It’s my honor to introduce you to Charlotte English, author of Miss Landon and Aubranael, an utterly delightful faery story set in England’s Regency period.
Tell us about yourself, Charlotte 😀
Where do you live and what is your writing space like?
I live in a Dutch town not far from Amsterdam. I am lucky enough to have a home office, a space I like to decorate with many fairytale and fantasy things to boost my inspiration. My brain being particularly fond of colour, I like to make it bright and shiny, too.
Why do you write?
I write because the world needs stories. I write fantasy because the world needs more magic. Life is universally difficult, and if my tales can bring people a little escapism, a little peace and more than a little happiness, then what else could I possibly choose to do with my time? It doesn’t hurt that writing them in the first place brings me all three!
When did you start writing?
I remember writing complete short stories as early as age eleven (not that they were any good… but I had fun). I began writing more consistently in my late teens, and haven’t really stopped since.
What genre(s) do you write?
I write fantasy at the moment, albeit rather varied stories within it. I favour the fairytale, but I like to bring in elements of history and mystery as well – and my tales run the gamut from bright and happy through to creepy dark fantasy. I have plans to write historical fiction and classic mysteries at some point in the future, though I haven’t got there yet.
Tell us about the book you have in this bundle. How did it come to be?
Miss Landon and Aubranael is a special book for me, since I wrote it at a bad time. I don’t always enjoy the soundest mental health, and a few years ago I was going through a dark phase. I knew that if I expected to get any books done that year at all, I’d need to come up with the brightest, most colourful book I could think of – something built from all my favourite things, practically guaranteed to make me happy. So I brought in my beloved fairytale creatures and tales, mixed it up with my favourite period of history (Regency), set it in my home county (Lincolnshire), and liberally sprinkled it with magic and sparkle and… I had a blast. It’s still one of my best-loved of my own books.
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
Just write. More complicated than it sounds, for it’s easy to cripple ourselves worrying about all the things – is this the best idea I could come up with? Am I skilled enough right now to pull this off? What if it’s rubbish? What if I can’t finish it? What if it isn’t good enough? And so on. Sweeping all of that aside and just getting the words down as they come is the only way to keep going.
Are you a planner, or do you write into the dark? Do you write fast or slow?
I love to write into the dark, because that way it’s an adventure for me as well – I get to find out how it ends! And I find that ideas flow better for me when I’m in the middle of writing. I never was any good at coming up with a plan stone cold, or sticking to it afterwards. I’m a fast writer, I suppose? At the moment I’m ploughing more time and energy into writing than ever, and producing several books a year.
Tell us about your most recent book.
My latest book is my first contemporary fantasy project, set in Britain. It’s about a secret society whose mission is to keep old magick alive in the modern world, which isn’t easy – and to save what’s left of a magickal heritage that’s rapidly disappearing. I’m publishing it in serial form online, as well as in ebooks as usual. It can be found on its own site here: http://www.modernmagick.net/
What are you currently working on?
I’m finishing up another fairytale-style book called Gloaming, which will be the second book in a new collection (the first being Faerie Fruit, which came out last year). It’s probably my most magical book yet, and also my most chaotic…
Thank you, Charlotte! It’s been a delight to learn more about you.