Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to one of my favorite authors, NB Charles. For those who may not know, NB is not only a writing friend of mine, but he is also the master architect behind the Immortals’ Universe. His writing is sinfully addictive. But NB remains an absolute mystery. And so I decided to grab my trusty ice pick and dig deep inside the mind of this enigmatic personality. So NB, you carry this dark and mysterious presence on social networking sites and your website. Tell us something about yourself outside of your posted bios. What do you like to do when not writing?
Well, my brain has an irritating need to keep busy. I’m always doing something, be it learning a new language, studying, dissimilating and challenging historical philosophy or generally jumping head first into anything that catches my fantasy. I won’t even go into my Kinbaku-bi, Sundance film and North Western crocheting phase. When I’m not writing I’m reading or doing some amateur chemistry or physics experiment. Other than that it’s herbology and alternative sciences. I’m more than, a bit of a hippie-geek.
*picks jaw up off the floor* Um. Wow, I uh, don’t suppose you have days where you just veg out with a bag of Doritos and an afternoon of Lifetime Movie Network then. *jots note to Google Kinbaku-bi* Ok, next question. You’ve constructed this alternate realm, teeming with supes: demons, vampires, werewolves, dragons. Give us a brief tour of the Immortals’ Universe.
Brief tour!!! Okay, right… it’s not like I don’t like a challenge. Basically the thing to keep in mind is that the Immortals Universe is our own except history is told through the eyes of the supernatural creatures that inhabit it. Think about all the myths and fantasy stories you’ve ever read without any shading or dilution from any of the world’s major religions and the overtly skeptical. It’s Grimm’s fairytales absent the child friendly view. But most importantly, it’s about women. Who they were - are… The power they held and still possess today, even though popular thought likes to marginalize it. Imagine the fearsome goddesses who ruled over life and death, commanded creation itself, now, stuck here, in our time, with only a half-hearted oath to keep their majesty in check. Those goddesses, working a nine to five, are putting up with dating in a climate whereby if you’re not Kate Moss, with an I.Q. of 1 you’re ugly. They must resist smiting cheating men, who couldn’t fight a war, hunt wild beast in the woods, build you a temple made of gold and be home in time to make the kind of loving you damn well deserve, on cue. They balance the lousy paycheck you get at the end of the month whilst smiling at the idiot boss man who knows not nearly enough to qualify him to eat with a spoon. So essentially, supernatural creatures, living under human law and societal restraints, is going to cause very big problems. This is the Immortals’ Universe.
*daydreams of the faithful, sweaty warrior coming home after a hard day of building my gold temple, carrying a wild beast over his shoulder as he bursts through the door to…* Oh. Sorry, NB. I um. *shifts in chair* So what inspired you to write The Darkest Kiss Series?
Short answer, an overactive imagination. Longer answer, the idea came to me whilst watching the tragic destruction of three couples who couldn’t manage life’s challenges and still keep love alive. They were great people at the mercy of metaphorical vampires, savage beasts and walking serpents, not to mention the demons inside them nipping away. The Darkest Kiss Series is literally a Girl’s Guide to navigating life’s trials, except that it treats the metaphorical as literal.
I believe part of the art in writing is the quiet observation and the ability to turn those brief snapshots of life into an entire story. What was the most challenging part of writing this series?
The events in the series aren’t consecutive. Some of the different stories take place during the same time in a few of the books, only at different places. The secondary plot however is sequential. Keeping track of everything as it interlaces demands a good memory. I can’t even remember what the first question in this interview was.
Uh *quickly scrolls to top of page to check* yeah, I know what you mean about keeping it all straight, I have trouble with that too. Carmella, Rowland and Sebastian are the main characters in the first book of the series, titled Tender Kiss. Who was your favorite to write and why? Are your characters ever based on someone you know?
Carmella, Rowland and Sebastian are the main characters and each of them has an aspect in their personalities that I love to play with. My favorite, if I had to choose, would have to be Carmella. She’s this almighty vampyre queen who’s about to lose everything because she trusted her heart to the wrong guy. Who hasn’t been there? However, the real problem emerges as destiny seems to be forcing her to trust in another fella. Some scars run too deep and even if they can someday heal, why should this independent, powerful woman rely on another to save her from the proverbial dragon? Unfortunately, whether you’re supernatural or not, life works in such a way that you’ll always need some help at some time. Carmella has to balance what her mind tells her against what her heart needs. Even for a virtual goddess, that isn’t easy. It’s her eventual answer that made me fall in love with her.
All my characters are based on people I know actually, but are a bit more honest about them than they are about themselves.
Oh man. I’m dying to know who the real Carmella is in your life. She must be one kick ass woman because this is a character J'adore as well. You have a knack for creating these delicious male MC’s that women could just devour **cough** Rowland. What ingredients go in to a sexy alpha?
It’s strange; these guys are basically your everyday average Joe, if he was completely true to who he was, with himself and everyone. It just happens that average isn’t average at all. When your own brand of uniqueness shines at the fore, with the confidence it deserves, I guess it’s just darn sexy.
So my list of ingredients are:
Mix who you are with who you can be. Add an ounce of spirit and a dash of determination, then abaracadabara- sex on a stick. Corny but true.
Damn. Do you mind if I write this on my bathroom mirror? Not corny. You’re absolutely right. Confidence in who you are and what you can achieve is sexy as hell. What is your writing routine? Do you listen to music? If so, what kind of music?
I have no set in stone routine. I usually just write until exhaustion, and then break off to continue life. Whilst I wait for the next bolt of inspiration to strike, I think through the story and characters, even take them off script if I have to just to see them squirm. It’s during my thinking time that I’ll listen to music, anything that my iPod lands on, (it’s usually French contemporary). When I’m writing, I prefer silence and solitude. The images and voices in my head are more than enough company.
Hahaha, true, though I think a sultry voice, like Lana del Rey, can sort of anesthetize those voices a little so my fingers can keep up the pace on the keyboard. I must have music when I write. Who are your literary influences?
Salman Rushdie, JRR Tolkien, Hemmingway, Jean Rhys, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, Roald Dahl, Chinua Achebe, D.H. Lawrence and Bessie Head. There’s a whole lot more but these ten started me on the path to reading.
What is the most valuable advice you’ve been given that you would pass on to other writers?
You write a story but you edit a novel. Truer words were never spoken. Your novel is really what you get after mounds of editing on the story. Attached to that credo I’d add, know your circuit. It’s really important to understand who you’re writing for. Learn everything you can about the demographic and the culture surrounding your genre.
I couldn’t agree more. What are you currently working on? Can you give us a little snippet of your favorite scene?
Two works actually, but I hope to have them published under a separate pen name. Working titles are: The Whore Of Camelot and The Death Dealers’ Secret.
Here’s a snippet from The Whore Of Camelot (Still to be edited)
“One thousand.” She’d stop counting. There was no point in continuing. She was sure that they were all dead. All four thousand and sixty four of them - dead.
Uther, as promised, had shown no mercy.
The army of Dunherd had fallen, leaving the women and children no more than open prey. Uther wouldn’t suffer the sons of his enemies another day’s breath. She was sure of it. And as to the daughters, they’d most likely become whores and playthings, at least until they were spent and the edge of a dull blade became their only salvation. If wisdom befell any of the lot, they’d know to take salvation into their own hands.
Salvation and dignity.
But the younglings? Guinevere thought to herself. The ones too little to think beyond their mothers’ breasts. Their fate would be the cruelest. Uther would see them to the mines. To subsist or die as slaves.
Guinevere squeezed the leather cask in her aching hand. She knew what had to be done but the knot, twisting inside her stomach, contested her every step. The fretful cries of the children hummed along the stone hallway.
Still, Guinevere’s teeth clenched as she fought back the monsoon of despair, desperate to slip out of her lilac irises. A wave of skin cutting cold ravaged her insides.
Still, it had to be done.
WTF?! NB, somewhere along the line, I suspect you earned a degree in ‘How To Choose The One Scene In A Book That Will Drive Your Readers Crazy With Curiosity’. This is not the first time you’ve done this to me, and I suspect it will not be the last…*sigh* I asked for it though. Perhaps I should have specified a chapter-length snippet. BONUS QUESTION: Where in the hell does one, who happens to live on an island paradise, go to ‘get away from it all’?
Usually another island, ha, ha, ha…
Want to know more about this brilliant writer? You can find him here:
And I recommend you stop by and take a look at his flash and shorts. You can find them here: NB Charles Flash & Shorts
Thank you NB for stopping by. Looking forward to reading more about the Immortals Universe!