Q: Today we’re being joined by Carl R. Jennings! I’d like to kick things off, if possible, with you sharing a little bit about yourself and what types of stories you enjoy writing as well as which genres you write in?
A: A little bit about me is that “I live–“. A little more about me is that I live in southwest Virginia and do my best to juggle more projects than I should be doing. I’m sure that’s pretty box standard for people who are into the self-abuse of taking up the pen. As far as stories go I usually write things I can slip comedy into. I’ve written a few straightforward things but usually I like to make a laugh out of a genre rather than whatever it is intended to be.
Q: I’d love to share a bit about your most recent work if you could let my readers know about it?
A: I’ve got a sequel to the first book in the urban fantasy Parabeing series coming out “soon” called “Fish Bones and Waffle Cones”. It follows the further adventures and drama of Mister Posted, the avatar of famine who does everything that’s the opposite of famine, and Sharon, the brain freeze goddess, who has now found someone quite like her. Except that maybe she hasn’t found someone as much like her as she would like. Coming out on September 1 of this year is “Just About Anyone” which is a high fantasy comedy all about the process of kingmaking in the Kingdom of Ugh. I also have a Patreon where my patrons decide the direction and elements of a novellette I write for them, sort of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book but even more involvement. And, if that wasn’t enough, I’m a regular contributing reviewer/critic for Phantasmagoria Magazine.
Q: You’ve had a slew of short stories published over the years. If you could let me know which of your works that your most proud of and where we can read it?
A: I have two: the first is a science fiction comedy about protesting and bureaucracy in the vein of Douglas Adams called “Probably Because of Quantum” and a silly noir about a private detective turned restaurant owner called “The Perfect Hamburger”. Both are available on Amazon in anthologies from Phantasmagoria Magazine.
Q: Where were you born (and/or are you from) and how has that affected your writing?
A: I was born in a hospital which probably contributes to my wry, humerous grim nature. More specifically I’m from southwest Virginia which probably has little contribution to my writing aside from not having as many literary industry contacts that I would have if born in a more metropolitan place.
Q: If you could either co-write a piece of fiction with any other author and/or have dinner with any author, who would it be and why?
A: I’d probably say I’d like to co-write something with T. Kingfisher who wrote “A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking” because I feel that we have rather complimentary styles and I admire their work. I’d like to have dinner with Yatzhee Crowshaw who wrote (among other things) “Will Save the Galaxy for Food”. He’s one of the few writers I know of in the field humerous science fiction and, if he wasn’t so socially awkward, I think we’d have much to talk about.
Q: Do you have any characters who you have previously written that you plan on returning to? If so, who is it and why?
A: I’m continuing the story of Mister Posted and Sharon in the Parabeing series because I spent quite some time coming up with them. If I have to have them in my head then so does everyone else to.
Q: What is your favorite genre to read and do you have a book or an author you insist that everyone has to check out?
A: I’m a sucker for either science fiction that makes me laugh or clever fantasy. I’d like to see more people reading T. Kingfisher who writes some clever as heck fantasy.
Q: If you were to ever found a cult, what would be your guiding principle for your disciples?
A: 1.) “Leave Carl the hell alone while he’s writing so he can actually get things done.”
2.) “Advertise at every available opportunity.”
Q: What gets you in the mindset to write?
A: The empty pages which represent my promises to provide books, contractual or otherwise.
Q: Do you have any favorite resources online that you’d like to suggest to budding authors out there?
A: It really depends on the genre but if you’re going for horror then the Horror Tree is an excellent resource for, well, horror writing. Mainly I want everyone to continually increase their craft, which can be daunting. Spending some time searching for essays on the writing process is a good use of time. YouTube has plenty of good essayists that one can listen to while doing something else. Also the book I recommend is John Truby’s “The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller”. I have a copy and it is falling apart for as much I reference it.
Finally, if there is anything else you would love to share with our readers, please do so here!