Hello, and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules! Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a bookshelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but, no one has dared to cover them. We get personal! Because, when you sit on this “SHELF,” YOU are an open book! Even if I have to pry you open!
Today, we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us, RRBC member and “SPOTLIGHT” Author for the month of May, CHARLES JONES! We have been celebrating him for the past full month and today, he gets to sit on the shelf with me!
NJ: Before we get started, how do you like the design and feel of my new shelf? We updated it in 2017 and in all honesty, I can’t recall any accidents lately, so I think this redesign is working. Are you comfy?
Charles: I like it, it’s easy to see who’s been here.
NJ: It is? Well, let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?
Charles: Charles W. Jones is my birth name. I always wished my middle name was something like Winthrop or Winston, but it’s Wesley.
NJ: Tell us where you were born? Do you still live there now? If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?
Charles: I was born and raised in Shoshoni, WY. I haven’t lived there since 1992. I moved to the Denver metro area in 1997 and currently live in Aurora, CO.
NJ: Married or single?
Charles: I am married.
NJ: Any kids? What kind? Do you like them?
Charles: Fur-babies! Cats. I love them. My husband and I have three fur-babies (cats); Bella, Melanie and Patrick. We have ten Crested Geckos (if anyone wants one, let me know), and one saltwater fish tank. I love animals, though sometimes it feels like I live in a zoo.
(“I’d like to meet his cats.”)
NJ: If you’re not there already when you’re old and cranky, which one will keep you at home to care for you themselves, and which one started seeking out the A PLACE FOR MOM franchise facility in your area when they were 9?
Charles: Even though they are fur-babies, I’m gonna say that Melanie is ready for me to go to a home. I’m afraid some nights that she’s gonna pack all my things and put them on the street. Bella will be the caregiver, she already makes sure that my hands and feet are clean; she loves to groom everyone.
NJ: What’s the food that’s so good to you, you go to bed dreaming about it, and you forego breakfast just to get to it?
Charles: That’s an awesome question since my answer is Fruit Loops. I love them with orange juice instead of milk.
NJ: Oh, my! OK. What’s your favorite color?
Charles: I’m still residing in my blue period. I try other colors, but I keep coming back to blue.
NJ: Favorite sport…
Charles: Is channel surfing a sport?
NJ: Let me get back to you on that one. So, your favorite TV Show…
Charles: Well all time favorite is the Mary Tyler-Moore Show, but the current favorite is Happy.
NJ: Never heard of a show called “HAPPY” but I sure like the title. How about your favorite Actress/Actor…
Charles: Vincent Price. The man was amazing to watch. His facial expressions are unmatched and his dramatic style is unlike anyone else.
NJ: WOW! That’s a blast from the past. Charles, do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind walking around with a beer belly?
Charles: I pretend that the beer belly doesn’t exist, even though I should probably do something about it before it becomes a keg.
NJ: Good idea. What’s your biggest pet peeve that makes you want to spit nails? (For the record, NJ does not condone violence, but she does believe in being honest, so she admits that there are those times and there are those people, who do cause her to want to spit a few nails in the direction of their foreheads. Hey, just being honest. It’s the only way I roll).
Charles: People who think everything is Defcon 1. Just chill out, no reason to get bent over your perceived emergency.
NJ: I must be older than I think. What the heck is Defcon 1? Oh, nevermind. Forget that I asked. So, are you neat or messy?
Charles: I like to think I’m neat, then I look at the dust-bunny breeding grounds behind my monitor at work. Wait, does my work desk count? I don’t technically own it.
NJ: I think it counts, Charles. Are you nice or mean? And, is that your perception of you, or is that what others think of you?
Charles: I’m probably nice…so this is interesting, I have a coworker who was afraid of me for a year until he sat near me. He told me that I was fierce and intimidating, but now that he sat in the next desk he thought I was funny. I don’t understand it. I had 1000 PEZ dispensers at my desk, how is that intimidating?
NJ: Facebook or Twitter?
Charles: Both are driving me crazy lately, but if I had to chose one, I’d go with Twitter.
NJ: We’ve come to realize that the internet is giving way to tons of budding friendships. Who would you say is the one person you’ve connected with the most…your internet BFF or buddy?
Charles: @dlfinnauthor, we don’t talk tons, but when we do, it makes my day great.
NJ: We all know that WonderWoman has her truth lasso and Nonnie has…well, just her truths, in the no-nonsense way she forces us to be honest and tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not. In your opinion, which one does a better job of making the world a better place? You can be honest here.
Charles: Nonnie of course, she can never lose her superpower of truth, unlike WonderWoman who can lose her lasso.
NJ: Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read by RRBC members.
NJ: ONE good INDIE book you’ve read, written by an RRBC member that was so good, you wish the entire world would read it…
Charles: In The Shadow of Lies by M.A. Adler
NJ: What was so great about it?
Charles: The feelings that were conveyed in the words, from the first sentence I was pulled into the book. It isn’t a book in my genre (horror), but it was remarkable.
NJ: After you read books, do you post reviews?
Charles: Yes. That’s the only way people know what to read is if I tell them it’s good. 😊
NJ: Oh! Are you sure that’s the only way people will know what to read is if you tell them? Hmmmm….OK. So, Charles, what do you think readers should base their reviews on?
Charles: What I think they should do is irrelevant, but I’ll tell you how I review (this goes for my movie reviews, too). I think of the story as a whole and how the journey was for me, and I talk about those things, while trying not to put in any spoilers. I try to keep a positive spin on my reviews or at least put some humor in it if I’m not a fan; is that passive/aggressive? If parts of the story didn’t work for me, I’ll mention it.
NJ: Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?
Charles: I’m honest, no matter what. I’ve had authors contact me even when I gave them a great review and rating, wanting me to clarify something I said in the review. I want to say, “Seriously, I gave you 5 Stars, why are you complaining?” But I don’t.
NJ: Read any poorly written books lately?
Charles: I am currently reading one now. The story is good, but it’s a bit out of control and needs some polishing.
NJ: How many poorly written books have you read that you gave high marks to in your reviews, when you knew they were horrible reads? Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books here in public.
Charles: None. I promise. It’s not fair to me or the author to write a review if it’s not the truth.
NJ: Are you an author? Are you a good one? C’mon, we love honesty here.
Charles: I am an author, and I think I’m a good one, and I believe I am getting better every day.
NJ: How long have you been writing?
Charles: I published my first book in 2011, but I’ve been writing short stories for as long as I can remember. The first I wrote was a magical story about my grandmother coming to visit that made my first-grade teacher cry. I never told her it was a lie.
NJ: Are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work?
Charles: Yes. If the person is being honest and not being a troll, then I’m good with anything anyone says. I copy and paste anything that’s posted about my books into my website.
NJ: Name two books that you’ve written…
Charles: Circus Tarot
NJ: Which one do you think is the best?
Charles: That’s like asking if I’d rather lose a toe or a finger. They share no similarities, but are equally amazing in my mind. In Circus Tarot, I created a Wonderland, and in Home I told the story of a Fallen Angel wanting an audience with God. Even playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, it’s a draw.
NJ: Interesting. Do you have a blog or website, Charles? I love GREAT blogs, so would you say that yours is written well enough for harsh critics like me to enjoy?
Charles: I have an amazing WordPress site (https://charleswjonesauthor.com). Stop by sometime and check out my horror movie and book (all genre) reviews. I also do some hosting for blog tours.
NJ: Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?
Charles: RRBC has been integral in helping me with cross promoting. I’m not trying to suck up or anything, but it has to be the best thing I’ve found online.
NJ: Charles, I would never have thought that you were sucking up in your response. It sounds like pure truth to me. So, tell us, how have you been helped by RRBC?
Charles: Cross promoting.
NJ: Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB member, so what do you think of the club?
Charles: I’ve been with the club going on three years now, and I’m very impressed with the support from other authors and how it’s like a big family spanning the world.
NJ: I love that response, Charles, and CONGRATS on your tenure with the club! “Big family spanning the world,” huh? That’s exactly what we are! Have you come across any other online entities like the big family we have here?
Charles: Yes, it was a few years ago, before I found RRBC. I don’t remember the name of the community, I just know that it isn’t around any longer, which I believe is because of the lack of leadership to take it anywhere.
NJ: The right leadership is definitely key in the survival of any entity, especially one online. Would you recommend RRBC to your friends and family?
Charles: I do already.
NJ: What’s your most favorite program or place here within RRBC? (#PUSHTUESDAY, RAVE WAVES Shows, Block Parties, Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, BOOKS OF THE MONTH discussions, “ON THE SHELF” interviews, etc.)
Charles: I love the Books of the Month discussions with live chat, it’s so cool to learn about the different books and authors. I don’t get to join as often as I like because of work, but when I can I’m always impressed.
NJ: Charles, this shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up. Any final words for our listening audience today?
Charles: Thanks for having me, I’m honored.
NJ: Well, thank you for joining us! Your interview has been delightful and tickled me in a few places, as well. (I’ll never tell what parts of it, though! But, you are humorous, for sure).
To my guests, I invite you to pick up copies of the books above written by our dear Charles and do leave a review after you’ve completed the reads.
Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet? Well, here’s your chance! And, since Charles was on the “SHELF” today, tell them he sent you.
Until next time, take care. We’ll see you next month, right here on the “SHELF” with another INTERESTING and VERY SPECIAL GUEST!!