that’s a tough one. I’ve been TRYING to write all my life, while fighting one hell of a writer’s block. A block that came about solely from fear. Fear of failure, of ridicule, of being “public,” and even fear of success. Now that I’ve gotten over that (thanks to Holly Lisle, Joanna Penn, my wife Kristen, and a whole bunch of other folks who just couldn’t put up with my whining anymore) I find writing pure joy. Yeah, I love it! It used to nearly kill me. Now I can’t wait to get into a new story or a new character. Life, right?

Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
I’m “indie” and that’s the term I prefer, as in “indie” rock band. It’s the wave of the future. I used to be against traditional publishing, but I’ve come full circle on that. I hope to be, like Hugh Howie and a few others, a “hybrid” writer; that is, a writer who indie publishes some books and series while others are published by a traditional publishing house or a small press.

Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
Never give up. I still tell myself this, because I’m a long way from “done” or a “success” in the eyes of the world. But sometimes you feel you just won’t make a difference. Well, I say, don’t be so arrogant. Who are you to say what influence your work may have next year, in ten years, or after you have gone? (Look to Van Gogh and Melville for examples of posthumous stardom). Just keep writing. There is great joy in that. If nothing else, you’ll impress the hell out of yourself. Party of one? Yes, please!

Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
It’s a bit slapdash, in that I write when I can (note: that is NOT that same as writing when inspired). Between working full time, greasing the wheels of social media, reading for fun and reading about writing, I have only little windows to write. But they are very nice windows. November is looming, so, like every year (and a million other people), I’ll be writing every day. 1,660 words every day, to be exact.

Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
That they met some characters that they liked (or loved or hated) and went on a journey with them. That they felt something for the characters and watched them grow. That they felt fear and relief. That they’ll miss these people. And that, hopefully, they’ll want more. I’m open to contact at anytime by anyone. I can talk about writing 24/7, sober and three sheets to the wind. (Shout out to my man, Zane Lamprey there). If anyone wants a sequel or a series based on a character or a group of characters, let me know and I’ll consider it.

Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
I write because I love it. Also, because when I look at what’s available to me, as a reader, it’s a bit “m’eh.” A lot of copy cat books. A lack of talent and effort. (Talent takes a LOT of effort.) There are wonderful exceptions out there and I love finding a great new book and a fantastic new author as much as anyone. The books I write are “Carl S. Plumer” books. They fill that void there, that lack of Carl S. Plumer books. These are books that I enjoy writing and trust that others will enjoy reading. And then one day, there might really be a thing called “Carl S. Plumer books,” just as there are Stephen King books, or or Caitlin R. Kiernan books, or Gillian Flynn books.

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