Interview with Charlton Daines

Who are your favorite authors?
Obviously Charles Dickens, as his story Oliver Twist inspired me to write my first novel. Apart from classical authors, I also enjoy good quality science fiction and fantasy as well as some types of Horror, so George R. R. Martin and J.R.R. Tolkien are among my favourites along with Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Roger Zelazny and Anne Rice. I'm discovering new authors at present to add to my long time favourites.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I have no trouble getting out of bed and greet each new day as an opportunity to do something new and interesting. I'm a university lecturer by profession and enjoy interacting with my students and learning something new from them each day. I get up early on weekends as well and either write or go out for a walk at dawn, when the world is at its quietest.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
In various ways. Bookshops have not entirely disappeared yet and I enjoy having a good browse. I also stop into used bookshops whenever I happen to be passing one and enjoy the occasional accidental discovery. I have old favourites, but I do get recommendations from friends and colleagues. One time a stranger on Twitter linked me to a book trailer for something that he said reminded him of my book, Jack Dawkins, as they were both in Victorian settings. I've recently read the book and found it very entertaining indeed. I'm always looking for the odd gem that is talked about a little less, as the most talked about books tend to appeal to a younger demographic, with some exceptions of course.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote short stories as a child. I do remember the first one very well, but it wasn't the stuff of great novels. It was only the typical fantasy imaginings of a young lad who played with wooden swords.
What is your writing process?
Mostly at the moment it's looking for time to progress in the current project. I did actually take some annual leave to finish Jack Dawkins when I heard that a film company was to make a movie based on another book that was a sequel to Oliver Twist. I wrote 1500 words a day, first thing in the morning without fail until it was done. Obviously I can't do that with many books, so the next story will have to develop as time allows.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a friend in the Graphics Department that volunteers her time. I'm not turning out a book every month so it's not a great deal of work and she says she loves doing it. She won't even allow me to print a credit for her, though I make sure she gets a box of premium chocolates for every holiday.
What do you read for pleasure?
It depends on my mood. I enjoy Classics as I've said, as well as certain genre fiction. I also enjoy reading about history whether it's factual or good Historic Fiction. Obviously the author has to do proper research to make it worthwhile in fiction format. I've read some great biographies about people from Barbarian kings to modern rock stars and find they can make for fascinating reading.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I haven't decided. I'm still stuck in the age of paper and ink, though I'm considering the Kindle Paperwhite.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
It seems to me that doing nothing at all is most effective. I spent a month soliciting reviews through appropriate reader groups when Jack Dawkins was first released, then I left it to the reviews and word of mouth. Sales have been increasing steadily ever since.
Describe your desk
My desk at home is a simple wooden one with a calendar and stacks of 'things to do' perpetually in front of me. Besides the computer monitor, there are some nice desk assessories, but mostly functional items like a stapler and hole punch. My pen holder is rather gothic and atmospheric.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I spent my young life in London, which has been the setting for many stories over the centuries. I've often toured the areas described by Dickens, Barrie and other authors in stories that particularly caught my imagination.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The one I'm working on now was actually inspired by a coincidental viewing of two films on two sequential nights in different circumstances, followed by one more that appeared on television the very next evening. Elements from each of these combined in my subconscious and burst forth in a sudden inspiration when one of my cats jumped into my lap without warning. More than that I'd rather not say as I'm hoping to finish and publish this one before someone else thinks of the same idea.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It was a discussion about modern literature among colleagues over coffee. We were lamenting the balance of good literature versus the low expectations of many young readers these days and someone said that we should make an effort to contribute to the collection of available literature that the next generation of teachers might be able to choose from to keep the art from disappearing altogether. It was all very smug and academic. One thing led to another and we agreed that major publishers were more interested in widespread popularity than in quality so we would publish through the digital market, where we could maintain more control. I was the first to finish my initial inspiration. The others are still working on theirs.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is a wonderful set-up. The efforts towards ever wider distribution are something I find impressive and very useful. While my titles are managed by Golbin Publishing, I have no doubt I would rely greatly on Smashwords if I were doing the distribution myself.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Reading the story as it unfolds. It's an experience like no other.
Published 2013-10-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Apprenticed to the Artful Dodger
Price: $7.49 $1.87 USD. (75% off!) Words: 117,590. Language: English. Published: December 12, 2017 by Golbin Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Historical » Victorian
The adventures of Reg Dawkins with the Artful Dodger. Combined edition contains Jack Dawkins and A Christmas With The Dodger.
A Christmas With The Dodger
Price: $1.98 $0.99 USD. (50% off!) Words: 35,790. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2014 by Golbin Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Victorian, Fiction » Holiday » Christmas
Reg Dawkins, adopted son of the infamous Artful Dodger, is facing a lifetime dilemma. He is hurled into one situation after another where he has to choose which side he is on and with the dawn of a new century before him and dangerous villains chasing behind, Reg goes to the one person he can trust for advice... Jack Dawkins, The Artful Dodger himself.
Of Words and Water - 2014
Series: Of Words and Water, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 65,110. Language: English. Published: June 27, 2014 by Words and Water group. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author, Fiction » Anthologies » Poetry - multi-author
A new collection of short stories, poems and non-fiction from the talented members of the international Words and Water Group. This very high quality work, with topics ranging from a single drop of water to planetary annexation, is donated freely for you to enjoy. We hope to encourage support of WaterAid; donations, of any amount, can be made on the Group’s JustGiving page.
Jack Dawkins
Price: $1.98 $0.99 USD. (50% off!) Words: 82,900. Language: English. Published: March 30, 2013 by Golbin Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Historical » Victorian
Jack Dawkins, once known as the Artful Dodger in the streets of London, was sent to Australia on a prison ship when he was little more than a boy. Now he has returned to find that London has changed while the boy has turned into a man.