Monday, March 15, 2010

Interview with Blake Charlton ~ author of Spellwright



How fun is this? Too much fun! I am so excited ….

We have Blake Charlton here today. He is a new author of the recently released fantasy (a first in planned trilogy)  Spellwright ~ links to more info on the book. 

Spellwright, published by Tor, is pure fantasy that is set in a fantastical world with a unique magical system. One which is based upon words, where its main character has a “slight” disadvantage – he is to be a wizard and he cannot spell. I completely get that but more importantly so does Blake. Who with a medical degree and his first novel just published - has the affliction. Very compelling evidence that the ability to spell is not directly connected to one’s intelligence, creativity, of cuteness factor.

Excitingly Blake will be answering a few questions that are a bit out of the ordinary, slightly quirky, and with the female reader in mind (sorry guys)!

Welcome Blake, its a pleasure to have you here. I hope these unusual questions will help sell some books ... but at least we had some fun coming up with them. Right?  Well I did… tee hee…. So beg do tell us…

What genre, sub genre, or combo would you consider yourself?

Hard classic epic fantasy. Those words mean different things to a lot of different folks. So I’ll give them my personal gloss

Hard: I set up laws of magic and obey them.

Classic: sympathetic protag, medieval-ish world, megawatt magic-system, light on the brutality.

Epic: There’s a quest.

Fantasy: Weeee!

Wow, what a mix. I guess writers can create their own genres?

What book has most strongly and pleasantly defied whatever expectations you had about it?

The Time Traveler’s Wife  by Audrey Niffenegger. The speculative element seemed not only in flagrant disregard of everything that suspends disbelief but the romantic plot seemed arbitrary. But of course, the execution of the story was so brilliant that it breezed over these two obstacles without a hitch. It’s one of my favorite novels without a doubt.

No comment here since I could not get through the book. Sorry Audrey.

In one word, describe the most embarrassing moment of your life?


What makes you laugh out loud? (Points for brevity on this one.)

Wit, wordplay, YouTube videos of kittens.

Awww…I know quite a few readers will like these traits. He’s smart, witty, and likes kittens too….Ladies?

If your life were rewritten as a movie, what type of movie would it be? Romantic? Comedy? Drama? Sci-fi? Thriller?

A documentary narrated by hyperactive science historian James Burke, á la that Connections show that kicked nerdy butt back in the 90s.

Never heard of this documentary - here is a link to the youtube video in case readers are lost too.

What was the best thing about the 90s?

“Die Without You,” by PM Dawn. That, or snap bracelets.

Where was I in the 90’s? ..this is really sad. Here are links for “Die Without You” (this one is very romantic - food for the theme here) and snap/slap bracelets on youtube.

What part of the world would you most like to visit for the first time?

Tonga/Samoa. I grew up playing football in Northern California. A lot of my teammates were Pacific Islanders, wonderful, friendly, fiercely-competitive fellows. Would love to see the islands…the surfing wouldn’t hurt either.

Me too! Never played football with  Pacific Islanders but sounds interesting as long as they’re cute and don’t tackle too hard…. and I am a Native Northern Californian.

If you could travel back in time what period would you like to live in and why?

Elizabethan London: flashy, elegant, yet still earthy, the golden age of wit and wordplay, how could you resist? Well…other than the bubonic plague, how could you resist? Well, and the tights…and the codpieces. So, okay, other than Black Death, man leotards (meotards?), and external jock straps, it’d be heaven.

So no codpieces or tights huh? Bummer.  So what do you wear when you sleep?

Scrubs (not the show).


Hmmmm…So girls which do you prefer? Tee Hee …the mind boggles.

What is your quirkiest reading or writing habit?

If a passage is really giving me trouble, I will get up brush my teeth and then come back and try it again. Strangely, it often works.

Very interesting, at least you will have nice breath while writing. I’m think this is panning out nicely..…

Which book did you hate in high school but were forced to read?

One Writer’s Beginnings” by Eudora Welty. I just took 800mg of acetaminophen after remembering that.

This one is lost on me as well - Wikipedia link. I can definitely relate to the pain killer.

What’s the least interesting thing about medical school so far?

The memorization.

What’s the most interesting thing about medical school so far?

The patients!

I am sure that there are quite a few readers here that would love to be your patient. When do you graduate and when will you be accepting them?

Ok, enough of the silly stuff. Here is the last question..

You teach creative writing to other medical students. There are some very common bits of writing advice like “Show, don’t tell,” and “Write about what you know.” Do you have a pearl of creative writing wisdom that’s not so bandied about?

Try to end each sentence with the most important word in that sentence. It doesn’t always work, but often it helps you structure the sentence so as to deliver maximum “punch.” I’m throwing those quotation marks up because punch lines to jokes often obey this rule. The funniest and most important word in the punch line is almost always last.

Thanks so much Blake for answering a few of my burning questions here on Layers of Thought. Its been a pleasure to be in contact with you. You’re fun, positive, talented, and of course…very cute.

We wish you the best of luck and would like to extend a welcome to you back at any time since a little bird has told me you are going to be a very popular writer… especially with the female gender!

About Blake:   Debut novelist and medical student, Blake Charlton is a new face in both fields working to establish a dual career in fiction and medicine. Currently, Blake is writing fantasy novels, science fiction short stories, and academic essays on medical education and biomedical ethics. Connect with Blake on his Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Live Journal, Goodreads

cover1For more information the book cover links to our Preview of Blake’s first book ~ Spellwright  US|UK|Canada ~ Book Depository AUD|Euro.

For more fun link to this hilarious guest post here on Layers of Thought by this very handsome and talented new author.

If your curious about his book you can listen to the first 4 chapters of the book at Blake’s Blog.

Please note that Blake may be coming by to comment on your comments so COMMENT! When he's famous and wins a Nebula or other big award you can tell your neighbors, grandkids, dog… well you get the picture.

Thanks for reading! 


Adele said...

Best interview i've read in ages. They should all be designed to satisfy the idle daydreams of bookloving girls. :)
Nice one both of you.

Unknown said...

Hagelrat -
Thank you... thank you - that's some compliment!

I've seen quite a few "guyish" interviews... except for the one with Gail Carriger... which was hilarious btw and thought we could gear it for the majority of readers.... the!

logankstewart said...

Pretty funny interview there, Shellie. I've seen a lot about this book floating around on the Interwebs, and it's one that'll make its way into my queue one day, methinks.

Unknown said...

Logan -
Thank you... :)

Go win it... make my day!

Amanda Makepeace said...

Great interview! I have say my favorite part was the "Weeee!" :D

I'm so close to finishing Spellwright--will keep an eye out for your review.


Unknown said...

Amanda -
Yes I will keep and eye out for yours... too.

Yes the Weee part is fun.

Charlie said...

I'm not a girl, but I enjoyed your interview despite my anatomical configuration.

I just did a quick check at and Spellwright has 5 out of 5 stars. A rather auspicious beginning, I would say.

There are also 36 LibraryThingers who have copies, so I'm figuring Blake has made at least $36 so far.

Gotta pay those med school loans.

Unknown said...

Charlie -
You enjoyed it cause your special!

Yes - it is getting great reviews. I am not sure how much money these new writers make but I heard its not much.. but lets hope its more than 36 dollars.

Thanks for commenting Charlie!

Krista said...

Ha-Ha Funny interview! I'm getting this book as soon as I make it to the Book store again! WoOt! :)

Unknown said...

Krista -
I was hoping to make people smile :)

I know if you like the book I will too! Excellent.

Unknown said...

awww. thanks everyone for the read and the comments. special thanks to Shellie for the blush inducing interview (and when a bald white guy blushes, there's a lot of red invovled!). :)

Unknown said...

Blake -
You are so welcome. It was my pleasure!

... I bet its a cute bald blush :)

Simcha said...

Great interview and really fun questions. Blake does seem like a really great guy and I'm quite impressed that he actually managed to write a book while in medical school.

Unknown said...

Simcha -
Thanks, it was fun too.

It always impresses me when you get someone who can do so many things and still keep a positive attitude. I just get grouchy and stressed.

Thanks for signing up as a reader as well. :)

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