Brain to Books Blog Tour
Author: Charles McGarry
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi/Fantasy blends, and some inspirational.
Book: Dragon Shorts: A Collection Of Outlandish Tales
Charles McGarry is an author, a blogger, and a truly unique individual. A self-proclaimed free thinker who loves to think deeply about many issues, Charles is constantly immersed in questions about reality. He is married to the love of his life, has two amazing children, and a rather eccentric cat. He was raised on a small hay farm in southern Utah. As an only child, his home terrain gave a perfect backdrop to explore his active imagination. A very eclectic
individual, Charles enjoy all kinds of different movies and music and is a huge bookworm, of course. His genres of choice are inspirational non-fiction and Fantasy, and he is a huge fan of authors like Terry Brooks, JRR Tolkien, and Christopher Paolini, Rob Bell, and CS Lewis. Charles is enamored with ancient world history, especially Egyptology, and also likes to play video games. He is also a proud health nut, and a huge fan of yoga and meditation for releasing stress. Charles writes books within the broad Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre, as well as some inspirational material, and is defined by his unconventional nature, If asked about his claim to fame, he would answer “I have a thing for dragons.”
Charles works full time as an auto and property insurance agent. He is also a Reiki Master (energy healing).
Within these pages you will find a variety of different stories to satisfy your inner dragon. It is chock full of magic, strange worlds, fantastic creatures (including dragons of course), and numerous other little oddities that are sure to keep you entertained. So, relax with your favorite dragon and be transported. Journey to the realm of Cartissia where a young ruler must face a despicable evil, and unleash the power within him to stop it. Enter the parlor of an arcane tattoo artist who can alter the fabric of his patron’s lives. Join a young water mage and her symbiote as they are forced to deal with an elemental corruption that threatens their world. Follow a consignment store employee in unusual adventures via a magical and mysterious cloak. These and many other worlds and adventures await you, and are sure to provide you with countless hours of reading entertainment.
“This is a fantastic collection of short stories – fantastic in several senses of the word. Its other-worldly, slightly surreal feel evokes old fashioned fairy tales, whilst the vein of quirky humour that runs through it has echoes of Terry Pratchett.
The stories have an ethereal feel to them – like worlds contained in soap bubbles, that sparkle and float and carry the reader away and then burst prettily, leaving one wondering, somehow, what they were all about – but with a sense of having experienced something indefinably good. There seems to be no agenda with any of McGarry’s stories, which makes for a gentle and pleasantly escapist reading experience, but metaphors and lessons lurk within them nevertheless. “Benders of Light”, with its introvert but philanthropic main character and “Hyppochryn”, in which humans discover more within them than they had previously realised, were two of my personal favourites. An extraordinary book that will take you to places usually reserved for dreams.” RCM
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Interview with Charles McGarry
Angela B. Chrysler: I want to take a moment to welcome Charles McGarry
author of Dragon Shorts: A Collection of Outlandish Tales available on
Amazon at http://bit.ly/1DrgShr
Thank you so much for speaking with me, Charles. Please take a moment to
tell us about your book. In 25 words or less, what is Dragon Shorts about?
Charles: It is a collection of short stories that are chock full of magic,
strange worlds, mystical charm, and fantastic creatures (including dragons
ABC: How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Charles: Well, interestingly enough, most of the stories in the book were
just ideas that began flooding my mind, while a few were based on dreams
that I had. I was working on an epic fantasy novel that I have been chewing
on for a while, and the ideas just gradually started coming. They weren’t
ideas that warranted epic treatment, but they were fascinating in their own
right, and I just had to explore them. The result of that exploration is Dragon
ABC: How invested do you become in your characters?
Charles: My characters are an extension of me in so many ways. I don’t
see how an author can not be invested in their characters in some way. I
empathize deeply with many of my characters.
ABC: Stories always require some form of research. What kind of research
did you do for your book?
Charles: I am a linguist. I studied Greek in graduate school, and am fascinated
with the phonetics of language. Some of my tales involve incantations,
or foreign languages. Most of what I researched was words. I wanted
the phonetics of spells to be believable. I also wanted to use actual language
in an appropriate way. For instance, one of my stories involves a
phrase in Latin. I have no knowledge of Latin per say, so I had to figure out
how a character would speak it. I also had to do a fair amount of research
on Egypt for that same story. Other than than I didn’t do much research.
With fantasy, so much is rooted in imagination that research is not as heavily
needed as it would be for a non-fiction or historical fiction work.
ABC: Which scene or story was the hardest for you to write?
Charles: The reluctant alchemist was maybe the hardest for me to write.
Specifically, there were travel scenes where the characters were getting to
know each other, and it was very difficult to formulate an appropriate pace.
It was also hard to avoid having it be dialogue heavy. My editor was a
tremendous help with that.
ABC: Please describe your favorite scene or chapter in your book and tell
us why it’s your favorite?
Charles: This is a tough one, but I think I can narrow it down. My favorite
story is the Inkmaster. There is a scene in the story where one of his patrons,
and older gentleman, ends up being an extremely formidable soul. So
great is the impact on my character, that it impacts him on several levels.
That, I think, serves as my favorite scene.
ABC: Which of your characters, do you relate to the most (or) who is your
favorite character and why?
Charles: I relate most closely to Trant Aerstwind, the Sunwielder. He lost
his father at 16 the same as I did, and it forced him to grow up extremely
fast. The same was true of me. He overcomes a lot of adversity as a result.
ABC: Have any of your characters started out in the background and then
become central to the story?
Charles: Yes, actually. When I set out to write The Undoing, I had a group of six
High Elders who presided over the magic users in the story. One of the elders featured
very prominently in the story from the outset. One of the others, however,
became much more crucial than I had ever intended him to be. It only made
sense as I progressed in the story, and then I went back and rewrote the sequence
to fit the new role. I can’t say without giving too much away, but you will notice
him, because he starts out as a more subtle role.d
ABC: I once read that every author is simply a compilation of his/her favorite
authors. Which authors have done the most to influence your writing
Charles: Ah, so many. Well, Tolkien goes without saying. I am also a huge
fan of Terry Brooks. He is seriously my absolute favorite author, and the
world of Shannara has definitely inspired my love for fantasy and the power
of my imagination to be able to create my own worlds. I am indebted to
Joseph Campbell for my understanding of the elements of myth, and how
they play into the human story. One of my dear friends compared my written
humor to Terry Pratchett, though I have yet to read his books.
ABC: What are your long term goals for your writing?
Charles: I hope to publish at least one book a year, and make a good second
income from my writing. My long term goal of course is to become a
famous author. But, even if I didn’t, I would still write for the pure joy it
ABC: What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Charles: Write what you want to and what interests you. Don’t just write what
you think others will like. If you don’t like your own writing, it will usually show
in what you put out. I want to write a book that I would also sit and read. Don’t be
afraid to be yourself. Authenticity is essential as a writer. For me, I had to keep
reminding myself that only I can write my stories. If I don’t write then I am
cheating readers out of a really great story. The biggest thing I ever did for myself
was tell people, all the time that I’m an author. Not an “aspiring” author, but a
real author. That forced me to live up to the reputation I made for myself LOL.
ABC: “Story” has always been the center of all human cultures. We need it.
We seek it out. We invent it. What does “story” mean to you?
Charles: The story of your life is who you are. You may sing it, talk about it
in front of a crowd, infuse it into a painting, or spill it onto a page in the
form of prose, poetry, or fantasy. The form is not what’s important, it’s the
imprint of your life that cries out for other people to know and experience
you that matters most. My experience will not be yours, nor yours mine, but
we can get a glimpse at those experiences through the story.
ABC: Tells us about your next project.
Charles: I have two actually. The first is one I have been working on fleshing
out for a while. It is called Skyrge, and one of the stories in Dragon
Shorts, Dragon Fall, is a prequel of sorts. The other is called The Nomad’s
Blade, and revolves around an assassin imbued with powerful magic.
ABC: Where can we find you and your book?
Charles: You can find me at my website, www.eccentrycdragon.com, and
you can find my book on amazon.com here – http://bit.ly/1DrgShr
ABC: Thank you again, so much for speaking with me.
Charles: My pleasure. You have been an amazing host!