Interview with C.M. Brice

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My father was in the US Army when I was young, so my earliest memories were in Germany, where the food is sublime, mediaeval ruins are everywhere you look, and the fairy tales are gruesome. My parents were determined to take advantage of the opportunities of living Abroad, so they would often take my older brother and I to see visit ruins, shop the markets, or simply walk the woods and countryside. When we would explore castles slowly being reclaimed by nature I was always half expecting to see otherworldly creatures spying from the trees or lurking near the dungeons. After I came to the US I retained that love of fairy tales, history, nature, and how a country's landscape and history influences its folklore -- so when I decided to pursue writing, it was very natural for me to craft stories that combined all of those elements.
When did you first start writing?
Writing as a craft didn't start until my teenage years, but I was always taken with storytelling. As a child I was usually in charge of coming up with the 'plots' of my friends' games of make-believe, and during our many exploration of the creek and fields behind my house I often came up with mythical histories for our favourite spots.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I don't think I'm unusual in that I've had a deep love of J.M. Barrie's 'Peter and Wendy' since my early childhood, but it really evolved into something more about five years ago -- when I was contemplating darker heroes in Classic Literature. While the notion of never growing up is incredibly appealing to a child, as I grew older, I found the level of control that Peter Pan exerted over the Lost Boys and Darling children quite sinister. Barrie himself hinted that Lost Boys had been disposed of as they grew older, and in the book, described Pan as 'young and gay and innocent and heartless'. It led me to wonder, well, what would happen if Pan had objected to Wendy's taking the Lost Boys to England and then growing up? From there the plot of 'The Shadow King' grew quite rapidly.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Pricing and audience were large factors in that decision. When I first wrote this book I was thinking of young adult readers who were chronically ill. Growing up, I had several health difficulties that led me to find comfort in books. I had several other friends in similar circumstances, and when one's parents are putting large sums of money into healthcare, there isn't always enough spare cash to spend on things like books. I wanted my book to be accessible to as many people as possible, so I chose a venue that would allow me to set my prices accordingly.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
There's a great deal of delight world-building, storytelling, and the craft itself (most authors love words and plotting), but for me the greatest joy is when you touch on something that's really meaningful to your audience. I can't think of any greater joy than to have a Reader come back to me and say, "I've always felt this way about this or that" or "I see myself in your characters".
What do your fans mean to you?
My audience is the reason I decided to publish, or else I likely would have gone on writing simply for my own gratification. It wasn't until I started letting a few friends see my work that I even considered it. I started getting feedback saying that my stories were the sort of thing my friends had been wanting to see on the shelves, so I thought, "Well, why not give it a go?"
What are you working on next?
Currently I'm writing the second book in 'The Shadow King Sequence' and plotting the third. I'm also piecing together a series set in an alternate Wales which will be inspired by Welsh folklore and history.
Who are your favorite authors?
I grew up loving authors like Brian Jacques, J.M. Barrie, Lucy Maude Montgomery, Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, Harper Lee, and J.R.R. Tolkien. In later years I've added Neil Gaiman, Robin McKinley, J.K. Rowling, and Katherine Langrish to the ranks.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Writing! ... And the judgmental looks my dog would give me if I failed to be there to fawn over him by a certain hour.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading is the first thing that comes to mind. The best way to improve one's writing is by reading good books, and I've been fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by them. Apart from that, I spend a lot of time researching a wide variety of topics, partly for my own amusement (and alas, I am a very nosy broad by nature), partly because you never know when a subject will have bearing on something you're writing in the future.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I think I must have been somewhere around eight or nine years old, and I had to write a story for either a science or English assignment, I can't remember which. I chose to write about the life cycles and habits of foxes. As I recall, the story's overarching message was that it was wrong to penalize an animal for following its instincts. I was raised by parents who were animal lovers, and they were always quick to teach me about an animal's role in its respective environment, so as a little person, I used to get very indignant when I felt an animal was being treated unjustly. My poor neighbors would just sigh when I would come thundering into their yards to rescue snakes or other creepy-crawlies.
Published 2014-11-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Shadow King
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 194,640. Language: English. Published: November 23, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Historical
Eight years after her abduction by the immortal boy known as ‘Pan’, Wendy believes she has put the trauma of her past behind her. But when one of the Lost Boys is murdered, she finds herself thrown into a deadly game of wits with old enemies. With the help of the Lost Boys, her brothers, and an unlikely guardian, Wendy must risk all to master her hidden powers and banish the Shadow King.