About the Book:
Death is a country we see through the tiny keyhole of an immovable door. Raised by their grandmother after their parents’ death, Chloe and Olivia Borders are now in mourning for Rose. The Alzheimer’s that forced them to be split into separate foster homes has taken their last living family member. As a way to rekindle their friendship, the twins commit to a road trip— which spells their demise. Now the question is: What comes after, and how will they get back to life?
1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?
I’m a French Canadian who shares his time between his home country and Japan, where my wife is from. I have two kids, one born there and one born here. I got into writing very young, when an author came to our school and it finally clicked that all the books in the library came from somewhere. That week I wrote my first book. It was thirty pages long. I still have it.
2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?
Morning, at my computer in our room, when there’s no one in the house. I’ll drink green tea and plug away at the computer for four or five hours. I’m getting ready to leave for Japan again, so I’ll probably work on my new novel over there for a spell.
3: Where do your ideas come from?
Out of the blue, mostly. They’re an amalgamation of everything I think about, and the new stimuli that comes knocking on my brain, out of nowhere. I once got the idea for the currency in the land of the dead from kids playing with pennies at a table a the restaurant.
4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?
I usually know the ending before I start the long slog. I changes sometimes, but I have a fairly solid stick in the sand to aim for.
5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?
I like to write cyberpunk, fantasy and paranormal (for now). I was heavily into fantasy as a kid (Piers Anthony, Tad Williams, Robert Asprin). My father was more of a sci-fi nerd, so I started picking up his books from his shelf. A lot of Isaac Asimov, if I remember correctly. Then I got into more newish stuff, Orson Scott Card, Isaac Asimov, Jeff Noon. I really like weird fiction at the moment, and my favorite publishing house is out of Toronto: Chizine Publications. I’ve found everything they publish is gold.
6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?
In my latest, I would love to see up-and-coming young black actresses playing the twins. Maybe Fallon and Felisha King? I can easily picture Morgan Freeman playing Toussaint, Idris Elba playing the Baron Dimanche, Sigourney Weaver as Larunda and Emma Watson as Angelina. Yeah. That would kick ass.
7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
I try to read as much as possible. Right now, my favorite authors are my friends who are breaking through in the writing world. People like Meghan Negrijn and Craig Munro. They’re the best. Otherwise, I very much enjoy William Gibson, Robert Shearman, Helen Marshall and Neil Gaiman.
8: What book/s are you reading at present?
The Bones of the Past, by Craig Munro
9: What is your favourite book and why?
Sure, make me pick my favorite child. Okay, let me tell you about my favorite-book-as-artifact. It’s called “S.”. It is the most wonderful thing I’ve ever encountered in the literary world. Let me tell you about it. It comes in a box, so you can’t see what it looks like. It was written as a collaboration between J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. When I got it, I had no idea what I was getting into. I asked for it for Christmas. So I open the box, and inside, is a book that looks like it was printed in the 1950s. The book itself is an artifact. It’s made to look as if it’s a library book that’s been borrowed for years. There are stamps at the back, it has the Dewey Decimal sticker on the spine; the whole nine yards. The book itself says that it is called “The Ship of Theseus”, written by V.M. Straka. Inside the book, you will find, written in the margins, conversations between two people, for the duration of the book. Back and forth, back and forth, written in different penmanship and color, (making it easier to identify the writers). These two are a man and a woman who go to the same College. The man was kicked out, and sneaks back in sometimes to study the book. The woman is a student trying to figure out her life, who also likes Straka (as an author). Now, there is a mystery surrounding this book, and who the author is. The “original” story was written in German, and so there is a translator who leaves footnotes. The two readers discover more and more about the book, and a very present danger by secret societies still extant, and must figure out together what’s going on. Throughout the book itself, which, on its own, is beautifully written, there are clues. The translator points to them, and eventually the reader must figure them out him or herself. As well, the two leave each other little odds and ends inside the book (pictures, postcards, napkins with hidden messages, little newspaper clippings, obituaries, etc.), which add to the authenticity of the thing. You’ll never find this book in a library, just because of the bits of memorabilia that will get lost. It is the most wonderful little jewel, and the most complicated, that I’ve ever had the pleasure of wrapping my head around.
10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?
Read a lot, write until the thing is finished. Take the criticism. Improve. Learn. You’ll make it.
11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?
About the Author:
Benoit Chartier is a Science Fiction, Fantasy and Paranormal author who also does a podcast called Adventure In Your Ear and writes a philosophy blog. He lives in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada with his wife and two sons. He shares his time between Canada and Japan.