Saturday, June 2, 2012

Author Interview: Reno Charlton

About me

Born and bred in the West Midlands, England, I have been a professional writer for the past eight years and an author for around the past ten years. For the past eight years I have been working as a successful freelance copywriter, creating content for a global client base and in a variety of different genres. However, writing fiction for children is something that I love to do
 - and using words to give children the opportunity to explore new lands and different worlds using their imagination, as I did as a child, is something that I take pride in doing.
I also love to create stories for older readers under my pen name of Emily Ho. These are stories that are created to provide thrills and chills, with each tale having a surprise twist at the end. Some are horror and supernatural, others are gritty urban dramas - but all have a dark undertone to them.
Before becoming a writer, I worked in a variety of different jobs, from being a receptionist to being an assistant manager in a shoe shop! I also spent eight weeks on a prime time UK TV show around nine years ago, where I had to help build a house with a group of other people who also knew nothing about building or construction!

My books

So far, I have written and published three books, two short stories, and one non-fiction guide. The most popular of my books is one of my children's books, The Sceptre of Zanafiar, which has received some great reviews. The story combines real life issues with fantasy, magic and adventure, and it is set mostly in its own fantasy world with plenty of fantastical creatures throughout the story.

My other books are:

The Secret Portal
The Vampire Returns
Consequences (under the pen name Emily Ho)
The Journey Home (under the pen name Emily Ho)
Work from Home as a Freelance Copywriter (a nonfiction guide)

How did you start your writing career, any tips or advice for new authors out there trying to make a name for them?

I started writing stories and poetry while I was still at High School – not just as part of my school work but also just for fun. Friends used to get me to write funny poems for them and I used to love creating stories – often scary ones – to read to my friends at sleepovers or during breaks. Some years after leaving school, I wrote a short story and entered it into a competition. To my surprise it won and this gave me the confidence to think about writing on a more serious basis. I then started my first children's novel, which I wrote whilst on vacation in the USA. I also took a course in copywriting and since passing the course have been working as a professional copywriter as well as penning a number of books and stories for kids and for older readers.

My tip for any new writers/authors out there would be to focus on honing your skills and your craft. Many authors who are just starting out think that they will see overnight success but if your want to be a successful writer you need to be in it for the long haul and you need to have plenty of patience. Just keep writing – and write well!

Is writing a big part of your life is it a hobby you do, off and on again?

Writing is a huge part of my life, as it is also my career. My full time job is as a copywriter, which involves writing content on all sorts of topics for clients around the world. My book writing is something that I have to fit in between my work, which means that I often don't get to work on my books as much as I would like to. However, I do still make sure I work on my books whenever I get time, as writing fiction is not only my hobby but is also something I would love to do on a full time basis.

Tell me about your characters? Do you have any favourites? Where do you find the inspiration to create them? Do they reflect any family or friends?

The characters in my books and stories are varied. I try to mix up the characters a bit, so readers don't have lots of characters who are the same. For instance, in the Secret Portal the four main human characters are Jack, Simon, James and Dean. Jack is the pretty average, sensible one; Simon is the one who is always moaning about something; Dean is the shy, bullied one; and James is the joker of the pack. I like to give my characters diverse personalities to enable different readers to relate to different characters. Although my characters are not based on specific people, I tend to think about the different mix of personalities that I come across in everyday life to help give my characters different personality traits. I think my favourite character from all of my books would have to be Grogan from The Sceptre of Zanafiar. He is not actually human but I like the fact that he goes from evil to kind of lovable as the story goes on.

What would you say is the hardest thing about being an author?

I think most writers would agree that the writing is the easy part. Even if you take writer's block into consideration, a true writer loves writing and has a passion and flair for this craft. Many writers, however, have little to no idea about promotion and marketing, so I would definitely say that the marketing and promotion side is the most difficult part of being an author.

What are you looking forward to in the book industry? As a writer and a reader?

As both a writer and a reader, I am looking forward to seeing the evolution of electronic books. This is an area that has come a long way over the past few years, with more and more people embracing eBooks and more and more eBooks coming onto the market. I think that in the age of smart phones, internet tablets and computers, e-reading is the way forward. It gives readers access to more affordable books, which are often available at a fraction of the cost of a paperback. It also gives new writers far more opportunity to get their work in front of audiences.

What’s next on your writing agenda? Do you have any stories you’re working on or are you intending on writing one soon?

I am currently already working on my next project. In addition to writing children's books I also write under the pen name of Emily Ho. As Emily, I write short stories for older readers (around 17-18 upwards). I have received great feedback on my short stories, one of which won a short story award. I am now working on a collection of short stories under the Emily Ho name. This should be ready for release towards the end of summer this year. Later this year, I am hoping to start on the third installment in the Secret Portal series too.

Author's Site:


Michael Cargill

Nice interview!

For some reason 'Reno' makes me think of a chocolate bar.

Nic Bast

Thanks Michael, lol perhaps it could be a great name for choclate... I would buy it :)


Great and Interesting interview Nic, this Author sounds like he has a busy life! Hope to see more interviews in the future :)

Good Luck!
- Alex

Nic Bast

Thank you Alex. Reno does seem like a busy person :P If you liked my interview I've created my second interview with Lia Burke where she shows us how to create a budget friendly book trailer.

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