Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Charles Benoit Interview

1. Do you like pie?

Naturally. I don't trust people who don't like pie. No, wait, that means more for me--so everybody should stop eating pie.

2. What strategies do you use to overcome writer's block?
I have a conversation (out loud, using different voices) with one of the characters in the book, just chatting about stuff, trying to keep the imaginary voice in character. I especially like asking what they think of the book so far and what they think of the way I've written them as a character. Crazy, perhaps (my wife and neighbors would tell you it is most definitely crazy) but after ten minutes or so I have a much better idea what needs to happen next.

3. How old were you when you had your first book published? What book was it?
I was a wee lad of 46. Relative Danger came out in 2004 and was the darling of fans and critics alike.

4. Before you sit down to write, is there something you always do beforehand?
I usually play my tenor sax for about an hour. I've only been playing for 8 years or so and I'd have a hard time making a middle school band, but it's fun. I also like to listen to the song that I've picked as the theme song for the book I'm working on. For You it was Flagpole Sitta' by Harvey Danger, for the new one I'm working on it's Into Action by Skye Sweetnam, although I like the original version by Tim Armstrong a bit better.

5. How long does it take to write a book?
On average, a full year. And that's writing for 2 hours, every day.

6. What genre do you like to write most?
Genre's a sticky term because it sets peoples' expectations in directions I might not want them to go - let's just say I like to write books about people in strange situation who are in way over their head with no idea how to get out.

7. What other authors are some of your favorite?
Donald Westlake (who also writes under the name Richard Stark), P.G. Wodehouse, Megan Abbott, Roald Dahl, Larry McMurtry, Jason Starr to name a very few.

8. Do you listen to music to help you concentrate?
Only before I write. When I'm writing I have to have it quiet.

9. About how many emails do you get daily?
20+, but most are from folks in Nigeria or Liberia, asking me to help them transfer $1,000,000 from banks in their countries to my account.

10.Is there anything else you'd like to say?
I want to know what led you to invest your time and money on creating and maintaining a book review site. And do you ever get any mean emails from authors who were upset about how you reviewed their books?

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