I have not yet had the pleasure to meet Charity, but anyone who teaches English in high schools definitely has my respect. Especially given the fact I don’t want her to ever wonder just what kind of play-doh is in my chest.
Interview: Charity Ayres
What is your quest?
I create stories to live in. The settings might not always be a tropical island, but they’re interesting and unlike normal life in some way. The worlds are magical or strange in a way that is intriguing to the sense of being or interesting to explore. I want to build characters that you love, or hate, or want to be around. My goal is always to create villains who are heroic, or heroes that are screwed up because perfection is overrated.
What is your favorite color?
Coffee. Wait! Spiderwebs. No. Is mythology a color? I love taking known ideas or worlds and sticking my hand right into the chest cavity until I can rip the heart out, squish it around like play-doh, and then I put it back. Known entities in magic, history, war…nothing should ever be the same way twice or what’s the point?
When you read one of my stories, I want you to feel like your senses are aware of every movement until you’re inside the story wondering how the F you got there. A reader should look at my settings and think it’s a tiny bit of Deja Vu or something from a dream they almost recall having.
What is the average flying speed of an unladen paintbrush?
Writing is hard. No, seriously. That was the most difficult lesson for me to learn. I’ve always loved to write or create something new, but I never understood why it didn’t just happen for me. Why was it that I didn’t want to sit down, every waking moment of every day, and write these masterpieces that everyone would love and rave about? Writing is easy, right?
Anything you love is work. It’s hard. It ticks you off but then it becomes the most beautiful thing in the world when you can drop your bullshit at the door and create. The hardest failure I’ve ever faced is that I couldn’t just simply write without making myself do it. It didn’t come like breathing, it was hard. I didn’t know everything in the beginning and still have a lot to learn.
I’m still waiting to live on a mountain somewhere and write prose that my adoring masses will fawn over and throw money at me for. I’m still wondering why it’s so damn hard to explain stories to someone in a way that makes them see it’s something they’ll love. Why is that hard when I know I can turn around and write out an amazing story to share?
What are the powers of your personal Holy Hand Grenade?
I evoke laughter to the point that you should not have a mouthful of drink when you’re reading. My characters are funny, realistic, and sometimes annoying but they’re real. One thing that I hear from readers is that my stories have a strong voice and that’s an amazing compliment. They tell me they can hear the characters when they speak. What’s better than that?
I write what makes me laugh. I write a running dialogue for my character. You know the comments that flow through your head when you’re talking to someone that you’d never say because they’d get upset with you? Yeah, my characters don’t care.
- Favorite Muppet? Sweetums because of the name and the fluff.
- Crunchy or Creamy? This puts the peanut butter song in my head. Thanks.
- Favorite Sports Team? Does Quidditch count?
- Cake or Pie? Whichever has chocolate? Or pecans. Or both.
- Lime or Lemon? Green
- Favorite Chip Dip? I don’t eat chips. My favorite dip is chocolate-peanut butter.
- Wet or Dry? My deodorant is working fine, thank you.
- Favorite Musical Performer, We’ve Never Heard Of? Me? You should totally hear my shower compilations or how great I sing with headphones on.
- Whisky or Whiskey? Is this a trick question? How about, yes, please?
- Favorite Superhero? Hmm. Can I say my dog? She does some pretty amazing things and can bring joy with a single spastic jump.
- Steak Temperature? Depends on the day. Today, I prefer it mooing
- Favorite 1970s TV show? I don’t remember the 70s. I’ll say A-Team or He-Man cartoons
- Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall? Fall, fall, and fall. Can we have endless fall tinged by winter, please?
- Favorite Pet? I LOVE ALL THE FURRIES!
- Best Game Ever? The ones that I win. Probably a MMORPG of some kind. I used to Everquest and there was never another I liked quite as much, but something along that lines.
- Coffee or Tea? Both. Or any hot drink, preferably with that formerly-mentioned Whiskey? Irish or other.
- Sci-Fi or Fantasy? I lean into Fantasy. I like the lack of rules and the ability to make anything happen that you want. I read both, write both, watch both…but I still lean a little more into Fantasy but I like them mixed, too. Did you see the new DC’s Legends of Tomorrow? Holy glittery heart-eating unicorns, Batman!
What question(s) would you like to ask me?
Name the first five stories that come to mind. Now rank them. Now identify them by mental color. Next, which one would make the best mixed drink?
Rob’s Answer: Let’s see. Lord of the Rings. Foundation. Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. A Catskill Eagle. Odds Against. That would be Gold (from the One Ring). Black (from the galaxy). Red (from Simon Jester). White (from the cast Spenser wears). And green (from racing turf).
Now to discuss their drink potential. Goldschlager. Hmmm, not my thing. Black porter, definitely my thing. Red IPA. More definitely my thing. Ice cream to make milkshakes. Hmmm, I guess I could use the Goldschlager here. Oh, yeah, and creme de menthe. No, no, no. I don’t drink creme de menthe after an unfortunate incident when I was 3.
So, I think the winner is the Red IPA.
Tell me again where we can find your stuff?
- Amazon, order through Barnes & Noble or any book retailer, random conventions, etc.
- Instagram: Charity.ayres
- Facebook: facebook.com/charityayresauthor
- Twitter: @versweet
I have two new releases on the horizon: Winter Born which is book 2 of the Ice Burns trilogy, and another unnamed steampunk Pirate novel that I might be publishing through an amazing independent publisher I’ve worked with before. Shhh.
And where can we find you?
The only scheduled con so far this year is LibertyCon. I can’t wait!
Do you have a creator biography?
Charity Ayres is a Navy Veteran, teacher, mother, and wife in Virginia. Her novel-length works currently include Loki Bound, Loki: Hellbound, Secret in the Wings, and Ice Burns. She has also been published in the Wylde Times anthology, a Four Horseman Universe anthology: A Fistful of Credits, and has won awards from Writer’s Digest and the L.Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest for her short works. Upcoming works include the second and third novels for Ice Burns and a surprise new series.
Thanks to Charity for taking the time to answer my questions.
If you have any suggestions or comments about this interview format, let me know so I can keep tweaking it.
Also, thanks to you for reading. If you’re interested in any of the other interviews I’ve done, you can find them all here: http://robhowell.org/blog/?cat=326. If you are a creator, especially an independent creator, and you want to be spotlighted in a future interview, email me at email@example.com.
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Have a great day.
Author of the Shijuren-series of novels
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