Welcome Charlotte and thank you so much for agreeing to appear in the ‘Author Spotlight’ series.
Charlotte Easter Earl is a fiction writer and podcast hostess. She trained for eighteen years as a classical ballet dancer. After she traded in her pointe shoes for a law degree, she took up writing. She wrote her first story, The Voiceless Scream, for a law school class, and the manuscript garnered a coveted law school book award. After becoming a lawyer, she edited the story and published it through Amazon, launching her first book and her entry into the world of indie authors. In 2014, she created the ongoing Most Foully Murthered podcast. In 2015, she founded her own self-publishing press, Middlemarch Press. Today, she spends her daytime hours reporting for duty as a contract attorney. Expanding on her knowledge of social media platforms, she also leads the social media campaign for the P.G. Wodehouse Society’s 2017 Convention in Washington, D.C.: “Mr. Wodehouse Goes to Washington.” In between times, she is also steadily reaching fluency in the French language. Her forthcoming book, The Arduous Case of the Lost Princess, A Hercules Potato Mystery, is slated for publication through Middlemarch Press in autumn, 2016. She plans to spend the 2016 NaNoWriMo writing the second Hercules Potato Mystery.
The Voiceless Scream is here on Amazon.
Why do you write?
Writing has always been the best means of communicating my thoughts and feelings. I have never been a very great talker, but writing allows me to more fully express my mind. I remember that fateful evening when I discovered the text messaging function on my mobile. After that, I adopted a general practice of refusing to take telephone calls.
What are you currently working on?
My completed Hercules Potato manuscript is presently in the custody of my editor to make what sense she can of it. Meanwhile, I have several new episode narratives for Most Foully Murthered in various stages of undress, and I am tinkering about with an outline for a sequel to The Voiceless Scream.
From where did you draw your inspiration to write your latest book?
The Arduous Case of the Lost Princess, A Hercules Potato Mystery flows from my love of dogs, the French language, and the classic murder mystery writers. Dogs feature as the principal actors in the story, and chief among them is Hercules Potato, Belgian Griffon and famed detective. Dog-lovers will, I think, find it a very amusing read. As the cat in the story does not come off as having a very nice character, I am prepared for cat-lovers out there to inevitably take a rather dim view of the story. I only ask that they wait to see what happens in the second book before they commence hurling rotten vegetables at me.
Which writers had the most influence on your decision to write?
Lucy Maud Montgomery, Edmund L. Pearson, George Eliot, F. Tennyson Jesse, Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte, Peter Kreeft, Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, M.C. Beaton, J.R.R. Tolkien, Thomas Howard, Flannery O’Connor, P.G. Wodehouse, James Joyce, Agatha Christie, E.B. White, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Alexander McCall Smith, and Plato.
What was the last book you read?
I just finished reading Compulsion by Meyer Levin. It is a fascinating book written by a man who had first hand knowledge of the infamous killers, Leopold and Loeb. It is not what could be called an improving book, but it did me no end of good all the same. One should know about the dark side of life, else how else can one be ready to meet it in battle?
Do you suffer from writers’ block?
No. When we were children, our mother always told us that we were not allowed to be bored. If we were heard to complain that we were bored, she was ready with an unsympathetic list of household chores to cure the condition. I consider the same rule to remain in place here. I am not allowed to have writer’s block. If I am struggling with a particular passage, I start in editing what I have written so far. If not that, I have a go at a neglected project somewhere else in my vault, or I simply start in researching some topic pertinent to my characters until they start talking to me about it. Worst comes to work, I reach for one of my favorite books, and I let that author coach me for a bit.
Biggest frustration as a self-published author?
The usual suspect: lack of visibility. Writing a book is a breeze compared to rummaging around trying to find a market for it. I am not one of those writers who, seeing what the public demands, can sit down and write a book ready made for its tastes. I can only write the books that my characters present to me to write. It is no good my telling them that the market for their book idea went out of fashion some time before the First World War. They are an irrepressible lot, and they insist on being put into their book despite all the common sense I make available to them. So, I am writing their books for them, and slowly going about finding a way to reach the market that favors the writers of the old school.
Reviews for books are vital. Any tips on getting more reviews?
I was rather hoping that you were going to volunteer to field that question
Do you use social media? If so, do you like using it?
Oh, absolutely. Social media is vital to my scheme of life. As with anything else, I began to like using social media once I had done sufficient research to know how to use it to its best advantage. If one is out there pottering about on Twitter as though it is the same as Facebook, one is bound to devolve into a foul-mouthed wretch who has patches of hair missing where it’s been pulled out by the roots. There are some very good books, written by indie authors, which take on these platforms and explain their uses and limitations to great effect.
Who is your biggest fan?
My husband, Peter, who is an author at a mainline publishing house, is one of my most reliable groupies. I also have Elizabeth, a friend of mine from college, whom I have dubbed on social media as my #Num1FanGirl. My writing partner, Katie, tells me that I do good work, and my mother, Lisa, thinks I am at the forefront of my field.
Many people have a bucket list. What is #1 on yours?
To one day write a book entirely in French.
Any special message for your readers?
Dear Readers, you are my enduring support, and I love each of you with all of my heart.
Charlotte, thank you so much for ‘appearing’ on the Author Spotlight series. It was a pleasure to get to ‘meet’ you! One day I may field the question for you about reviews but let’s see, shall we?
I have the distinct feeling this is an author who aims high – write a book entirely in French? Bonne chance, Charlotte!
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Here is a further link to The Voiceless Scream by Charlotte Easter Earl –
Quiet and complacent Eleanor Hanna is jolted out of her silent reveries when she encounters a strange, unsettling woman and an inexplicable paranormal force on a late summer day in the year 1915. As the mystery begins to engulf her, it sets her on a collision course with the injustices of involuntary commitment and the hideous aspirations of the popular eugenics movement. If Eleanor Hanna is going to solve the puzzle in time to save the strange woman from an insane asylum, she must shed her quiet complacency, summon her courage, and rally to the hour of greatest need.
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