Monday, 15 May 2017

Author Interview: C.T. Phipps and Giveaway! #MayhemFeature

Here we are, well into the Mayhem Features!! Hope you are enjoying them and finding new authors, narrators and bloggers to follow! Today I want to give a warm welcome to an author that I found by chance, and who has grown to become one of my favourites!! Every book I've read by him has been a 5 star read. Please welcome C.T. Phipps to the blog! 

C.T. Phipps
C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger on "The United Federation of Charles" (http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/). He's the author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, Straight Outta Fangton, and Lucifer's Star.


Website: https://ctphipps.wordpress.com/
Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @Willowhugger
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charles.phipps.946
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13434447.C_T_Phipps?from_search=true
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/C.-T.-Phipps/e/B00L32LLDY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1493807389&sr=8-1

Author Interview:

Where do your ideas come from?
Oh, I have to say a multitude of places. I think the best answer is, though, that I write the kind of books I'd like to read so they're born from my fandom of various genres. The Supervillainy Saga was built around my love of comic book zaniness, Lucifer's Star from my love of space opera (as well as darker space sci-fi), Cthulhu Armageddon from my love of things like Mad Max as well as HP Lovecraft, and Agent G from my desire to do spy novels with a sci-fi twist. I love mixing and matching genres too.

How do you develop your writing ideas?
I generally scribble down an outline of things I'd like to incorporate into my story. "My List of Cool Ideas" so to speak and then put everything I want to see in the book on it. Here's an example from Lucifer's Star

* WW2 in Space
* Red Baron figure
* Derelict spaceship
* Bioroid Slavery
* Sword Duels
* Gray and Gray Morality
* War is Hell
* City-sized space freighter
* Terrorist Rebels
* Double Agents
* Feudal Houses in Space (ala Dune)
* Memory uploads
* Destroyed homeplanet
* Traumatic memory flashbacks
* Epic Starfighter Duels

Then I basically start to ouline the story and figure out where I'm going to go from here.

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?
I used to be an avid tabletop RPGer so I basically create each character with the idea of them being someone with their own story. I generally try to make characters a mix of good and bad qualities, though, so I often create them to fill an archetype but then expand from there. Gary Karkofsky a.k.a Merciless was created from the idea of, "What if Peter Parker had been a villain" only I made him a black magician rather than an arachnid while keeping his devotion to his loved ones. Cthulhu Armageddon's protagonists went through numerous revisions but was meant to be a deconstruction of the Western hero: stoic, hard, and moral in an amoral nihilistic world. Cassius, I admit, drew from my love of anime's Char Aznable and Han Solo with a dash of Malcolm Reynolds thrown in. There's inspiration all around and you just need to make characters your own.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Oh, I was like seven and already making (terrible) books. It's been a lifelong dream and I think I probably realized how much I wanted to become one as soon as I read the Hobbit and Time Machine (my first two "serious" books). I tried my hand at teaching but this is where the universe wanted me to be.

What makes you unique as a writer?
Unique is an interesting word. I think all writers are unique. I think what might attract readers to my work over others is I always try to combine both the humanized elements of my characters with the over-the-top action. In my Supervillainy Saga novels, I never forget Gary is a person, no matter how strange his circumstances become. In my Cthulhu novels, I don't lose the person for the monsters. In my Lucifer's Star novels, I try to remember all the people dying in these big and epic space battles are individuals. Agent G? Well, I never lose sight of the fact being a paid assassin is a pretty awful thing to be--exotic locals, cybernetic enhancements, and vodka martinis aside.

Describe your book in 140 characters or less.
I'll try and do taglines for them:

Agent G: Memory-wiped assassin working for megacorporation finds out his employers may be lying about his past. Shock of shocks.

Cthulhu Armageddon: The Old Ones have risen. The world is doomed. However, a few surviving humans fight to survive. Fallout meets Lovercaft.

Lucifer's Star: An R-Rated Star Wars. Just what DID those TIE pilots think after Endor when they discoverd, holy crap, are we the bad guys?

Supervillainy Saga: Happily married geek finds magic cloak and decides to become a rich bad guy instead of poor guy. Does not work out the way he intended.

Tell us about the main character(s).
Supervillainy Saga's Gary Karkofsky a.k.a MERCILESS: THE SUPERVILLAIN WITHOUT MERCYtm is basically, as I mentioned above, my attempt to do a bad guy version of Spiderman who morphed into his own unique character. He's a normal guy with a loving marriage who is brimming with frustration and a desire to lash out at the world. It's just his world is a four-color comic book world full of Supermen and Wonder Women. He thinks he's a supervillain but the simple fact is he's not QUITE evil enough for it--even if he more ruthless and greedy than the heroes.

Cthulhu Armageddon's John Henry Booth is a grizzled soldier who has lived his entire life in the Massachusetts Wasteland. Cast out from one of Earth's last remaining city-states, he decides to embark on a mission of vengeance against the sorcerer who was responsible for killing his squad. He's a man who very much sees the world in black and white despite the fact it is a horrible mutated and nihilistic universe.

Agent G's titular character of G is a man without a past who is full of contradictions. He's a fundamentally moral man but does terrible things just because he's ordered too and doesn't quite understand why. He's driven to find out his past but tries to tell himself it doesn't matter versus who he is today. I think of him in some ways as the anti-Jason Bourne where his loss of memory made him worse. His book is about his journey of figuring out who he is.

Lucifer's Star has Cassius Mass, who is one of my favorite characters. He was once a genetically noble of the Crius Archduchy, a star empire that was expanding from its position as a colony world. They were crushed in an interstellar war and all of Cassius' squadmates were killed as well as his family back on his homeworld. Worse, he found out the Crius were guilty of countless atrocities he abetted unknowingly. Changing his identity and becoming a common spacer, he's unwillingly recruited by the very government which defeated the Archduchy to try and stop a second war.

What writers inspire/d you?
I could say the usual parade of Tolkien, Lucas, Martin, and others but I'd like to thank several authors who were personally there to help me become the better writer I am: Jim Bernheimer, David Niall Wilson, Tim Marquitz, Rob J. Hayes, Seth Skorkowsky, Kenny Soward, Michael Gibson, and Rakie Keig.

How has your writing career changed since you started?
I've actually sold books enough to become financially independent. Which means more writing time! Yay!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I am incapable of writing anything completely serious even when I'm horrifically dark. I wrote my Cthulhu Armageddon and Lucifer's Star books to be humor free "serious" books, only for readers to come back and say they're hilarious (as well as dark). Apparently, it's just part of my style that my characters are all smartasses.

What are your writing goals for the next year?
I definitely want to expand on my existing series and continue putting them out as long as the inspiration strikes me. I am currently working on the next Supervillainy book and another novel in the Lucifer's Star series called "Lucifer's Nebula." Basically, I need to reign in my imagination or I'll have way too many series to continue!

Name the five biggest distractions from your writing.
My doggies, though I love them. My wife, though I love her more. Favorite TV shows (Expanse, The Walking Dead, The Blacklist, Blindspot, and Powerless). Also, my own writing distracts me as I often find myself trying to figure out what to work on. That's only four but it's more than enough! Oh wait, my addiction to Xbox One.

What character would you most like to be stuck in an elevator with?
Someone else's: Doctor Manhattan as he'd be fascinating to talk with.

Mine: Cindy Wakowski a.k.a Little Red Riding Hood.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Oh, all the time. I love my readers and do my best to communicate with them. If they want to get in touch with me, they should just contact me on Goodreads or one of my websites.



Some of the books I've read and loved by Charles! Click the pic to go to Goodreads: 

25696701   25855501  31623984

Thanks so much for doing the interview Charles! I urge everyone to try one of his books, because he is an amazing writer. Don't forget to comment on the #MayhemFeature and enter to win below. 

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