Welcome to Charles F. Bond
Where are you from and where do you live now? I was born in Basildon, Essex, and having moved around a lot, working on various pig farms throughout the UK, yes, Scotland as well, I’m now living in Suffolk, where I have the opportunity to earn some money whilst working with pigs, and have enough time off to write.
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc.I like fantasy stuff, so that’s where I’m most happy writing, but I also like ghosts, and write about these in other stories, most of which have been short stories to date. Buried was an exceptional write, and I still enjoy reading it at writer clubs that I attend.
Beyond Endless Tides is a fantasy tale told within the ocean, and my debut series if you like. I love the fact we don’t know everything about our water world, and that appeals to the writer in me to be creative when making up a story.
Are your characters based on real people? No, simply because I can’t imagine them with tails. There is an exception, of course, and though I won’t embarrass her by mentioning her name, I did have an image of a friend I knew years ago who had long hair which flowed to the nape of her back and a little beyond. I saw her as a mermaid, in some of my dreaming, and though she didn’t make the cut as it were into the casting, I did dream of swimming and meeting her as a mermaid.
Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? [Chuckles] It’s a writer’s prerogative isn’t it, but no, I haven’t drowned anyone, as yet. In the future novels which will come, I may find a way to do so.
Is there a message conveyed within your writing? Do you feel this is important in a book? I write books to tell stories. No hidden agendas, no messages, just story. I know many great books with this element, but I’m not a fan of putting it in my own worlds. This may change as the years roll on, however. As to their importance, I’m easy where it comes to other authors, if they have a message and they want to convey it in their storytelling then I guess it’s important enough to that individual author to do so.
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? I’m glad you asked. So far anyone can get copies of my books as e-book and print paperbacks. Now that I have completed the third novella, which falls just short in word length to a novel, I’ll be looking into getting a narrator to read each story for their individual audiobook.
For anyone who may have looked over my website, you may know the reason behind my dedicating Beyond Endless Tides to Andrew. For those of you who don’t, Andrew was my first ever best friend, and when he went away on holiday, I was distraught when he didn’t return. You see he was on the Herald of Free Enterprise on 6th March 1987, and was one of the 193 passengers and crew who didn’t make it. Next year heralds the thirtieth anniversary of the disaster, and I’ll be creating an omnibus edition, which will feature extra scenes, and maybe a few ones that I cut. I’m undecided but will probably go for a hard back copy, though may run leather bound editions for a short time, too. Whatever I do they will be released on 6th March 2017.
Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? Yes, I self-edit, you have to after a first draft, and then you edit, and edit again until you are happy with the story. But this isn’t what you meant. Every story, no matter who writes it, being a first-timer or a veteran needs some form of outside influence. The writer is just too close to his own works to make the necessary changes to improve the reading experience. He/she him- herself may be the world’s most avid reader, but where it comes to their own work, they need other eyes to show them where things are and aren’t working. Editors are a must for any author, indeed they are.
I think most early authors, myself included, are so eager to get their works out there, they fail to take the time to get any form of editing services. You can tell.
Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? I think certainly this used to be the case when self-publishing first took off, predominantly because indies were thought to be bad writers who couldn’t get a traditional book deal. This of course wasn’t the truth on the most part; it was just that their story, at that time wasn’t seen as a good investment for one reason or another. There are many reasons publishing houses reject submissions, and many aren’t seen at all in some cases because the author didn’t follow one guideline or another in their approach.
But the world is a changin’ and indies are becoming more and more sought after in the marketplace, some even get the traditional deal they want after their books prove to be a success. Indeed there are many successful indies out there, and this falls to the previous question, editors. Indies know they need them to create a marketable end product. The writing serves its own reward for the author.
Do you read work by self-published authors? Yes, and I am delighted with the books I’ve read. I know plenty in the business through social media.
What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? Reviews are a necessity for discoverability. You are doing any author a huge favour by leaving a review: it’s a little like putting him/her on the news where people see their face and know more about what they do. And authors who reply to these reviews should always be professional, polite and courteous. No author should ever fall into the trap of responding to bad reviews. Reviews are a person’s personal experience of the title, leave them be.
What are your reviews on authors reviewing other authors? We are all readers, too, and have our likes, dislikes and such, and should have our say on the time we spend in another’s world.
What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? I’ve had this discussion with many people. To me, reading words on a page will always allow the reader’s mind to create its own image of a scene. I sometimes, hate when a book I’ve loved is made into a film, because what I see in my imagination through reading isn’t going to be the same as the setting on a movie. When I’ve read a good book, what I have in my head is my own private account of what I was given from reading the pages, and it’s mine, no one else’s.
What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? First and foremost, read. Some say you should not read in the genre you are writing, and that may be true when you are actively writing, but when you are between books, read that genre, too. Read consciously, sub-consciously, good stuff and bad, it all helps you become a better writer.
Find yourself a good illustrator. I have now, and for my next book I’m willing to shell out on a good book cover image. People do judge a book by its cover, so it is paramount you make it the best you can.
And remember, writing is always rewritten, once the first draft is done, you should always go back and retype. Edit your words as much as you can until you are happy. We are our own worst enemies where it comes to our creations, so you have to make it as good as you can, and then seek out a good editor to find the parts you, as the author of the story, are just too close to notice.
Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it?Yes, love reading. The most recent read that I finished was Theif’s Magic by Trudi Canavan. She is an Australian author whose author voice I adore because, in places, she has poetic prose. This book has a talking book with a twist, and no I won’t spoil it and tell you what that is.
My current read is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I bought this book a month ago and have been putting off reading it for no other reason than I had other books to read whose authors I’ve read before. Had I known Rothfuss’s words would sing to me, as they do, I’d have read this a lot, lot sooner.
What are your views on authors offering free books? I have mixed views on freebies. It’s a good idea to run a free promotion on an earlier book of a series prior to a new release, doing so in the run up to ‘book day’, but permanently free is another matter. I don’t think authors should be giving away their hard work, not for long periods. Promoting your brand is fine, but in little bites.
Do you have a favourite movie? Some of you may already know this, but my favourite movie is Waterworld. “Good morning, or night, whichever the case may be”, is one of my favourite quotes from the film.
Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I’ve always had a vivid imagination, even as a child. My big sister knew this and told me many silly facts. The one that sticks with me to this day is that she once told me if the blood from my nose bleed touched either of my feet, I’d die. I believed her.
Book links, website/blog and author links:
The Gradonzaras is out 3rd October. Pre-orders available for e-book editions, though paperbacks are live and you can purchase these ahead of release date.
E-book Links are for The Sea Dragons (English Vernacular Edition). My original idea was to make up some mer-words for Beyond Endless Tides, but some early reviewers said these were too confusing when reading on ereaders, though a glossary was included, and I think I have done enough around each word for readers to understand them as they go. In most cases a few clicks will take you to the original idea I’m sure.
Learn more about Charles by visiting his website
And check out these author pages