Despite growing up in a small town, I always knew I was destined for bigger things. At age eighteen, I enlisted in the US Navy, a move that allowed me to see the world and explore my passion for life. After 6 years and an honorable discharge, I settled into civilian life, earning my Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and an MBA in Technology Management.
Always eager to challenge myself with new and different roles, I took on the role of “Author,” writing my debut novel among the roles of full-time engineer, local business owner, and family man. But, I have no plans to stop there!
I am an avid outdoorsman, enjoy camping, hiking, snowboarding, shooting, and fishing, making the Land of Enchantment an ideal place to call home.
I look forward to sharing my novel and experiences with all of you!
Charles’ latest book is the drama/suspense, The Jungle Within.
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About the Book:
When Evan and Katie said “I do”, they expected to navigate life together side-by-side. But when a car accident and a tawdry affair disrupt life as they know it, Evan and Katie are forced to venture on alternate paths, alone. In the darkest depths of an unforgiving coma, Evan fights to survive the treacherous jungle of his mind. He embarks on a spiritual journey to understand the meaning of life and the beauty of death…forcing him to face his deepest fear. Meanwhile, Katie ventures through her own guilt. On a strenuous moral journey, she juggles the consequences of infidelity and the strain of caring for her unresponsive husband. But are their paths truly separate? Or are they simply on parallel journeys that are destined to converge?
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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life! Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process. Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning? Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?
Thank you for having me on here. It’s an honor and a pleasure. I read an article once that said nearly 80% of the population had a novel in them. Maybe even a best-seller! Can you imagine that? Well, I was a part of that 80%. I always had a knack for putting words together in elegant ways that described normal, everyday things in life. I got the idea for The Jungle Within by taking one idea and asking questions about it. What happens when someone is in a coma? That’s how the story started and it grew out like a flower from there. The thing about being the author is you control where the story goes. I hear people get angry about the ending of a movie or book but when you’re the author, you choose what happens.
Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?
I think writing any good book is difficult. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. But it if I could pass on one tip it would be this: Write. Write every single day and then write some more after that. The Jungle Within took me five months to write. And keep in mind I have a full time job, a side business, and three young kids. So really there is no excuse. If you want it bad enough, you have to go get it. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it. Just like most things in life.
Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?
I chose the self-publishing route. I did this because I wanted my book out there. I spent a lot of time on it and I was proud. Another reason I chose self-publishing was because I can always send my finished book to publishing houses after I release it. This gives them a sense of my finished work and I can also send them my work on my upcoming book. For me it was win-win.
Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?
I was surprised by the amount of competition. Once Amazon made self-publishing as easy as they did, they opened the flood gates. And that’s a good thing. But, they also gave self-publishers a bad reputation in that some of the products coming out were terrible. Now most book stores rarely accept self-published books. And I don’t necessarily blame them. But most of the time the cream rises to the top. And if you have a good book, like The Jungle Within, you have to shout it from the rooftops and never give up. You never know what producer or famous person is going to pick it up. When I travel for work I like to leave business cards that I had made up for The Jungle Within in the seatback of the airplane. I’ll put the book out there and let fate do the rest.
Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?
I’m working on two other books right now. One is called Letter From a Ghost. I got about four chapters into it and shelved it to work on my current project, The Light In Her Life. I will get back around to it after this one. The Light In Her Life is about a woman named Iris that gets struck by lightning one evening. After the strike she quickly begins having visions of the future. Visions that start coming true…
Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?
I don’t really spend a lot of time online, but when I do it’s usually on Twitter or Facebook for the purpose of promoting my book. It’s pretty much a standard these days if you want to reach people. I also don’t watch a lot of television. You wouldn’t believe the things you are able to do if you don’t watch TV. And guess what? You’re not really missing anything. I know I’m in the minority on this one, but it’s true. And I’m not even that old! Just thirty-seven.
Q: What’s your nightly ritual before retiring for the night?
I usually hit the bed around 9pm at night. Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. That’s what the internet says so it must be true! Jokes aside, I like to write and have a glass of wine before I head off to bed. Writing is one of the oldest forms of therapy. It gets all the clutter from the day out of your head. Sometimes during the day I’ll come up with a cool idea for my books and the evening gives me the chance to get on paper…I mean computer screen.
Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?
The Jungle Within is really a story within the story. The main character, Evan, ends up in a coma and wakes up in his mind. In there he deals with who he really is. Which is the ego. He meets a few other characters in there that explain to him the meaning of life and existence. It’s a really deep book that goes beyond the storyline. Needless to say, he comes out a changed man. As do those that read it!
Q: Thank you again for this interview! Do you have any final words?
There are lot of good books out there and there are a lot of bad books out there. The Jungle Within is on the good side. I would say go look at some of the reviews and see for yourself. People are loving it and they are reading it more than once. That right there is the trademark of a good novel. Give it a shot folks. I say this: If you purchase and read my book and are unsatisfied because you felt nothing or just plain didn’t like it, I will refund your money 100%. How many authors do that? You can reach me through my website at www.charlesmbooks.com. Thank you!