Love is definitely in the air this February, and Trudy and I are working to bring you a month filled with romantic goodies. Yesterday we published our review of The Tempest and today we’re thrilled to introduce you to the author, Charlotte Hawkins. She talks to us about how she discovered Richard Armitage, why she’s revising her series, and the search for the perfect actor to voice her version of Guy of Gisborne.
Armitage Authors Network: Welcome to the Armitage Authors Network. Can you tell us a little about how you first became a fan of Richard Armitage?
Charlotte Hawkins: It was by accident. In early 2006, I was researching the BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre. At the time, the cast wasn’t announced, so I was trying to find out who would be playing Rochester. I was on different forums and websites and I kept hearing the name Richard Armitage. Everyone was talking about him – how he would be a perfect Rochester. They were all gushing about his role in the BBC’s North and South, which I had never heard of. So I went out and found the DVD, and the rest is history.
AAN: You’ve been revising your previously published Gisborne Saga, what made you decide to revise these books and what’s the process been like?
CH: I’m a perfectionist, and I’m always trying to improve my craft. The story started out as a simple fanfic, and I didn’t expect it to find much of an audience. But it took on a life of its own, eventually outgrowing the Gisborne fanfic audience that was around at the time. I self-published it mostly because I had requests for a paperback version, but I didn’t think anyone outside the fandom would be interested in it. Much to my surprise, people discovered it through word of mouth and for the most part, they loved it.
But there was a small group of readers who found it either distasteful or silly. Some even hated it completely. As a writer, I take all opinions into consideration, and I use them to better myself. As time has gone by, I’ve found ways to make the story and the characters richer – the writing better. But I don’t know if I’ll ever be completely satisfied with the results.
AAN: What is it about Guy that inspires you?
CH: Guy, especially as portrayed by Richard Armitage, was such a multi-layered character. Watching him, we could see all these emotions swirling underneath the surface, and it made the viewer curious about him. We wanted to know what made him tick – where he came from, how he came to be who he is, and what would happen to him in the future. He was definitely the most interesting character on the show.
AAN: Guy’s match in this series, Cassia, is a very strong-minded character in her own right. Was she fun to write?
CH: Oh, yes! I love writing about smart, strong women. I’m not a fan of the damsel-in-distress types.
AAN: Was this your first piece of fan fiction?
CH: No. I wrote several Jane Eyre fanfics before I became a total Guy fan. And I didn’t start writing Guy stories until the series was near its end.
AAN: What was your first published novel?
A novel called Finding Grace that I published in 2008. It’s a love story set in Chicago during the prohibition era of the 1920’s. It’s currently on my schedule for a rewrite, a re-title, and a republish.
AAN: Have you always wanted to write?
CH: I’ve always been a storyteller, but I haven’t always had a willing audience. When I was young, no one was interested in hearing my stories, so I started writing them down on paper as a form of self-expression. It turned into a life-long hobby.
AAN: How is the search for a voice actor going? Can you tell our readers a little about the auditioning process?
CH: I’ve only heard one audition so far, but I have some actors who are interested and will audition soon. The process is done by an Amazon company called ACX. Using an excerpt from the book, actors submit a recording to the website, and I listen to it. I then decided if I like it or not, and the process moves on from there. It’s a new process for me, so I’m learning as I go.
AAN: Any hints on what you’re working on next?
CH: I’m working on a fourth Gisborne novel. Fans of the series are eager to hear more, so I’m hoping to give them what they want. But because of my work schedule, it’s been a slow progression. Hopefully, I can get things moving more quickly in the near future.