How many books have you written?
I have written eight novels ranging from southern gothic to topical thriller. Several more projects are in various planning stages, and I am currently writing a mystery thriller series in a similar vein to The Da Vinci Code or James Rollins' Sigma Series.
Have you been published?
My first published novel, A Day in Fall, was released on April 19th, 2022. It can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and directly via my website. Be on the lookout for more information via my Twitter account, @Charles_Harned
Do you have a literary agent?
While I have received interest, I do not currently have an agent. Acquiring a literary agent is all about finding the right match. It can be an exhausting and even disheartening process. All a writer can do is embrace the challenge. I'm certain the right agent is out there. When that day comes, we'll see what happens.
What is Life9 Enterprises?
I was 10 when I decided I was going to write. But that was never enough. Life9 Enterprises is a vertically integrated startup that I founded to have a hand in the creative process from start to finish. In the publishing world, the writer who usually forfeits control after they sell their work. Life9 is a solution, an IP company that aims to acquire the work of up and coming authors and hold the rights while adapting for other mediums (film etc.). Life9 is still in its infancy. With any luck it will do its part to shake up the entertainment industry for the better.
What is Super Dope Books?
Super Dope Books is an independent publisher working in conjunction with Life9 Enterprises. It aims to provide a fresh, modern perspective to every facet of the publishing industry.
What is the 1K project?
Serious authors understand that selling the first one thousand books is a monumental hurdle to overcome in order to be successful in this industry. I have never entertained fantasies of succeeding alone. The 1K project, simply put is a way to make investors and lifelong readers out of a core group of supporters. The first 1,000 people to purchase any of my books will be rewarded equal shares of 10% of my writing income, to be paid yearly. Consider this a sincere thank you from me to the first few who help support this crazy dream.
How many books do you intend to write?
That's a hard question to answer. As of writing this, I've penned eight manuscripts and have approximately forty more in the works.
Do you have plans for any nonfiction books?
Yes, that is something I would like to broach at some point. Research and broadening my knowledge are two of the most rewarding things about writing. I've had a book about (American) football on the backburner for years, along with a few other concepts I'm toying with.
What sets you apart from other writers?
The writing community is full of amazing people from a wide variety of backgrounds. There is no one blueprint for success, and I've found that every writer's journey is different. That being said, I consider my business background and my mindset two of my most valuable weapons. I am an entrepreneur trying to forge space in a crowded market. I immerse myself in every facet of the process, both on the creative and business side. At the end of the day I want to write books that are exciting and fun to read.
What do you stand for?
Never giving up is a lot easier said than done. There is a lot of rejection in this business, but that tends to be the case with any worthwhile objective. I'm all about embracing the grind. Being tough and doing whatever it takes to succeed. And always self-evaluating, studying, and searching for ways to improve.
What was the hardest part about this whole process?
If I knew what was truly involved when I set out to become a successful author, I'm not sure I could have gone through with it. There's a reason the way ahead is only lit a few steps at a time. This process has been total immersion, with help from a few great mentors, into an industry I knew virtually nothing about. Writing can be an arduous and humbling process. To me, the most challenging aspect is the enormity of the mountain that must be scaled, which is both part of the fun and part of the reason so many quit before reaching the summit. I try to take things one day at a time and stay positive.
Are you interested in screenwriting?
Absolutely. Studying the ideas and methods employed by screenwriters can offer authors enormous benefit. Because of time constraints involved with film and television, screenwriters have boiled storytelling down to a science. Good screenplays are concise, and every page and detail matters. Stay tuned.
How do you come up with new ideas?
It varies. Sometimes a "great" idea hits you while you're walking down the street. Oftentimes, researching or writing a manuscript will lead to ideas for other books. Like nearly everything, most of my ideas are inspired by experiences or things I've read about. Life really is the ultimate muse.
Are your books connected? are they all one series?
I have written standalone novels and others that belong to a series. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of a series full of memorable characters. Sometimes a standalone novel is linked to a series by something as subtle as a location, or two series are linked by a single character. When appropriate, characters may reference a character or event in another book. So, in a way, everything is tied together, just not always in the most obvious fashion.
What do you like to read? who are your favorite authors?
My taste in books is diverse. Mysteries, spy thrillers, true crime, upmarket and literary fiction, classics, nonfiction...the list continues to grow. Carlos Ruiz Zafon is my favorite author. Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon series is masterfully written and always compelling. I devour every new Dan Brown novel. Erik Larson and John Berendt are kings of narrative nonfiction that I thoroughly enjoy. I have to shout out The Night Circus and Prince of Tides, two novels I loved reading. And, of course, none of this would have been possible without Harry Potter.
Where can readers find your books?
Do you talk about uncompleted projects?
When my first novel, A Day in Fall, is launched it will be available directly from this site, Amazon, and everywhere else books are sold!
Yes, when the timing is right and when I'm far enough along that I can do the project justice. I know some authors believe speaking about unfinished work will jinx it or hurt their chances in the fickle publishing world. My books are my product and I want readers to be excited about what's coming. Keep up with my blog for information about new projects.
Any book tours planned?
That will ultimately be up to you, the reader. I'm eternally grateful for any and all support, and one day I will hopefully be able to reciprocate. Please don't hesitate to contact me via email or the contact form on this site.
How do you get an agent?
First, you will need a completed manuscript. Research word count recommendations for your genre. Jeff Herman's guide is a great resource for finding agents. Most require an emailed query letter, like a cover letter pitching your work and yourself, along with a synopsis and sample pages from the manuscript. Carefully research what each agent is looking for, and stay positive!
Should you self publish? How does one obtain a publisher?
Self-publishing is quickly becoming a legitimate way for authors to make money selling their books while staying in control. Like everything, there are advantages and drawbacks to self-publishing. For authors more inclined to the business-oriented side of marketing and promoting a book, it can be a rewarding process. If you are committed to going this route, content and copy-editing are highly recommended, as is hiring a graphic designer for your cover art.
If you are not interested in self-publishing, there are hundreds of indie publishers out there that accept author submissions. To reach the big five publishers and their imprints, you will need a literary agent. Each of these routes to publication can be successful. Decide what is right for you and embrace it.