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Friday, April 5, 2013

Interview with Charlotte

Under the Toronto Sun started out as yet another local blog to inform, to celebrate and occasionally vent.  Over the years, the reading audience grew and the blog is now read over the whole world.

Today I’m doing something different … I’m going to interview Charlotte Howard.  Charlotte recently published her first book “Seven Dirty Words” with Rocking Horse Publishing and she seems like such an interesting lady, I had to introduce her and her work to you.

Hi Charlotte, tell us a little about yourself. 

Where were you born, where did you grow up, where do you live now, that kind of info.

My Dad worked on oil rigs, so we traveled a fair bit when I was younger.  I was born in Oman, then we moved to Scotland, and eventually to England.  I grew up on the Nottingham / Lincoln border (home of Robin Hood!)from the age of 12 onwards.  Once I hit 18 I started moving around again.  I moved to Somerset to be with my (now) husband, and we lived in Jersey, Channel Islands for a couple of years, but now we’re back in Somerset.  Lots of moving around.  I get itchy feet after about 3 years, so am ready for a move now!

You recently published “Seven Dirty Words” what prompted you to write this book?

I’ve always been interested in crime / mystery novels, but after seeing it go viral, I read the Fifty Shades trilogy.  A couple of my family and friends asked if I’d tried writing romance.  I hadn’t but thought I’d give it a go.  I wrote one (which was rejected by lots of agents) and while I was waiting for that to find a home, I wrote Seven Dirty Words.

How do you find the time to write?

I keep asking if anyone has a few spare hours they could lend me, because to be honest – I don’t know.  I have two young children, and I help out with a couple of after-school clubs.  I tend to write on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays between 10 and 2 since that’s when I have the house completely to myself.

Some people write with pen and paper and type up their notes, others use a computer.  What do you use?

Computer.  But I also have a notepad in my handbag at all times, several jotters scattered around the house, my mobile phone and a tablet.  I probably look like a complete loony walking the dog, talking into my mobile phone to record any thoughts / notes I come up with!  Once a manuscript is finished, I print it out and get a red pen to edit, before moving back to the PC / laptop to finish it.

What do you do to bring “Seven Dirty Words” to the attention of the public?

I have several online accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Blog ( and my website ( I think a lot of it has been done word-of-mouth though.  I had a phone call from a local radio station to do an interview after they’d seen a piece about me in the paper, and a few members of the writers group I go to have spread the word for me too.

What advice would you give about writing and marketing?

Keep a copy of the book in your bag at all times.  I managed to sell a copy at my sister’s baby shower after I got it out and used it to lean on when writing.  I gave copies away to my friends and family too – one is currently in my husband’s office, one is in a caravan club in Scotland, and there are several more dotted around the country, hopefully getting some attention!  Recently, I donated a signed copy to my local library as well.
I’ve also got a collection of postcards with all the details on that live in my handbag to give out to anyone, like booksellers, that I meet.
And, I keep an eye out for anyone who offers to review the book (for free – I wouldn’t pay for reviews), or blog tour requests.

Anything in the works now?

At the moment I’m finishing Four Letter Words, the sequel to Seven Dirty Words.  I have several more plots and storylines jotted down, and have considered trying my hand at crime-romance and paranormal-romance.

Thank you Charlotte.  Best of luck with “Seven Dirty Words” and any future works.

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