Monday, March 10, 2014

Sitting Down with Charles Prandy

Today's interview guest comes to us through Standoutbooks, Charles Prandy with his newly published crime thriller The Avenged.

DAB:  Was there a point in your life that prompted your desire to write or have you always wanted to be an author?

CP:      The desire was always there to be an author. I've always written poems or short stories throughout my life.  But it was when I found myself daydreaming about stories that I was creating in my head more so than the actual work that I was doing, that's when I knew I should pursue my dreams of being an author and storyteller.

DAB:  What was the catalyst for this novel’s premise?

CP:      The Avenged is actually a combination of a couple of stories that I had been working on. I wanted to write a story about a sniper who was out for revenge, and I also wanted to write a story about a corrupt judge. When I started playing with the plots a little bit I said to myself, why not mesh the stories together. The first two Jacob Hayden novels were originally going to be the two separate stories noted above, but as I began combining them together, I saw that the story was more complex and creative and there was more wiggle room to create plot twists and suspense. So by merging the two stories together I created, The Avenged.

DAB:  Do you ever have difficulty writing from the point-of-view of a member of the opposite sex?

CP:      When I first started writing I found it hard to write a female character. The problem I had was keeping the female character feminine. In the first draft of my very first book I remember I had one of the female characters walking in rain and getting wet. One of my readers told me that a woman wouldn’t let her hair get wet in that situation. I thought about it and said, “oh yeah, guess you’re right.” Something as blatant as a woman not wanting her hair to get wet was a different way of thinking for me because I routinely walk in the rain, unless is a torrential downpour.

DAB:  Who is your favorite character in your novel, and why?

CP:      I’d have to say, Jacob. He’s the main character and is featured mostly in the books. I like his work ethic and tenacity. He’s the type of person that if he believes strongly in something he’ll go to hell and back to defend his point. I like that he loves his wife and treats his in-laws like his own parents. He’s dedicated to fighting crime and making Washington, D.C. the best city it can be.

DAB:  How long did it take for you to craft this novel?

CP:      The Avenged took a little longer than expected to write mainly because while writing the first draft my wife and I found out that our oldest daughter had a tumor. She was only three at the time and upon hearing that I pretty much stopped what I was doing for over a year while she went through her chemo treatments, hospital visits, surgery and radiation. Once she was better and cancer free I went back to writing. But normally I try to get the first draft done within four to five months.

DAB:  Have you ever experienced writer's block?

CP:      All the time. It’s frustrating when I’m ready to write and nothing wants to come through my head. In those times I do what any writing teacher would tell you to do: I just write whatever comes to mind. Anything and everything. And surprisingly after a few paragraphs or even a page, things start to flow and eventually I’ll start putting cohesive words and sentences together. The funny part is going back later and seeing what I wrote to get out of writer’s block.

DAB:  There's the eternal debate whether to outline or not.  What is your preference?

CP:      I choose not to outline. I usually write a two page summary of what the entire story will be about. Then from there I go through the natural progression of building the story: conflicts, dialogue, suspense, etc. Stephen King wrote that he likes to see where the characters take him. I totally agree with that. Even though I kind of have a big picture idea, I like it when the characters lead and develop the story themselves.

DAB:  How do you handle negative feedback about your novel(s)?

CP:      I think I’m a pretty good sport about it. It’s human nature to get a little upset when someone doesn’t like you’re work, but for the most part I’m an opened minded person and I realize that not everyone will like my writing. However, I think as long as the negative feedback is constructive and not just ignorant rambling, then I’d take the negative feedback into consideration and try to understand what it was about my writing that person didn’t like. If it’s something that I think I can improve upon I definitely will try.

DAB:  Usually authors are also avid readers - what are you currently reading?

CP:      At the moment I’m not reading anything just because I’m trying to finish the next book in my detective series. Having said that, the last book I read was one of Harlan Coben’s, Myron Bolitar, books.

DAB:  Care to tell us what is next on your writing horizon?

CP:      I’ll soon be finishing up the third book in my Detective Jacob Hayden series entitled, The Game of Life or Death, which will be released sometime in late April. In this book Jacob has to solve the murders of a close family that he’s known his whole life. He’ll also come face to face with the man who’s been sending him threatening letters.

DAB:  Now’s your chance – give us the final plug for your novel.

CP:      The Avenged has everything you want in a crime thriller: love, suspense, betrayal, sex, violence, intriguing characters and plot twists. If you haven’t had a chance to meet Jacob yet, download a copy and see what he’s all about.

Thanks for visiting the blog, Charles!  For more information about him and his writing, visit Charles on his website or contact him through the social media links below.  And check out the blurb for The Avenged!

Book Blurb:
Alex Cross isn’t the only detective in D.C. In this thrill ride of a debut novel, D.C. Homicide Detective Jacob Hayden investigates an underground operation that ultimately changes his life forever. 
When a seventeen year-old kid is shot point blank in the chest, the investigation leads Jacob to a storage facility where he finds three crates full of something that he never expected seeing. 
The next day, a Sniper sits on top of a building with a Parker-Hale M85 rifle aimed at Dupont Circle’s park in Washington, D.C. The Sniper scans the perimeter from right to left until he sees his target. When he sees him, he steadies his aim and takes the shot. But what happens next, even the Sniper wasn’t prepared for. Prominent Superior Court Judge Frank Peters’ business operations take a hit when one of his partners is murdered in Dupont Circle. 
The murder investigation, led by Detective Hayden, threatens the very core of the Judge’s business. Follow Detective Hayden’s investigation and see how the Sniper and the Judge are linked to this underground operation.

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