1. What drew you to writing?
I was always a huge fan of writing and wanted to be one since I was a child. The problem was, for most of my life, I wasn’t very good. Thankfully, practice makes perfect and I eventually developed a certain level of skill. I can’t thank writers like David Niall Wilson and Jim Bernheimer for also helping me through my early confusion about how the business worked. It was a long road to getting my rhythm and learning how to get my works out but the help I received along the way was a huge help. I recommend On Writing by Stephen King too. It was the book that really convinced me I could make a living at writing.
2. What genre do you prefer write in?
I am a genre writer but don't mind combining them in strange and fascinating ways. For me, I love science fiction, fantasy, humor, and horror. My Supervillainy Saga books are a blender of everything I love in every genre and that's to be expected in the zany worlds of comic book superheroes.
My Bright Falls Mysteries books are in the penumbra of horror, comedy, and urban fantasy. I WAS A TEENAGE WEREDEER is a homage to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, Twin Peaks, and my own experiences in a small town in rural America. Jane Doe is a weredeer and just wants out of her hometown full of shifters as well as a paper-thin veil to the Spirit World. She wants to go to college and take Creative Writing, Goddess dammit! It's hard to do that when there's a murder seemingly every week.
3. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
Reading the works of writers I enjoyed like Jim Butcher, Christopher Moore, Laurel K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, and others helped me master the skills I needed too. Basically, if a book has a snarky protagonist and involves fantasy then I’m almost certain to be drawn to it.
4. Do you have a favorite author(s)?
Aside from the ones mentioned above? Hmm, I don't think I have a favorite author but I really appreciate some of the indie authors who I feel don't get enough respect: Rob J. Hayes, Michael R. Fletcher, M.L. Spencer (yes, you), A.M. Justice, Allan Batchelder, Ulff Lehmann, Dyrk Ashton, Rick Gualtieri, Graham Austin King, and Brock Deskins.
5. You’re dressed to attend a Cosplay event. What are you wearing?
I would love to go as Gary Karkofsky from the Supervillainy Saga. Mostly because I'd just need a black hoodie, sunglasses, and sweatpants. He's a low intensity costume. I should probably add a Merciless placard, though, so people recognize me from the cover. Alternatively, I’d go as a fat vampire since that’s close to my real-life self. *slurps blood from his sippie cup*
6. What is your latest book?
My latest book is PSYCHO KILLERS IN LOVE, which is a horror-comedy urban fantasy that homages 80s slasher movies. William and his sister Carrie are the children of an infamous holiday slasher that have just escaped the mental hospital where they were unjustly imprisoned. They have inherited their father's mysterious powers and soon find themselves teamed up with an immortal slasher hunter named Nancy Loomis. Can these supernatural killers three form a bond or are they doomed by fate to fight? And what about the misogynist cult hunting women in the area with their own slasher patrons?
7. Tell us about its heroes.
William England (NOT Englund) just wants to be normal and his biggest problem is he's not aware of what that is. After all, being raised in a house by a Christmas-themed slasher and his warlock grandfather has seriously skewed his ability to tell what is or isn't. William just wants to be a CPA even though he's built like a Terminator and wouldn't want to hurt a fly if he had a choice (and doesn't).
Carrie, his sister, has eagerly embraced being a slasher but chooses to direct her energies against men who harm children or animals. Slashers each have a specific prey type and while some go after beautiful coeds or campers, Carrie thinks it’s best to focus on jerks. She's a bundle of fun and energy that makes you appreciate how fun slashers can be.
Nancy Loomis has been trained since near birth to be a slasher hunter by her mother and grandmother. Both women were survivors of slasher attacks and had their "Artemis" powers activated that gave them the strength to survive but also instilled a powerful need to hunt the creatures of the night. Nancy has never had a semblance of a normal childhood and feels an odd kinship with the two beings who should be her prey.
8. What hobbies do you enjoy?
When I'm not writing [and I'm always writing], I love video games and horror movies. I'm a big fan of science fiction franchises as well. So, I pretty much just love indulging myself in the same things I write about. I also write reviews for Booknest.EU, Net Galley, and Grimdark Magazine. As the old saying goes, a person who does not read lives one life, a person who reads will live a thousand.
9. Pick 3 books and tell us why you loved them.
I have a huge bunch of books to recommend so I can't narrow it down! Still, if I had to choose three books that were very influential to me:
Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher Moore: This is one of my all-time favorite vampire, humor, and romance novels. A young San Fransisco woman is turned into one of the undead and discovers she need a minion/boyfriend to help with her daylight business. Some parts have aged better than others, but I found it entertaining as all get out.
Dead Beat by Jim Butcher: This is my first Dresden Files book and while it's in the middle of the series, it remains one of my favorites. What other book can you have an animated T-Rex skeleton, evil necromancers, a demon in your head, and much more? It is the perfect sort of adventure that inspired my love of urban fantasy.
Guilty Pleasures by Laurel K. Hamilton: This book series, uh, kind of changed after Obsidian Butterfly but it was originally one of my all-time favorites as an R-rated detective series about a necromancer and vampire hunter. Anita Blake was a great character and it's how I met my wife as we were both on its fan forums.
10. Who is your favorite Superhero?
Ones that I didn’t create? I think definitely Spider-Man and Batman are my two favorite superheroes. Peter Parker representing the hard luck working man’s hero who tries to live his life while saving the day. Batman remains the Doc Savage scientist meets Shadow-esque vigilante that is lord of the noir dystopia of Gotham City. Other favorite superheroes are Gwenpool, Gwen Stacy as the Ghost Spider, Kitty Pryde, and Barbara Gordon a.k.a Oracle/Batgirl.
11. Who is your favorite Supervillain?
Baron Zemo II as a man who was raised by a complete monster and Nazi, only to try to make himself a better man. Except he’s terrible at it and can’t really escape his childhood brainwashing. I also am a huge fan of Harley Quinn and Bane (Gail Simone version) for the same reasons of being people who could have been heroes but didn’t develop the strength of will to do it.
12. Do all your series take place in the same world?
My stories all take place in the same multiverse, which is a bit more fun. In THE TOURNAMENT OF SUPERVILLAINY (The Supervillainy Saga 5#), I actually had the characters of multiple series of mine show up to fight in a Mortal Kombat-esque tournament for the fate of the universe. Much to my surprise, I found out that many of them added new elements to the main story as well as the characters. Later, I would have multiverse crossovers in books and the characters forge relationships referenced in other books.
There’s also THE UNITED STATES OF MONSTERS that is a shared universe where the supernatural has become public ala the Sookie Stackhouse books. It follows how the supernaturals kept themselves secret for centuries only to have to adjust to being tax-paying citizens as well as persecuted by certain elements of the public. It contains the following series, each meant to be a self-contained trilogy:
· Psycho Killers in Love: A loving couple versus a misogynist cult of 80s slashers. Set before the Reveal.
· Red Room: Derek Hawthorne is a spy working for the Illuminati-esque group that covers up the supernatural. But is the cure worse than the disease? It leads up to the Reveal.
· Straight Outta Fangton: Peter Stone is a poor black vampire working the graveyard shift at a gas station outside of New Detroit. He’s not gotten any of the great wealth other vampires have but still must clean up their messes. Post-Reveal.
· Bright Falls Mysteries: Jane Doe is a teenage sleuth and shifter in a town full of shifters. They’ve hidden for centuries and done terrible things to protect their secrecy but now it’s all out in the public. Can Jane unravel the complicated web of lies? Post-Reveal.
· Morgan Detective Agency: Ashley Morgan is a psychic ex-spy who ended up being a bounty hunter after the fall of the House. Now she’s found her vampirized brother and has a magic sword that urges her to heroics she doesn’t have time to do. She has bills to pay. Post-Reveal.
13. What are your proudest writing accomplishments?
I have both a personal and a professional.
The personal one is when I was first contacted by a reader who was trans and said that they appreciated my inclusion of a character who wasn’t a stereotype or joke. Later I had similar letters of appreciation from other minority readers who said I managed to not utterly screw up diversity in my books. That means a lot to me. (I just love this--ML)
The professional award was when I got BEST INDIE AUDIOBOOK – PARANORMAL from the HearNow Festival with I was a Teenage Weredeer. That was fantastic.
Social Sites (Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
The C.T. Phipps Fan Club (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/groups/1491731877784498/
My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/charles.phipps.946
My Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/Willowhugger