Today I'm excited to have C.D. Gallant-King on the blog to talk about his latest book, Psycho hose beast from outer space. I've already gotten to read it and it was sooooo good. In fact, I have yet to read something by C.D. that I haven't liked.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I think I was about five when I asked my baby-sitter to look up how to spell “extra-terrestrial” in the dictionary because it was very important I put it in my story. The first story I know I wrote, remember and still have is actually in French. I wrote it when I was about eight years old. It’s called “Bras d’or” (which means “Golden Arm”) and it’s about an elf archer who has to defend his village from a giant blue ogre. Like, really giant, like Godzilla-sized. It’s completely illustrated in all my third-grade glory, and the monster is so big I think you only ever see his feet. The archer eventually has to defeat it by luring it into a volcano.
I don’t remember why he was called “Bras d’or.” I remember he used a golden arrow, but that has nothing to do with the colour of his arm.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Depends on what you mean by “write a book.” Also, do you mean currently, or under the best circumstances?
Years ago, before I was married and had kids, I wrote incredibly fast. I still do, I just don’t always have the time to sit down and do it anymore. I’ve written 50,000 word first-drafts in under three weeks. The first draft of Ten Thousand Days took three days. That sounds pretty good, except remember those are first drafts - they were rough and needed a lot of work. I have a bunch of “first draft” books in The Closet that need a major polish and overhaul, so I wouldn’t call those books finished by any means.
Hell Comes to Hogtown took about 5 months for the first draft, and it took close to a year to revise and edit it to get it where it needed to be. Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space took about 4 months for the first draft, and then six more to revise and edit (then I added another 3 months pre-order where I continued to fiddle with it a bit, but I could have released it sooner). So I am getting faster.
We won’t talk about the 4-year period that came between Hogtown and Hose Beast, though.
What drew you to write in the comic horror/fantasy genre?
I like fantasy and sci-fi because I don’t have to do as much research. I can make shit up and just say “That’s the way it is.” Unfortunately I actually did have to do more research for Psycho Hose Beast than I have previously, which is super weird since it’s set in a small town very much like my own home town, in a period that I actually grew up in. I just wanted to make sure the stuff I remembered was actually accurate - what date did that movie come out again? What were popular TV shows in 1992? - that sort of thing. I appreciate my memories of being 12-years old may not be 100% accurate. This was especially true about the music. When I was 12-13, I did not listen to the music that was popular at the time (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, etc). I was listening to my parents old records from the 60s and 70s - The Beatles, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, that sort of thing - so I really had to go back and remind myself of what most kids were listening to.
I still like not being bound by rules however, and I want to be able to say “This guy’s a werewolf from another planet” and be able to get away with it.
As for the comedy part, that’s just where my brain goes. I often try to find the humour to deal with everyday situations as it is, but in a horror or fantasy situation, my comedic imagination goes into overdrive. Fantasy and horror are inherently ridiculous. Even with something as dark and gritty as A Game of Thrones, you have people riding around on giant flying lizards, and rapists building a wall of snow to keep out frozen zombies. We can choose to suspend our disbelief to take it seriously so we don’t feel so silly, but the material is undeniably silly. You can’t deny it, but that’s perfectly okay. I love those sorts of stories, as well as Star Wars and Harry Potter and Child’s Play and The Hobbit (the book, not the movies) and lots of other ridiculous premises. But when I present it in my own works, I just embrace the humour a little more and let it be as off the wall as it wants to be.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Impatience and self-respect. I don’t want to spend a year querying authors and agents for what will probably amount to nothing. I tried it in my youth when I had time to mess around with it and it’s frustrating and demoralizing. Now, with a full-time job and a wife and kids and a million other responsibilities, I don’t have time to grovel and beg trying to get someone’s approval as a writer. I’m not looking for their validation. If I feel that I’m improving at writing, and people enjoy my book, that’s all I’m looking for right now. Getting an agent or a publishing contract is no guarantee of fame or money anyway (today more than ever). I can publish a book myself and get the same non-guarantee.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Oh my god, I could write a book. But I assume you mean writing-related advice?
I would tell myself to be more aggressive with getting my work out there. I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, but there was a period back in my early twenties when I tried submitting a novel to agents and publishers, and stories to magazines. I got a few rejections and I kinda gave up - not writing, I always continued writing, but I didn’t submit anything anymore. Self-publishing wasn’t a thing back then (at least not with the ease we have it today) so that wasn’t really an option. I just put my writing “career” on the backburner, until I self-published my first novel on my thirty-fifth birthday.
I wish I had kept at it harder when I was younger. Maybe I would have sold a novel, or at least a few stories. It would have certainly improved my writing, had I been forced to edit and revise with every submission. Maybe I would have gotten in on the ground floor of the self-publishing craze. Who knows? All I know is that I started out at the bottom much later than I needed to.
What do your fans mean to you?
I can haz fans?
Honestly, I’m happy whenever someone just reads one of my books. If they actually claim they enjoy it, well, that’s like winning the lottery on Christmas morning. Seriously, my bar is set so low that any amount of affirmation sends me through the roof.
Honestly, though, I do have a handful of people that have picked up and genuinely seemed to enjoy my work, and ask when the next one is coming out. I don’t even mean my parents - my mom always asks is it really necessary to have so much swearing. The fact that there is anyone out there who digs my stuff is what keeps me going. I can write all day and night, but if no one wants to read it what’s the point of sharing it with others? As long as there’s at least a couple of people out there who like my work proves writing is not a complete waste of time.
Gale Harbour hasn’t seen any excitement since the military abandoned the base there thirty years ago, unless you count the Tuesday night 2-for-1 video rentals at Jerry's Video Shack. So when a dead body turns up floating in the town water supply, all evidence seems to point to a boring accident.
Niall, Pius and Harper are dealing with pre-teen awkwardness in the last days of summer before the start of high school. The same night the body is found, the three of them witness unusual lights in the sky over the bay.
Is it a coincidence? Are the lights connected to the rapidly-increasing string of mysterious deaths? And what does the creepy old lady at the nursing home have to do with it?
There is an evil older than time hidden deep beneath the waters of the North Atlantic. It is hungry, and vengeful, and it has its sights set on Gale Harbour to begin its path of destruction. All that stands in its way are a group of kids who would rather be playing Street Fighter II...
AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/Psycho-Beast-Outer-Space-Harbour-ebook/dp/B08BY2XGBC
About the author
C.D. has previously published two novels, and a third book, PSYCHO HOSE BEAST FROM OUTER SPACE, is set to be released September 28. His book HELL COMES TO HOGTOWN was a semi-finalist in Mark Lawrence’s 2018 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. His work has also appeared four times in Mystery & Horror's STRANGELY FUNNY anthologies of comic horror stories, an upcoming issue of The Weird and Whatnot magazine, and in two anthologies from Dancing Lemur Press.