Das Slap is the gentle tale of a karate and occasional Zumba teacher who seeks revenge for a series of muggings. Trestle Press have released it as an e-book as part of my Bites of Grime series of short stories. I've also written three novels: a crime thriller, a comedy spy thriller and a post credit crunch dystopia.
What was your motivation for writing Das Slap?
I suppose Das Slap was originally inspired by Nikita (the proper, French version) and several old noir and pulp tales. It's the classic revenge tale but converted to small town Britain. I like the idea of a slightly unhinged woman investigating something the police won't.
How long did it take you to complete?
About a month while I was editing a different book. I tend to have four or five things on the go at the same time.
How much difference does an editor make?
It makes a lot of difference. I tend to use run on sentences a lot, I think they build up speed, keep the pace up. But that's just me. Everyone else who uses the English language has a different view on them. A good editor can complete a book.
Something memorable and catchy makes all the difference. I always find titles the hardest part, which seems weird. I can write 80,000 words easily, but picking three for a title becomes a problem.
How important is a good cover?
I think it's very important. You need to stand out from everyone else, whether it's on a real bookshelf or a virtual one, you need an edge.
What are your views on e-books?
I think the mainstream publishing industry have missed a trick by dragging their heels. E-books are here to stay and will grow each year, especially with Kindles now under ninety quid. I think it's exciting times for all of us. Small publishers are already starting to specialise in short stories or novellas, and in genres, which is something that wasn't practical or cost effective with paperback books. The pricing is awkward at the moment, 86p or 99c for a full length novel leaves so little for the author it hardly seems worth it. Unfortunately, unless you're well known, pricing it higher just means no one will buy it. I'm sure prices will eventually level out.
What aspects of marketing your book do you enjoy?
I'm a quiet person really, so I never feel overly comfortable putting myself out there. You have to, though, to get noticed. I enjoy following writers that share their work on blogs, websites and even Facebook. By sites such as The Flash Fiction Offensive and Shotgun Honey putting up my work, I've met loads of people and authors I wouldn't otherwise have met. God knows what writers did before the Internet. I suppose they spent more time in the pub.
This is my first one. So far so good. You're less thorough than Customs were.
How do you feel about awards?
Don't like them. Then again, I haven't won any.
What are you reading now?
The Falls by Ian Rankin and Broken Dreams by Nick Quantrill. I tend to have a few on the go at once. I'm reading the Rebus series back to back this year, which is depressing for a writer as he's covered practically all possible plots. I'm enjoying Broken Dreams, Nick's created a great character in Joe Geraghty.
What makes you keep reading a book?
A character that's flawed enough to keep me interested. I've only given up on a handful of books in my life. I should probably give up on more, there's a lot of stuff I want to read but don't have the time.
What are you currently working on?
I'm editing Seven Daze, my third full length novel. It's a crime thriller about a rookie assassin whose first job goes very wrong. I wrote it in the early part of the year then edited a different book, The Bailout. Coming back to Seven Daze now, it feels like someone else has written it. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.
How can we keep up to date with your news?
My blog, Spies Lies and Pies (which was named after the comedy spy novel) and I'm also on twitter @CharlWad, but I haven't really got the hang of tweeting.
There are links to many of the short stories Charlie has had published online on his blog. He has also recently published A Life in Rags, the second installment in the Bites of Grime series, and he appears in charity anthology Off The Record with the darkly humorous Sheila Take a Bow.
Charlie's books are available from Amazon in the UK and the US.