Ask Charles
December
20

‘Ask Charles’ No. 3

by
Charles Martin

Q: What process do you take to come up with the right name for your characters?

Good question.  I’m not sure I have a process for naming characters.  I’m always paying attention to people’s names.  Especially when signing books.  I can usually pick up a few while on tour.  More than anything, I listen to what a name sounds like.  And sometimes how it’s spelled.  But, I don’t really have a hard and fast process.  It’s sort of stumbling in the dark sort of thing.  Its not unheard of for me to get to the end of a book, turn around and completely rename a character.

Q: Charles, what/who do YOU read when you’re in the mood for a good fiction book?

Anything Vince Flynn.  I’m a pretty big Grisham fan.  The Testament may be my favorite.  Or, A Time to Kill.  Although the first chapter is Testament may be my favorite all time first chapter ever.  Wish I’d written it.  Clive Cussler takes me places I like to go.  Stephen Hunter is another.  Conroy, of course.  For the most part, I read non-fiction.  Krakauer.  Powers.  Ambrose.  Sides.  I can’t explain that, I just do.  Right now, I’m reading The Hobbit to the boys.  I read it when I was twelve.  Quickly followed by The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King.  I remember reading the Two Towers in a day and a half – which was unheard of for me.  Still is.  I fell in love with Tolkien and middle earth long before Jackson put it on screen. (And he did an awesome job in my opinion.  Can’t wait to see The Hobbit.)  Anyway, they love it.  Mesmerized.  A lot of fun for me.  Sometimes, I’ll go back and read Louis Lamour novels that I’ve read a few times.  I love a good western.  My favorite book is Robinson Crusoe.  Followed closely by Huck Finn.  My favorite writer is King David – he says what my heart needs to hear…and say.

Q: How long did you research locations when writing “When Crickets Cry”?

About a year. Maybe 18 months if you include the writing.

Q: Do you still live in Jacksonville, Florida and are you a native Floridian?

Yes.  Born and raised.  Still here.  I’m a 4th generation Jacksonvillian.

Q: What book that you have written has touched you the most?

It surprises folks when I say this but I cried when writing all of them. I know, I know…  But, I did.  If I don’t experience it emotionally, why in the world should you?  If it doesn’t touch me, how will it ever touch you?  I don’t pick one book as touching me the most, but there are scenes in each that get to me.  You can probably guess them.  Same ones that get to you I suppose.

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