‘And now for something completely different!’ With titles like ‘Three Quarters Martian’ you must expect original thinking when you read CR Hodges work. He is joining me now all the way from Colorado and we ‘met’ taking part in a blog hop a while back. (The wonders of modern technology)
Thank you for appearing as a guest on my blog. I’m having a mix of visitors this week, authors of quite different genres. I know that you write about ghouls and ghosts and other supernatural beings. What inspired you to do this?
I’ve never written about ghouls, but you did just give me a new story idea there, thanks for that. As to ghosts and such, I was always more interested in what the ghost thought about being undead, or the valkyrie thought about being wingless, than what the poor helpless human thought of encountering one of the above. So I write a lot of my ghost stories from the spook’s point of view, not the spook-ee. What does it feel like to be alive one instant and dead the next, but still conscious, still observing?
Weird I should think.
Can you describe your current novel in less than thirty words? A tall order, I know.
I stink at compacting 90,000 words down to 30, but for you Diana, I’ll give it a go. This is for my WIP urban fantasy novel, Ragnarök Willie:
A noted archeologist, thirteen valkyries, a blue-bearded giantess, and Lasse Nordberg, college dropout, are all searching the ruins of Valhalla for an ancient weapon of mass destruction. Lasse finds it.
Do you prefer to write short stories or full novels and which is your favourite short story? ….Can you add a link for people to find it too please?
Mostly I’m a short story-ist, with 14 publication credits and another under contract. Not to mention 20 more in various stages of writing, rewriting (I do that a lot), and submission. Writing shorts allows me to try a lot of different voices, plots, points of view and even genres (see below), and it’s arguably easier to get from beginning to end to publication than longer works. That said, I’ve written a couple of novels, one of which, Ragnarök Willie (see above) is almost done and one of which, Gho, I compacted into a novella and sold (see below)
As to favorite short stories, my editors’ and readers’ favorite is clearly “Three-Quarters Martian,” a science fiction short that won a writing contest, got produced in audio format, and even made honorable mention as one of the best online short stories of 2011 in the Million Writers Award. But my personal favorite is a mythica short, “Queen Méabh,” about an archeologist who inadvertently releases the ghost of a 5500-year-old faerie queen in modern-day Ireland.
Congrats on your success! I’ve been having discussions on different ways to plan a novel on my blog. Do you have a method which works for you that you’d be happy to share with us? It sounds like you write straight from your vivid imagination.
I’m an engineer in daylight hours so you’d think I’d be a meticulous planner, but I’m not. I’m a pants-er for the most part, meaning I just write by the seat of my pants. I generally try to get a complete draft on to paper in a very rough form and then go back and work the plotline. That said, I’m a spreadsheet junkie, which I use for timelines, character briefs, and backstory tracking. I should really plan more, as a tend toward really complex plots, but all too often my characters take it upon themselves to deviate from plan, so I just have to write down what they do.
And who is your target audience? Is it mainly YA?
I started out writing YA but I think I’ve migrated more to New Adult, with a fair amount of adult genre as well. My first novel, Gho, a YA ghost story from the ghost’s point of view, will be published in novella form next month in the Bardic Tales and Sage Advice, Volume 6 anthology by Brads and Sages Publishing. I also have a few YA short stories published, including “Preschool War Games” in Cricket and “The Steamer Trunk” in Metro Fiction. But Ragnarök Willie is New Adult fantasy, and the majority of my shorts are either New Adult or adult fantasy or science fiction.
For the authors reading, can you give any tips as to the most successful tool you have used for marketing your work?
Oh, I stink at that too. Honestly, I think plain old networking works best. Talk to people, make real connections, don’t just count Likes. I try to learn a lot from other writers, both aspiring and successful.
Finally, what about the future? Have you any thoughts as to what projects you will be working on in the next couple of years?
The future is, maybe, novellas. I’ve always liked the shorter forms, but there has historically been a big gap publishing-wise between short stories and full length novels. There are many many markets for short stories, and of course both TP and SP outlets for novels. But novellas have been in no-man’s land. But I think, just maybe, that this may be changing. The success of Kindle Singles, which range from 5000 to 30,000 words, along with general shortening of attention spans of all of us in the digital age, give me hope that there may be a resurgence for novellas. Besides Gho, I have several more novellas in the early stages, including another valkyrie tale (working title “Riding Hel’s Horse”), an expanded version of “Queen Méabh” and a faerie apocalypse (working title “Beyond the Pale”).
Interesting. Quite by chance I think my next work launched to the public will be a novella too. I hadn’t thought it through like that though. Where can readers catch up with what you are doing?
CR Hodges’s online haunts can be found at:
For his fellow short story writers, he also maintains a list of over 100 paying speculative fiction markets at crhodges.wordpress.com/short-stories/science-fiction-and-fantasy-short-story-markets/
Many many thanks for joining us CR and good luck with your next projects.