The 2018 Interview Series Featuring Charles Yallowitz


It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with author Charles Yallowitz.

You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directory page.

If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com

Now, please enjoy this interview with Charles Yallowitz:


Author PhotoDo you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I try to be more original, especially when I’m writing the first of a series.  With my inspirations ranging from movies to television shows to books, I probably hit on what readers want more often than I realize.  Now, if we’re talking about taking specific suggestions then I take that on a case-by-case basis.  It’s rare that I deviate from my plan because of a request, but I will listen to what people like and hate.  For example, a character that people want to learn more about may get extra scenes in a future volume.  I don’t change the overall plot, but I will increase their exposure as much as I can.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Maintain at least a functional level of confidence because it’s going to be a rough ride from beginning to end.  There will be days, weeks, and months where you feel like you’re not going anywhere, but you have to keep writing.  Giving up means all of the progress will disappear and you might never get a chance to try again.  Also, don’t listen to everyone with an opinion and try to add them all to your work because you’ll just make a mess.

lost swordsWhat’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

All the ones I wrote . . . Just kidding.  The first one that comes to my mind is the series that got me interested in writing.  ‘The Books of Lost Swords’ by Fred Saberhagen is a low magic fantasy with great characters and world-building.  I actually enjoyed it more than ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Narnia’.  This is probably an odd choice because my books are closer to Tolkien than Saberhagen.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I don’t read them as thoroughly as I used to.  Early on, I would pore over them and search for ways to grow.  This led to me getting depressed over the negatives and a little too prideful over the positive ones.  I’ve changed to simply taking them all in stride and gleaning whatever growth I can from them.  They still have an impact on me, but I’ve certainly tempered it to the point where I’m just happy that someone gave me a chance.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Not intentionally.  Occasionally, someone will pick up on a ‘secret’ theme or hint that I put in out of instinct.  I do enjoy foreshadowing, which not everyone picks up on.  Since I write primarily to entertain, I try not to do anything that could leave more casual readers, such as myself, scratching their heads.  At the very least, I reveal the core secrets to the plot when the time is right.

Do you Google yourself?

Not as much as I used to, but I just did because of the question.  Nothing really interesting since I have so many posts and books out that they fill up the first 2-3 pages.  Okay, not interesting to me because I wrote them, but other people should feel free to check them out.

What is your favorite childhood book?

I was a voracious reader as a kid, so I didn’t have a favorite.  I loved the ‘Encyclopedia Brown’ series, which I can’t seem to find any more.  Dr. Seuss was always a favorite with ‘You’re Only Old Once’ being the top of the list.  It’s not one of his more famous ones and it’s about an old man going to the doctor.  He gets all these tests and I can see now that it was a statement on the healthcare system.  As a kid, I just loved this one section called ‘The Pill Drill’ where it’s almost a song about all of the medications that the guy has to take.  My parents gave me their copy and it’s in my son’s library now, but he’s more of a ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ kid.

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

As odd as it sounds, I’d have made the decision to become an author at a younger age.  I loved writing when I was 7, but I was convinced to focus on other things that had a better chance of landing me a job.  When I turned 15, I realized that I loved telling stories and being an author made me happy.  I always wonder what would have happened if I had honed my craft at a younger age.  Can’t say I would definitely make the change though because it could also mean I’d never have created Windemere and written the stories that I love now.  I could have ended up an author who only writes books on pre-existing material like all the Star Trek and movie adaptation books I read as a teenager.  Not sure I like that idea.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

This is a tough one because I do a lot of planning and outlining.  In fact, I spent 10 years doing preliminary stuff for all of my series.  So, there’s some funky math going on here.  I would say 2-3 weeks to prepare all of the character bios and outlines, which includes doing it for all the books in a series.  Then, it would be about 4-6 weeks to write the first draft.  1-2 weeks for every editing run with a few spontaneous checks of key areas that pop into my head.  So, I guess it takes a total of 3-4 months to go from beginning to end for a single book.  In my defense, I’m a fantasy author and not a mathematician, so numbers and I don’t get along.

About Charles:

Born and living in New York, Charles E. Yallowitz is the fevered imagination behind the Legends of Windemere fantasy series.  For nearly two decades, he has worked to cultivate a world of magic and colorful characters to entertain anyone who wishes to give his stories a try.  When not writing, outlining, editing, dreaming, or eating pizza, Charles is busy tending to a mischievous imp that he is partially responsible for.  One day he hopes to add a decent night’s sleep to that list, but he is not holding his breath.

Connect with Charles:

Legends of Windemere Blog

Twitter

Charles’ Books:

collage-2017-12-08Amazon Legends of Windemere Site https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078N7QQXB?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

Warlord of the Forgotten Age 2Warlord of the Forgotten Age Site

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078KHZFSS/

 

 

44 thoughts on “The 2018 Interview Series Featuring Charles Yallowitz

  1. Great to learn more about you, Charles. I, too, was a big fan of Encyclopedia Brown. I think you might be the first person (in my adult life) who I’ve heard mention that series.

    I understand you’ve wrapped up your series. What an accomplishment. Best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great interview, Charles and Don. Charles, I compliment you for your wizardry in your genre! I don’t read a whole lot there as I’m mostly mystery, romance, memoir, BUT I do plan to step out of my shell and read you! My best wishes. ♥
    Don, Thanks for your good service to all of us! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I have been told by a few people that my books act as decent introductions to fantasy. They focus a lot on adventures, so there isn’t the political side to worry about like others. My attention to world-building also helps those unfamiliar with the genre to get a feel for what is going on. I always figure that I’m writing for people that might not know the usual fantasy stuff or I have to make clear where my world differs. Part of it stems from most of my editors and beta-readers not being into fantasy, so I had to explain a bit more to them. Hope you enjoy the series when you get a chance.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoyed learning more about you, Charles. The Encyclopedia Brown books were a favorite in my 4th and 5th grade students. As for Seuss’s Your Only Old Once!, I simply must give it a read. The Good Doctor remains one of my faves when it comes to inspiring children and the adults who read to/with them. Inspired by your interview and sharing… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • My son keeps wandering in and out of enjoying Dr. Seuss. He has a lot of trouble reading, so the strange words give him some trouble. Although, we think he has ‘One Fish, Two Fish’ and ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ memorized. I do wonder if Encyclopedia Brown will ever make a comeback or something will step into the void. They were very unique in that you had to solve the mystery instead of just reading about it. A big boost to critical thinking skills there.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks. It’s funny, but I’ve met an equal number of early and late writers since I started. I’ve noticed that much of the fantasy and sci-fi people I’ve met were early though. Mystery, Romance, and Thriller have been a lot of late writers, so I wonder if genre is a factor.

      Funny thing about the planning of a 15 book series is that as difficult as it was, I made it worse for myself. ‘Legends of Windemere’ set the foundation for my world, which will be home to most of my other series. So, I had to write and plan with other series in mind. This is probably why I dabbled in stories like my Rated-R Bedlam adventures, which gave me a break from Windemere.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s a little easier to write the stories since much of the setting is on paper. Unfortunately, I now lose my summers to parenthood, which means my workload isn’t getting any easier. Oh well since I knew it had to happen eventually.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Writing Links 3/12/18 – Where Genres Collide

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