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Historical Author Of The Month


Charlotte Boyett-Compo

(Note To The Reader)
The author’s complete bibliography follows the interview.



Charlotte Boyett-Compo

Homepage? : http://www.windlegends.com

Country where you reside? : USA

Personal bio? : I was born in Sarasota, FL, but raised in Colquitt and Albany, GA. That makes me a certified Sunshine Cracker. I graduated high school on 6/6/66 and married my high school sweetheart, Tom, on 7/10/66. We have two sons, Pete and Mike, and two grandchildren, Preston (Pacman) and Victoria (Piglet). I am proudly owned by six fierce felines, among whom is a Maine Coon, and since my parents’ deaths last year, the Keeper of their Chow.

My hobbies include collecting wicker baskets shaped like ducks, listening to Celtic music, and watching Eric McCormack so I can drool on the TV screen.

Do you belong to any writer’s organizations? : I was a member of RWA, but I dropped out. I belong to EPIC; have been accepted into the Writer’s Guild; Ardeon, and am a member of Romance Foretold.

Where can a reader purchase your work? : The Keeper Of The Wind is available ONLY through Amazon.com.

Bloodwind and Nightwind are available as e-books from Dark Star Publications at http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com. Word is these books will be coming out in print after the first of the year.

In The Wind’s Eye (which may be coming out in print) is available as an e-book from DLSIJ Press at http://dlsijpress.com.

Current and/or planned future projects? : Windfall, the dark fantasy premiere novel of The WindTales Trilogy, will be coming out in September from Dark Star Publications.

In The Teeth Of The Wind, a psychological thriller, will be out from Dark Star Publications in September.

In The Heart Of The Wind, another thriller, will be out in November from Dark Star Publications.

Windchance, the second novel of The WindTales Trilogy, will be out in January 2000.

Why do you write historicals? : I enjoy the “romance” of the bygone eras. I like the pagentry of medieval times: the swordplay, the magnificent horses; the blood vows; and the essence of heroes who are larger than life. I don’t read contemporary fiction unless it’s horror, because it bores me to tears. I’m an old-fashioned woman who likes a man to be a man and a woman to act like a lady. Give me the alpha male over Mr. Sensitive any day. Give me a damsel in distress over a corporate ladder-climbing, big-haired woman every day! I’m as independent as the next gal, but I enjoy having doors opened for me rather than slammed in my face. I write historicals because there was a gentility to those times that is, unfortunately, gone from our world today. We are becoming a sexless, raceless, faceless group of Pink Floyd zombies, I’m afraid. Let me have my fantasy warriors, be they in Confederate Gray or shiny gold breastplate! At least they have character.

What time period(s) is your primary focus, and why? : I prefer the medieval era because it lends itself more readily to my fantasy preferences whereby I use the sword and sorcery storyline. The Arthurian legends and myth and magik have always compelled me to write and have fired my imagination.

What other genre(s) besides historicals do you write? : I write mostly speculative fiction: sword and sorcery; horror; paranormal; dark fantasy; dark romance (historical romance written from the hero’s viewpoint and which tends to be very intense); thriller and, at present, I’m working on a western.

When did you begin writing? And what did you write? : I wrote my first “novel” when I was twelve years old. It was a western and my hero was Michael Landon, upon whom I had a wicked crush! It was titled Western Flame. I followed that three years later with another novel called The Great Giovanni, a circus story, starring Robert Vaughn, upon whom I’d transferred my wicked obsession. Today, I write for . . . you guessed it: Eric McCormack! Hey, even old middle-aged grannies can dream, can’t they?

Which authors are/were your inspirations? : Anya Seton, Marilyn Harris and Rosemary Rogers. As you can tell, I have very eclectic tastes. Seton’s Green Darkness was the first romance I ever read and it absolutely enthralled me. Rogers’s Sweet Savage Love made me realize that this was what I really wanted to do with my life, so I started writing religiously every day after reading that in 1975. Harris’s Eden series absolutely thrilled me and I wish there were more!!!

Which authors/books are your current favorites? : I never miss a book by Dean Koontz, Brian Lumley, John Sandford, David Wiltse, John Saul, or Fr. Andrew Greeley. I usually read all of Robin Cook’s and John Grisholm’s books, as well. When I want to read something that I don’t have to think too much about, I’ll pick up Jude Devereaux, Joanna Lindsey, or Shirley Busbee. Those ladies are highly entertaining at times.

Of all the books you’ve read, which one do you wish you had written? : Sweet Savage Love

Please give an overview of your research habits. : The story always comes first. I write the story then go back to check the historical accuracy. I’ve made two blunders in doing research and both were in In The Wind’s Eye. I put both fireants and kudzu in Georgia many years before they actually were. Not that something that insignificant matters to the storyline, but one gentleman called me on it. I appreciated him letting me know and we changed kudzu to ivy. Left them damned fireants alone, though. Vicious little creatures wouldn’t have appreciated being removed, believe me!

Historical resources you would recommend? : If you wish to do research on the web, you MUST visit Odin’s Castle at http://www.odinscastle.org. Paul has one of the best resource sites for links anywhere. Copernic is another great source as a search engine. For my fantasy novels, I use the medieval time setting but I create my worlds and populate them with magical creatures who exist only in my imagination (and on the planet Rysalia).

Have you ever included in your novels real historical personages? If so, how true do you stay to what has been written about them? Do you ever deviate from known facts? How much do you fictionalize them? : The only real person I’ve ever used was my great-grandfather Elijah Thompson who was a member of the Miller County Wildcats of Georgia. He was a private during the Civil War and was incarcerated at Camp Douglas in Illinois. When formulating his character in In The Wind’s Eye, I incorporated information gleaned from family diaries and letters.

Please give an overview of your writing process. : My inspirations can come from just about anywhere: A snippet of melody snaking through my head; a scene in a movie that grabs me hard and won’t let go; a memory; a dream; an expression on someone’s face . . . My imagination is always working overtime and I am writing constantly. I don’t do outlines because I don’t like to know where my work is going to go. I prefer to let it take me where it will and my characters do what they want to do. When you’re really into your writing, sometimes your characters can do a 180 from what you had planned. I always know what the story should be about and how I’d like it to end, etc., but that isn’t always the way it turns out. The best work comes from the characters whispering in your ear and letting you know what THEY want to do.

On average, how many drafts do you write before your work goes to the publisher? : I never turn a novel in until I have revised it at least four times. You’re going to be doing edits even after you turn it in. Sometimes it takes longer to edit a novel than it did to write it. Don’t ever turn it over, let it leave your hands, until it is as clean and as precise as it can be.

Please give an overview of your typical writing day. : Since I have an 8-5, five days a week, unreal job, I have to do my writing in the evenings or on the weekend. Contrary to what the people in my church think (I am our parish secretary), I do NOT write while I’m on Father’s time! (Who can concentrate while fifty people are running into and out of your office all day?!) I usually write until my carpal tunnel or my neck starts to hurt, then I quit for the day. Sometimes it’s midnight before the Muse finally leaves me. My best ideas come while I’m sleeping so I have been known to jump out of bed and write something down as soon as I get up in the morning. I have also been known to talk into my tape recorder while taking a shower. Funny how love scenes sorta pop up when the water comes on, isn’t it? I’m very lucky because I have a wonderful, understanding husband who has supported me all through my years of trying to get published. I was on a deadline this month to get a manuscript in and he did the laundry, cleaned house, cooked, and gave me massages every night for three weeks and never once complained. He’s a sweetie and I am not only very lucky to have him, I am very proud to be called his wife. He’s special and he’s the inspiration behind every love scene I do!

What gives you the most satisfaction during the writing process? : Putting “THE END” on the last page! Just joking. I derive the most satisfaction from telling the characters’ stories.

What gives you the greatest headache during the writing process? : Edits! Lawd, I hate edits! But they are a necessary evil, I’m afraid.

What’s the biggest problem in your own writing that you’ve had to overcome? : Getting published. The writing came easy; finding someone to believe in me was the difficult part. At the moment, Bloodwind and Nightwind are the number one and number two bestselling books at DSP and have garnered five stars reviews from many websites. Windfall isn’t even out yet, but it’s received a Blue Ribbon Award from Just Views. In The Wind’s Eye has also garnered superior reviews and The Keeper Of The Wind is selling like the proverbial hotcakes over at Amazon.com. It’s taken me awhile to get here, but I am grateful, thankful, and downright lucky to be able to have people reading my work and talking about it all over the web. Having people write you to do interviews is wonderful and I’ve had three just this week.

Do you achieve your finest/most productive work during the initial draft stage or the reediting/revision process? : The revision process. I always wind up adding stuff that will enhance the tale because I’ve had a chance to see where I might tighten something or delete something that really doesn’t add anything to the story. The revisions are wonderful; edits suck.

Of all the books you’ve written, which one would you say is your greatest achievement, and why? : Bloodwind is my favorite, but since The Keeper Of The Wind started it all, I’d have to say that is the greatest achievement. My first royalty check from that novel is framed and hanging on my wall next to my prized autographed photo of Eric McCormack. (Editor’s Note: Can you tell she’s obsessed?)

Which character you’ve created gave you the most pleasure, and why? : Kamerone Cree, the Reaper Captain in Bloodwind. He’s a shapeshifter and one helluva Alpha male! His story is one of torture and redemption and I loved writing it. He’s in three sequels coming up and I’ve had dozens of emails from females begging to “read” him again.

Have any of your characters tried to“take over the book” by developing a mind of their own? If so, do you let them go where they may, or you rein them in? And how? : All my male characters do that, but isn’t that the norm for men? You try to keep them in their place and they’re always jumping up and running off in tangents, shouting to the heavens and picking their noses at the most inopportune times. I let them get it out of their systems and . . . Lord, I hate to say this . . . they’re usually right. I did smack one once . . . deleted his butt . . . because he wouldn’t do what I wanted, but I wound up resurrecting him for a later novel. Don’t you just hate it when a character says: “See? I told you so!”

In your opinion, how healthy is today’s market for historical fiction? : It’s so-so, I think. Civil War novels are “out,” but they’ll be back in again. (Editor’s Note: Thank the heavens!) Everything has its season. Unfortunately, the historical romances being written today are becoming cookie-cutter crap with the same-old, same-old, cut-and-paste storylines. Nothing really fresh and innovative in the print industry has come out lately. E-book is another story. All your truly fresh and exciting stories are coming from unknown authors who will soon be household names.

Do you see the overall industry changing now that E-Publishing is gaining momentum? And if so, how? : From all the lists to which I belong, I hear people bemoaning the fact that there are very few futuristics out there and horror novels are becoming stale and uninteresting. The new crop of authors who are making it into the better e-publishing houses are bringing new ideas and intriguing storylines to the reader. Print houses want to keep the same old formula going that has been earning money for them for years, but the readers are getting tired of the same old stuff. They want something sharp and crystal clear, not something muddied by repetition. Eventually New York will discover some really hot e-book author and that will be that: e-books will have been “discovered” by the Powers Who Be.

If you could alter one thing about the publishing industry/process in general, what would it be? : Get rid of the damned form letters that can tear the heart out of a writer! Make the word “subjective” a dirty word! Take out every pseudo intellectual who thinks they can review a novel and make them read The Cat in the Hat one million times until they go as bonkers as Alex in A Clockwork Orange. Take every unbiased reviewer and give them the recognition they deserve.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? : Still writing. Still married to Tom. Still feeding my cats. Still trying to get the stories of my characters to people who might enjoy them.

How do you stay connected to the“real” world with a“real” life happening around you? : I am owned by six cats. If you can’t stay focused under those circumstances, you’ve never been owned by a Maine Coon!

What advice would you give to unpublished historical authors? : I won’t say something so trite as don’t ever give up your dream. You never will, whether you ever get published or not. My advice would be to dream. Period. Dreams do come true; I’m living proof. Hone your craft. Don’t EVER let anyone tell you you can’t do it (especially your family). Don’t EVER let anyone make fun of what you are doing (Most especially your close friends). Don’t accept condescension from people who “mean well” when they advise you to stop trying to sell your work. Just dream and write down your dreams. Live as though your dreams will come true and they most likely will! Think positive and please, please, I beg you . . . don’t give up on yourself.

Miscellaneous comments? : I want to thank Trace Edward Zaber for inviting me to this interview. He is an exceptionally talented young man and I wish for him the best life has to offer. I’m looking forward to seeing his name on a novel very soon, dastardly person that he is! (Editor’s Note: Hahahahaha!!!!)


Author Bibliography
The Keeper Of The Wind, the first novel in the nine-volume dark fantasy medieval romance series called The WindLegends Saga.

In The Wind’s Eye, a Civil War romance set in Savannah.

Nightwind, an erotic horror romance

Bloodwind, a sci-fi/futuristic romance




September, 1999


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