Charlotte Babb 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.
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 current favorites are Terry Pratchett's Discworld and Shelly Adima's Lady of Devices.
In the meantime, Charlotte has fallen prey to steampunk and the gears are turning...corset, bustle and magic, oh my! She brings to any project a number of experiences, including work as a technical writer, washing machine gasket inspector, cloth store associate, girl Friday, and telephone psychic.
She has studied the folk stories of many cultures and wonders what happened to ours.Where the stories are for people over 20 who have survived marriage, divorce, child-rearing, education, bankruptcy, and widowhood?
Charlotte loves Fractured Fairy Tales and writes them for your enjoyment
Author Website | Book Site | Facebook (Author) | Facebook (Book) | Twitter: @charlottebabb |
Maven's new dream job--fairy godmother--presents more problems than she expects when she learns that Faery is on the verge of collapse, and the person who is training her isn't giving her the facts--and may be out to kill her. Will she be able to make all the fractured fairy tales fit together into a happy ending, or will she be eaten by a troll?
Did you always want to be a writer? If not, then what?
My first memory of a job I would want to do was watching a stripper on a detective show back in the 50's. And then Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke seemed to have a pretty good job with the marshall as her boyfriend.
I decided to be a writer when I read Little Women in third grade. I've allowed people to talk me out of writing as a career, which is how I became an English teacher, and the lack of market for English teachers led me to other job options: tech writer, washing machine gasket inspector, retail clerk, and telephone psychic. Now my day job is web design for a chiropractic college, and I teach writing and English online.
But I am nearing retirement, and there is nothing to keep me from writing any more.
Do your readers contact you? If so, what do they say?
Most of the people who have commented on my writing know me from Facebook, from my publisher or actually know me in person. Most of them like Maven, think she is funny and are very supportive.
I hope that this blog tour will introduce me to new fans.
And then there's the "Construction Engineer" guys from Facebook who tell me how beautiful I am and want to chat with me. They are usually in Nigeria or Kuala Lumpur. I think they must have a script because they all say the same things.
For aspiring writers, what three pieces of good advice would you give them?
Write every day, at least for 15-20 minutes.
Teach your mind that you can in fact sit down and turn out words on demand, even and especially if what you write at first is mud. I have learned that if I keep typing one word after another, they will break through the dam in my mind and start to flow.
Learn how to write through the mud. Keep on writing for yourself, to say what you came to this planet to say.
Read the best sellers in your genre.
Read the best sellers in genres you hate.
Read for research. Now go back and write.
- Write. Write. Write. Write.
Don't let anyone tell you that you can't write.
Do listen to critique from other active, productive writers about how to improve, but keep writing. This is a learn-as-you-go skill set. Nobody knows everything, but some people know a lot more than others from experience.
Do you have a favorite of your own books?
The one I am working on at the moment is my favorite. I have several other in the queue in the collective unconscious gestating.
How do you balance writing with your life?
I don’t. I am very scattered. I am working with a life coach to learn how to manage my time between my writing, my day job, my second job and the actives I want to do like meet-ups and making steampunk accessories—and reading, facebook, Netflix….
How old were you when you wrote your first book and what was it about?
That manuscript that is forever hidden is a YA about an orphaned girl and a fat boy who get together. I was in my late thirties and took a correspondence "You can write for children" workshop.
Where do your ideas come from?
My fevered brain.
I see ideas everywhere. I watch a lot of TV on Netflix, and stories just abound. Then there's headline news, the internet, and people watching.
Do you have a writing quirk?
I'm just a mass of quirks, so I suppose there's one for writing. The fact that I write is a quirk, too, I suppose. I keep trying to think of a pun with Captain Kirk and with strange and charmed quarks.
Pantser or Planner?
I started out as a pantser, but that just takes too long. Now I'm learning to be a planner and balancing between knowing that something needs to happen here, and letting my characters tell me what it is.
Coke vs Pepsi? – Ginger ale, preferably Blenheims. If forced to choose, Coke with bourbon.
Chocolate vs Vanilla? Chocolate with hot fudge and pecans.
Cake vs Ice Cream? YES. Prefer brownies. Actually like cake batter better than cake baked, and ice cream slightly melted. Buttered pecan.
Do you think we dream in color or that we wake up and remember it in color?
I dream in color. I don’t know about other people.
What's your favorite food?
I no longer eat most of the things I grew up loving: macaroni and cheese, banana pudding, all sorts of pasta. But now? I don't really have a favorite. I'm learning to love leaves…if they have avocadoes and tomatoes with them.
What type of food could you never live without?
Chocolate. Now that I am sensitive to gluten and casein, it's more about food I can't live with.
If you were stuck on a desert island, what would you take with you (limit 4 items)?
Water still, solar battery charger, fishing equipment, and a laptop with satellite internet.
Favorite show growing up?
Star Trek: SPOCK is my first love. Before that, the Man from U.N.C.L. E. I even made a scrapbook about David McCallum ( Dr. Ducky Mallard on NCIS) who played Illya Kuryakin when I was about 14. Back in the day. For children's shows, my favorite is still Rocky and Bullwinkle's Fractured Fairy Tales.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
I'm already a fairy godmother. What else do I need? ;-) I can't imagine a superpower that would not be more of a pain than a blessing. That's why fairy godmothers are not supposed to grant their own wishes.
What do you think the future will hold?
Surprises, and one surprise is how little people will change though their expressed attitudes and ideas about things will change. I remember when it was illegal for people of different skin color to marry. Now that they can, we see all sorts of people together, but there is still subtle racism. Change takes time.
Dec. 12th- I am, indeed
Dec. 13th- Musings of a Writing Reader
Dec. 14th- Juniper Grove
Dec. 15th- Waiting on Sunday to Drown
Dec. 16th- 1889 Labs
Dec. 17th- The Book Maven
Dec. 18th- Paranormal Romance Fans For Life
Dec. 19th- Crazy Four Books
Dec. 20th- My Seryniti
Dec. 21st- Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews
Dec. 22nd- A Book Lover's Library
Dec. 23rd- The Avid Reader
A Handsome Prince (Excerpt from Maven Fairy Godmother)
As she entered the Twilight Lounge, Maven transformed into Biker Trash leather, complete with a tattoo on her shoulder—“Trolls need love too.” The handle of her wand peeked out of the calf of her right boot.
At the bar, Maven straddled a black fatboy motorcycle that rose to the occasion. She didn't question how the Twilight Lounge knew what a motorcycle was.
Belle handed Maven a mug of some golden, frothy liquid without comment on her persona.
“What I wouldn't do for a beer,” Maven sighed after knocking back the mug's contents. She hoped it wasn't hemlock. Belle did not seem pleased to see her.
“What good is it to work in a place where you grant wishes for a living, but you can't get a beer when the job is done?”
“This is Faery, not Heaven,” Belle said, slapping the bar with her polishing rag.
Maven leaned back on her buddy bar and propped her boots on the gas tank. She fished her wand from her boot and held it to her ear to listen for the stories from her clients. She could not get a clear signal.
“Is this seat taken?” A Handsome Prince stood beside Maven. He smiled, sure of himself from his raven coiffure to his velvet-clad tush.
Maven looked up at him, a bit disoriented. “No. Take it.” She pulled herself back together, remembered where she was and how she looked. Whoever or whatever it was taking her away from Vivienne and Daisy, it was not a prince. “Take it somewhere else.”
She sat up and swung her leg over the bike facing away from him. She held the wand to focus back on Vivienne, but now the picture was unclear. The impostor prince blocked the signal.
“You must not be from around here,” The Prince said. “I have never seen anyone like you before.” He sat on a gilded throne.
“Just imaginative,” Maven said. Next time she'd be a harpy or a warthog. She didn't know how close it was to midnight. She didn't have lot of experience being hit on in bars in Mundane, especially not by enchanted un-Princes. “I am just learning how to turn people into frogs.” Maven smiled, but not sweetly. She aimed her wand pointedly. “Would you like to be my first attempt?”
The Prince transformed himself into a large slimy Frog with golden eyes, perched on a lily pad. “So, you like amphibians?”
“I'm all out of wart repellent.” Maven slid off the Harley and strode out of the Twilight Lounge, not stopping to change her garb. Maybe the short walk would let her think in peace.