I have the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Charles French, a distinguished educator and author. His new book, Gallows Hill, is a thriller and the second in his exciting series. The first book, Maledicus, is a riveting page-turner deep into history and speculative fiction, that follows paranormal investigating by three main characters. Frankly, that barely scratches the surface of mystery and darkness. Without further ado, let’s meet the author:
I know you are partial to classical literature, particularly Shakespeare. And, you teach English Literature courses at Muhlenberg College. How has that influenced you and your writing?
I have loved Shakespeare most of my life. I was first entranced by his work as a high school student, when I saw a traveling professional production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I was amazed not only by the language but also by the physicality of the play and the images of magic. I was hooked. I believe that Shakespeare is at the center of Western writing, and certainly themes and issue in Shakespeare have influenced my writing. Among these themes are the nature of evil, and the way that some choose to embrace being evil. This certainly works into my two books, Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1 and Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2.
What started your interest in writing speculative fiction?
I have had a very strong imagination my entire life, and I have been reading since I was very young. I have always loved any tales that took me into other worlds, and the desire to write about such possibilities is a natural offshoot of my reading. I believe that developing a child’s imagination through reading from the earliest possible ages is extremely important to that child’s life, and I was lucky enough to have a mother who encouraged me to read very early. As a consequence of my constant reading, I learned to love the idea of writing speculative fiction.
When did you begin writing?
I have been writing off and on most of my life, but earlier, I rarely finished any stories or novels. I committed to be a serious writer, one who writes almost every day and finishes projects, about 6 years ago, and I intend never to stop writing.
Your first book, Maledicus, introduces readers to three characters who form IPS, investigative paranormal society. Can you briefly tell us about the characters?
Yes, I certainly will. They are Roosevelt, a retired history professor, Sam, a retired homicide detective, and Jeremy, a retired antiques dealer. The three men all suffered the loss of someone very close to them to death. They have time on their hands, some resources, and they want to know if there is life after death. So, they form a ghost investigation group, in order to try to find an answer to this question. I should add, that in, Gallows Hill, Helen becomes a member of the Investigative Paranormal Society.
Amazon gives this book 4-and-a-half-stars. Congratulations!
Thank you so much!
While Maledicus focuses on Roosevelt, your new book, Gallows Hill, focuses on Sam. Can you tell us about Gallows Hill? How does Sam play a role in the book?
Sam is the central figure, the protagonist, of Gallows Hill. For each book in this series, now intended to be 4 books, I will focus on a separate member of the IPS. In Gallows Hill, Sam will find the answer about why his son, Josh, committed suicide. Sam also has to deal with two villains from the past, one a supernatural entity from the 1800s, and one a human criminal whom Sam arrested and caused to be convicted while Sam was a detective. This man wants vengeance on Sam, and he is brutal in his desires.
Did you plan to have a sequel when you wrote Maledicus? If so, are you planning to write more books?
Yes, to both questions! I originally thought of the IPS stories as a three part series, but now it will be a 4 parter. And I have plans for many other novels also. I am currently pitching the first book in a Young Adult series to agents, and we will see where that goes.
Thank you so much for this interview, Charles French.
You can visit Charles French at: charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com
Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book 2 is available at Amazon.