Welcome AUTHOR – CHAMBERS MARS (who, together with Alp Mortal, is also Carter Seagrove)
I am French, living in Saint Tropez. I travel widely, collecting and dealing in art. My childhood home is in a village not too far from the place where Alp Mortal lives in France.
I am vegan, a Buddhist and a dog owner – I have a Jack Russell/Italian Greyhound mix by the name of Pinocchio (Jack Russell with long legs and a superiority complex to match).
Together with Alp Mortal, I am half of Carter Seagrove, author of Dust Jacket and The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries.
Alp Mortal, Chambers Mars and Shannon M. Kirkland are The Carter Seagrove Project LLC – an independent book publisher. Find us at http://www.carterseagrove.weebly.com, on Twitter @carterseagrove and on Facebook www.facebook.com/thecarterseagroveproject.
Where do you live and write from?
I generally spend my time in Saint Tropez – I prefer the climate! I do spend time at the house in Saint Hilaire in Haute Saone, near to the spiritual retreat where Alp lives for part of the year. I generally only write when I am at home in Saint Tropez, on the balcony.
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc.
I write LGBT-themed fiction – the Zac Tremble Investigates series – he’s the gay PI; and the Life & Times of Johnny Sante series – he’s the young bisexual Parisian con-artist.
In 2014, I began writing with Alp. First we did Dust Jacket and then The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries – the gay, crime fighting duo of Inspector Alfred Fenchurch and PC Adam Cowley. I would like to write something different – maybe Sci-fi but I am also keen to produce either Zac or Johnny as a graphic novel series.
Where do you find inspiration?
The inspiration for the Zac series really came from the series of short novels which Le Monde publishes each summer – pocket-sized, fast-paced reads. Alp says James Bond meets Fawlty Towers – I love both. Johnny is partly inspired by John Cusack’s character in The Grifters; Zac partly by the film Renaissance (with Daniel Craig) and Zac and Paul partly by the relationship between Lola and Manni in Run Lola Run.
Do you have a favourite character? If so why?
I like Paul in Zac Tremble Investigates and Adam in The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries because they are quiet heroes. I love Johnny because he has the spirit I would really loved to have had when I was his age.
Do you have a character you dislike? If so why?
Not exactly dislike – I create bad guys so that my heroes can despatch them.
Are your characters based on real people?
A little of everyone – all of the characters are really studies of human nature – I study cultural anthropology.
Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off?
Not in the sense that the person was someone I knew/know personally.
Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources?
I have to do a lot of research because first, English is my second language – and English humour is not like French humour so Zac incurs me in lots of studying – old TV sitcoms are very rich material. Fenchurch is based in the 1930s. I use the internet a lot of course and I am lucky that I have access to some magazine archives.
Is there a message conveyed within your writing? Do you feel this is important in a book?
Always a study of an aspect of our nature – it is important for me because the story would be thin without it. I wanted to create a different kind of gay male character – role models are very important – as is diversity – there isn’t enough diversity in our genre hence why I created Johnny and have him be bisexual – also Cindy and Delphes in Zac – the lesbian couple.
Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…)
Character, character, character and character … nothing else matters.
In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason?
All of my titles are available as eBooks – in all formats – and some are going to be produced as audiobooks. I want to produce Zac as a graphic novel or animated web series – probably Johnny too.
Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited?
I have to have my work thoroughly checked because of the translation aspect – I could not publish anything without my editors.
Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be?
Yes; it is sadly the case that traditional publishers are very risk averse – they go with the sure bet but they miss great opportunity by doing it.
Do you read work by self-published authors?
A lot and more and more.
What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers?
Get inside your character’s skin and live his life if you want to write great characters; read to be a better writer; don’t play safe …
What are your best marketing/networking tips? What are your worst?
Twitter. Fortunately, Alp does our social media for us – I am terrible at updating my blog – but I am older than my colleagues at The Project.
Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it?
We by Yevgeny Zanyatin
Two Night Stand Ellis Carrington
The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall Anne Bronte
I struggle with some of the stuff I get recommended to me – I like comics best – especially Largo Winch.
Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author?
Traditional published author would be Georges Simenon
What are your views on authors offering free books?
We all do it but it is madness!
Do you have a favourite movie?
The Good Thief with Nick Nolte.
Book links, website/blog and author links:
Website/blog – http://chambersmars.weebly.com
Author links – use the book links – above – (a new gallery we have created) to find all of the links to the other author/retail links
The publishing house – www.carterseagrove.weebly.com,
on Twitter @carterseagrove
and on Facebook www.facebook.com/thecarterseagroveproject.