Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Just a Smidgen of Magic by Charlotte Henley Babb

Having big feet, gray hair, a mischievous twinkle in her eye, Charlotte Henley Babb loves fractured fairy tales.

She began writing when she could hold a piece of chalk and scribble her name--although she sometimes mistook "Chocolate" for "Charlotte" on the sign at the drug store ice cream counter. Growing up in the red mud and sweet tea Carolinas, she played with the fairies in the woods and the aliens in the back yard.

When her third-grade teacher allowed her access to the fiction room at the school library, Charlotte discovered Louisa Alcott and Robert Heinlein, an odd marriage of the minds. These two authors have had the most influence on her desire to share her point of view with the world and to explore how the world might be made better. Her favorite authors now include Sir Terry Pratchett, Robert Aspirin, and Esther Friesner.

She has taught English in high school and junior college, written procedure manuals, and edited writing association newsletters. Her presentations at education and writing conferences on using the Internet, blogging, using social media, and writing science fiction have been well-received.

Her first novel, Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the Veil, was published in 2012 and received an honorable mention in the 2014 National Federation of Press Women communications contest for adult novels.

She brings to any project a number of experiences: technical writer, gasket inspector, waitstaff, fabric and craft retail associate, craft artificer, secret weapon, and telephone psychic.

Currently working as a writing instructor, she writes fractured fairy tales, steampunk, and Southern fiction for people who have survived love's last kiss.

Where the stories are for people over 20 who have survived marriage, divorce, child-rearing, post-graduate education, bankruptcy, empty nest, and widowhood?

Charlotte Henley Babb writes them.

Connect with the Author

About the Book

Five short-short stories from the edge of the realm of magic--enchanted moments, realizations, answering the call and returning.

Artifacts: Pay attention to the Mothers when they give you a warning.

The Croning: In every woman's life, if she lives long enough, her time will come to take on the role.

Not Even One Wish: No only should you be careful what you wish for, but who you wish to.

Taffy's Tale: It's a high price to pay if you are fed by the Fae.

Zen of Cool: A full moon, a fiddle, and a fool on a dark night in the hills of Appalachia

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

I could make up stories and live in my fantasy world with my characters. 

Do you have a "day job"? If so, what do you do?

I have had a lot of day jobs. I am easing into retirement from teaching English at the junior college level. I have also worked as a web designer. 

What genres do you write?

fantasy, steampunk, sceince fiction, Southern fiction

What inspires you to write?

My characters bang on the inside of my head to be let out. 

If you could choose an author to be your mentor, who would it be?

Terry Pratchett - his satire of life on Earth and his insights into character are both funny and enlightening

What are your goals as an author? Where do you see yourself in five years?

I plan to have two sequels to Maven Fairy Godmother and one for 20 hours to Charles Town, along with two story collections in my Maven universe. 

Does your family support you in your writing, or are you on your own?

I'm on my own. I live alone, and while my family does not mind my writing, except for my daughter who is a writer and an artist, they really don't get what I do. 

Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique? How did you handle it?

My one-star review on Amazon said the reader didn't understand the story. I chalked it up to wrong reader--wrong book. 

What is the worst writing advice you've ever received?

Start at the beginning. Some stories are best told well into the narrative with glimpses of backstory told along and along. Also, don't take writing advice from any mentor who is not writing. 

If you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could only have five books with you, what would they be?

I'd need books on how to survive on fish (YECCH!) and the resources available--survivalist stuff on distilling salt water, edible plants, and so forth. It would be an ultimate weight-loss experience. I'd rather have lots of writing materials than books to read.

How many books do you have on your "to read" list? What are some of them?

About half of Jim Butcher's Dresden series and his new steampunk book, Asimov's Foundation series, Divergent, Gail Carriger's Custard many books, so little time. 

What fears do you have about writing and being an indie author? How do you cope with your fears?

I'm not particularly afraid of being an indie author--perhaps my expectations of making a living from my writing are too low. When the angst of writing gets to me, I binge-watch Netflix and analyze season story arcs. It's healthier than drinking. 

Are you a pantser or outliner?

I'm a wannabe outliner, a recovering pantser. Pantsing takes too long and requires serious revision and often cutting of large amounts of material. My first attempt has about 30% of book three written from the outtakes of book one. 

How do you come up with the titles for your books? Do you find it difficult?

I have done some crowd-sourcing on Facebook with some of my friends, or sometimes I just go with the title that comes to mind. I do check Amazon and B&N to see what other books might have that title. 

Have you ever wanted to put one of your characters together with a character from one of your favorite novels? What characters would you choose and how would their meeting go?

My fairy godmother Maven Morrigan would meet Nanny Ogg from Discworld, and they would drink a lot of beer and tell dirty stories about their most difficult clients. Maven could learn a lot from Nanny, as well as her cronies, Esme Weatherwax and Tiffany Aching. 

Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers?

Other than "Buy my book?" Don't fear getting older. You will have new challenges, but you will also have the experience to deal with them.

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