Studioenp: Silence or noise when writing?
Charlotte: A bit of both. I tend to have something playing in the background when I’m writing, but at the same time I can’t be in a noisy room full of people. I try to write while my husband is at work and the children are at school so it’s peaceful, but with the TV on. Not the radio, though, or I get too distracted singing along to the songs!
Studioenp: LOL. Em always ends up typing what she’s listening to if she writes with music on. What’s your latest release?
Charlotte: One Night in Inverness. It’s a short story and my third piece for Tirgearr Publishing’s City Night series.
Studioenp: That’s marvellous! You must like the line/series if you’ve written three. How did the plot come about for it?
Charlotte: All of my stories for City Nights have been set in Scotland, so finding the setting wasn’t too difficult. The plot came about after discussing the use of pen names with a friend. I realised that we never truly know who the author is if they use a pseudonym, and one of my favourite books could easily have been written by a close friend and I would never know unless they told me! It just went from there really.
Studioenp: Yes, you could be reading anybody and not have a clue! The marvel that is pen names, eh? How long did it take you to write it?
Charlotte: A couple of months in total. The first draft only took me a few days—once I get into the flow, I just keep writing. It’s been known for me to forget to go to bed when I’m really into something. But then I had to re-write and edit it before sending it off to my editor, and that’s where the time factor comes in.
Studioenp: Ah, the dreaded tidy-up. Boo! What’s next on your writing list?
Charlotte: I wrote a piece for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) back in November, which has come back with some good feedback, so I’m going to re-write it over the summer and try to craft it into a best seller.
Studioenp: Ooh, brilliant! Are you a plotter or panster?
Charlotte: Generally speaking, I write by the seat of my pants. However, I’ve got some projects (non-erotic romance) that I’m having to plan. I’m working on a fantasy piece that has some elements of Medieval England, and I want to get the facts right, so that’s taking a lot of planning.
Studioenp: And research, we bet. Still, you get to learn a lot while you’re at it, don’t you. So when you’re not busy writing, planning, studying, or looking after your family—that’s a full-time job in itself!—what is your go-to form of procrastination?
Charlotte: Facebook and Twitter. I’m awful for social media. I’m sure there should be a Facebook Anonymous group for addicts like me!
Studioenp: LOL. Good way to make friends and chill out, though. So when you’re not engrossed in social media, how many hours per week do you write?
Charlotte: At the moment I’m finishing my English degree, so not as many as I’d like, but when I’m not studying it can be a 40-hour a week job.
Studioenp: Ooh, that’s a lot, but well done for doing a degree. Whoop! What’s one genre you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t—and will you ever write it?
Charlotte: Fantasy. I love the Game of Thrones books (A Song of Ice and Fire), Lord of the Rings, Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld… I’d love to write an epic fantasy series. I will one day, I’m just not sure when! I’d also love to write a dystopian piece, maybe even a script for TV.
Studioenp: You must have so many plots swirling around in your head. And as for a TV script—mad skills! What’s the best book you’ve written?
Charlotte: That’s like asking me to pick a favourite child! If I really had to pick one, I’d probably say The Final Straight—it was the first novel I wrote, although it was the third or fourth to be published. I really enjoyed creating the characters of April and Max, and it involves hot men and horses, so it’s a win-win.
Studioenp: And on that note, we urge you to gallop off to finish your degree—and thank you for joining us, it’s been lovely. And you, dear readers, trot along now to read Charlotte’s excerpt!