Please enjoy the first of a two part interview with Charles F. French. Charles is a fellow blogger, professor and author. His upcoming novel, Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I, is going to be released later this month. He was kind enough to answer some questions I had regarding his writing process and his novel:
Q: What was the main inspiration for your novel?
Several ideas for novels have come to me in what might be considered an odd way, although I do not mind that at all! I had an image one day of a tall, older, dapper gentleman, dressed in a tailored old-fashioned, British wool suit, with short hair, and I wondered who he was. Slowly I worked with him, and the idea for the story emerged. In terms of inspiration, I certainly can point to several novelists, all of whom have influenced me with their thematic concern of the necessity for ordinary people to confront evil: Bram Stoker, John Connelly, and Stephen King.
Q: Can you give a brief description of your novel?
In my horror novel Maledicus: Paranormal Investigative Society Book I, three retired gentlemen, all of whom have suffered the loss of a loved one to death, need to know if there is life after death. They are close friends and decide to form a ghost-investigation group. In their efforts, they are confronted with something that is far worse than a ghost. It is a demon that, in life, was a sadistic and sociopathic pimp, torturer, spy and murderer for Emperor Caligula during the Roman Empire. In death, he has become an even worse demon that is able to manifest on earth and target people to corrupt, make ill, die from disease, and cause to commit murder and suicide. This demon has targeted a 5 year old girl in the town in which these men live. After determining the problem is not a haunting by a ghost, they are forced to confront the contemporary ethical problem: is this their fight, or do they walk away, essentially saying “find someone else to help.” The three older men, along with a few friends, choose to battle this demon to save the child at the potential risk of their sanities, their lives, and their souls.
Q: Are you a “planner” or a “seat of your pants” writer?
I am, without a doubt, a “seat of the pants” writer. While I go into a piece having a basic idea of where it will go, I let the story and the characters take me where they will. For example, in a recent first draft of another novel, I knew the ending but nothing else about the book’s plot except for two of the characters. I am not making a claim this is the best way to write, only that it is my way.
Q: Did you have your themes for the novel ironed out before you began writing, or did they evolve as the story progressed?
Unlike the plot of the book, which I did not have planned in detail, I did know the important themes for the novel. Several important themes of the book are the search for the question of “is there life after death?,” the importance of confronting evil where it is found, and the power of love.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this interview, it will be featured next Tuesday, 10/11. Charles answers more questions about his novel and sheds some light on what self publishing is like.
Be sure to visit Charles’ blog for more information regarding his upcoming novel, Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I.