Morgen: Hello Charles. Please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer.
Charles: My full name is Charles Walter Wooten, and I was born and raised in North Carolina; educated in N.C., S.C., and Colorado, where I received a Master’s degree from Colorado University-Boulder, in Education/English. I taught in the public schools over 25 years, and taught English overseas in Mainland China and Taiwan. Upon returning home, I was inspired to write a novel based upon my experiences, entitled, Letters From A Chinese Angel (Heavenly Messenger). My book is available to patrons of the Mamie Dowd Eisenhower Public Library in Broomfield, the city where I live. I am married to Mildred Louise Wooten, having three adult children and five grandchildren. Enjoy outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, camping, and climbing “fourteeners” in the Colorado Rockies. My book was published and copyrighted by Xlibris Corp. in 2007.
Morgen: What genre do you generally write?
Charles: The genre of my book is Adult Fiction; also, may be described as an Action/thriller, or a Mystery, or even a Romance, because it has all three elements of adventure, mystery, and romance. Further, you can say that its genre-specific is Christian Fiction because it definitely has a spiritual message or theme in which hope, faith, and love conquers all! As the author, I enjoy writing stories of this nature, based upon my experience and my desire to make a difference in this world! Letters From A Chinese Angel is an exciting novel which begins in the Preface with scenes from the 1989 massacre of innocent Chinese citizens in Beijing by their own government; then, shifting in the Prologue to the next scene of a miraculous escape from disaster on the Matterhorn by the main character, Professor J.C. McBryde; then the story becomes a series of flashbacks from 1992 in Aspen to 1990 in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and beyond…Two American professors who go to China to teach English are caught up in a series of incredible adventures …The reader enters a world of mystery, adventure, and romance, with an inspirational message of faith, hope, and love. Highly recommended as a family-oriented adventure story. A story the author felt needed to be told. He was there himself as an English instructor. Though fiction, this book is based upon the author’s personal experiences. See for yourself!
Morgen: What have you had published to-date? How much of the marketing do you do?
Charles: As I mentioned previously, I have published my first novel, Letters From A Chinese Angel (Heavenly Messenger), Xliris.com. Copyrighted, 2007. The sequel, Mission to Moscow (Mystery On the Trans-Siberia Express), the second novel in the AngelTeam series, has not been published yet, but has been advertised on the internet. (Note: looking into ways to self-publish it, so as to get maximum exposure and royalties. Any ideas along those lines?). Someone once told me, “marketing requires resources.” – Your thoughts?
Morgen: If you’re looking at paperbacks CreateSpace (https://www.createspace.com) is supposed to be very good for self-publishing (there are several threads on LinkedIn about this) or https://www.lulu.com (mixed reviews). If eBooks then Amazon, Barnes & Noble (Nook) etc – http://www.smashwords.com/about/how_to_publish_on_smashwords is a good guide. The Self-Publishing Magazine (http://www.selfpublishingmagazine.co.uk), or US equivalent, may help although I don’t subscribe to it myself. I’ve also spotted the blog http://www.publishyourownebooks.com which may have some useful information. Are your books available as eBooks? If so what was your experience of that process? And do you read eBooks?
Charles: My first novel is being formatted by Xlibris so it can be available as an eBook; apparently this will not affect its availability in paperback or hardback form, as before. It is still POD (print-on-demand), electronically preserved. I only hope the advertising by Xlibris is equally advantageous to the author and publisher.
Morgen: What was your first acceptance and is being accepted still a thrill?
Charles: Yes; it was a thrill; and I appreciated the nice comments by the publisher’s editor who worked with me through the process. She was very helpful, and it was my first such experience, and done entirely online, as was my writing of it. Definitely a long process, and a situation in which the story just took over and “I was along for the ride.” (My advice to aspiring writers, first and foremost, you should have a story to tell!) Somehow, my characters took on a life of their own, and seemed like real people! I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next! It was an exciting process, and I really enjoyed it! The story was open-ended; thus, the need for a sequel! I envision this saga becoming a trilogy, in which there must be a third novel in the AngelTeam series. Stay tuned!
Morgen: Trilogies are incredibly popular; you may be on to a good thing. 🙂 Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Charles: None (n/a).
Morgen: Wow. A rare breed indeed. 🙂 What are you working on at the moment / next?
Charles: I am pursuing the promotion of my sequel, the second novel in the AngelTeam series – see my blog: http://www.angelteambooks.com.
Morgen: Do you manage to write every day? What’s the most you’ve written in a day?
Charles: Yes, I do some writing / computing every day, because I am on Facebook and on Linkedin, where you might find my pages.
Morgen: What is your opinion of writer’s block? Do you ever suffer from it? If so, how do you ‘cure’ it?
Charles: I think that you need a motivation for writing, which is your purpose and your calling. Then it boils down to self-discipline. I primarily write in the a.m., though there can be interruptions and exceptions to that. I think I have alluded to the fact that I feel my passion now at this stage of my life is to write inspirational stories based upon my experience and desire to “make a difference” in this world! That’s what keeps me going!
Morgen: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Charles: About plotting, I get ideas and run with it! However, right now, the AngelTeam series has all kinds of possibilities. What does this team do? They are a group of very dedicated individuals who band together and go out to rescue people who find themselves in dire straits and danger! Read my first novel to learn how this all came about! Sometimes, any idea for the next chapter or even the next novel pops into my head and I take it from there! So, there you go! My style is fiction with realism; but, it’s quite clean and family-oriented, if you will; yet, it’s exciting, adventuresome, and true-to-life. Perhaps, it could be rated G, or, PG. I don’t use verbatim quoting of profanity, or, overt sexual scenes. Not necessary, and I won’t do it! I feel you simply leave something to the imagination, if you know what I mean!
Morgen: I do. 🙂 What do you like to read?
Charles: I like to read good, inspirational, classic literature, like spy novels, adventure, and, mysteries, by authors like Robert Louis Stevenson, James Clavell, Nora Lam, Robert Whitlow, Robert Ludlum, and Johann Wyss, to name a few.
Morgen: Where can we find out about you and your work, Charles?
Charles: Inquiries about me, and my work can be found on Facebook, Linkedin, Amazon.com, and at my e-mail address: email@example.com; also, at my blog: http://www.angelteambooks.com; also http://denverseminary.edu/alumni-story/charles-wooten.
Morgen: Is there anything else you’d like to mention:
Charles: Thanks for having me on the Interview! It was a pleasure to look back, and have a fresh perspective on my journey as an author and see where I’ve come from. To quote Robert Frost: “He traveled the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference!
Morgen: You’re very welcome, Charles, thank you. I hope people stopping by glean as much pleasure reading these interviews as I do.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the information. They do now (January 2013) carry a fee (£10 / €12.50 / $15) for the main blog (http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com) but everything else there is free (see Opportunities on this blog). If you go for the interview, it’s very simple; I send you a questionnaire (I have them for novelists, short story authors, children’s authors, non-fiction authors, and poets). You complete the questions, and I let you know when it’s going to go live.
For the free interviews (here) I just post the interview as a Q&A. For the chargeable interviews, I add in comments as if we’re chatting, and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
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