Hello, readers! Today I’d like to introduce you to my friend Charlotte Hamilton, your soon-to-be-favorite author!
Born and bred in Ayrshire, Scotland, Charlotte Anne Hamilton has always been writing – from her very first short story about a dog called Pat – Pat the Dog, get it? – to her endeavours in fan fiction. Throughout her childhood, however she always thought she would be a vet, until losing a family dog convinced her she just didn’t have the mentality for such a career.
Afterwards, she thought about an English degree, joining the Navy or Army, and a million other careers until she realised one day that writing was really what she wanted to do. Five or six years writing fanfic every day would do that do a girl. She started dabbling in her own ideas, moving away from playing in someone else’s sandpit to building her own.
She works weekends as a Domestic Assistant, but throughout the week can be found furiously typing away at her laptop and lost in daydreams. As well as spending time with her three dogs, one of whom has given her a black eye before. She still loves him.
She also spends a lot of time reading books, reviews of which can be found on her blog.
Charlotte can be found on most social media sites @cahwrites – her most common and frequently updated are Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram – the latter of which she mostly uses the Instastory feature which she loves. Feel free to contact Charlotte through any of these accounts – she loves talking to people – or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
I remember hearing a quote at the end of a Criminal Minds episode. “Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self” by Cyril Connelly. That has stuck with me for so long. It’s not so much “writing advice” but I think it’s something every writer should live by when diving into their first draft.
What’s your favorite emoji?
I have two: ✌ & ✨.
Also the blue heart is my go to heart emoji.
Where do you like to read? What do you need for a good long reading session?
I can read anywhere but I mostly read in my bed because it’s nice and comfy. As for what I need for a good long reading session, I’d say a good fantasy book, warmth and some snacks to munch on throughout.
What are your top 3 go-to book recommendations?
Uhhhhhh, probably THE FALCONER by Elizabeth May, EASY by Tammara Webber and THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE by Patrick Ness.
What authors are auto-buys for you?
Definitely Elizabeth May, Patrick Ness, Nina Lacour, Tahereh Mafi, Victoria Schwab, Sabaa Tahir and Renee Ahdieh… probably many many more too.
What is your favorite description of your books?
I was once updating my best friend, Tiana, about one of the WIPs I was writing at the time. I gave her a vague reminder of some sort, but it didn’t seem to be enough when she later replied with “Charlotte, all your books have lesbians” and that has just stuck with me. But yes. Anything that describes my books as being super queer and f/f… I’m here for it.
What inspired you to begin writing fiction?
I can’t quite remember. I’ve always been telling stories ever since I learnt to type on the big bulky desktop we used to own. But the thing that made me take it seriously was fanfic! Fanfic opened this entire world to me that I didn’t know about. I started with “Pirates of the Caribbean” and then delved into others, but it was fanfic that got me serious about writing. I did it for about… 7 or 8 years? Afterwards, I lost my love. Not for writing, but just for being in someone else’s world. I ended up thinking about my own ideas and after starting to write THE CRIMSON ROSE, I just couldn’t go back to fanfic.
Before, when I got inspired, it was always for a certain show/movie/book and those characters. Now, when I get inspired, it’s always my own creations coming to me and it’s hard to break out of that. I love fanfic, I may go back to it at some point, but right? My own original works are front and centre.
What is your biggest struggle in writing?
I always struggle with setting. I can imagine the world clearly in my head – I know it’s customs and history and culture. I know how everyone acts and looks and how society is. But because I know, I always forget that the reader doesn’t. So, I don’t expand on things and it isn’t until I’m reading through it again that I realise. And I always need to have a present thought about my setting. Am I explaining this right? Is this clear enough? You need to add more here! Otherwise, it’s just me that can understand what’s going on in the world.
What does your writing space look like?
My working area is very simple. I’ve got a lot of pens for easy access, arranged in a way that makes no sense to anyone but myself. Then my laptop and word file for when I’m rewriting drafts. The drawer in my desk is full of excess stationery that come in handy at different stages of my writing process. My printer is next to my desk because it’s much easier in case things go wrong – it sits on a set of drawers. The top one is full of the notebooks for my WIPs and the bottom one is crammed full of makeup, lmao. It’s weird working in front of a mirror but it had nowhere else to go and sometimes, it’s like I’m talking to someone else, which helps me work ideas out. Also, the Hamilton quote inspires me <3 Not pictured is a bit to the side where I keep the three folders for all of my WIPs. But other that, very simple and clean. I hate cluttered mess lol.
What’s the first book you remember falling in love with?
I always remember getting Enid Blyton’s TALES OF TOYLAND read to me by my gran when I was younger. I loved that story so much. Also, HARRY POTTER needs an honourable mention because… that series opened up the world of reading to me.
What was your last five star read? What made it a five star read?
At the moment of writing this, my last five star read was TINY PRETTY THINGS by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra. I loved how dark and character driven it was. And how it dealt with such serious things such as blackmail, betrayal, drug addiction and eating disorders – all in the world of ballet! My review for it is here!
What inspired you to write Lambs Can Always Become Lions?
I had actually just finished reading and writing my review for MARIAN by Ella Lyons, which is another f/f Robin Hood retelling. When I do reviews, I always make a wee aesthetic post for the story, and after I posted the review, my friend Anna (@aliterarypotion on Twitter) messaged me saying I had to write something based on the aesthetic I made. I felt a bit weird using an aesthetic I had made for another book but the more I thought about it, the more I fell in love. I sat down to write and it just came so easily!
I was in the process of writing my f/f Beauty and the Beast retelling NIGHT SO BLACK as well, and that was such a serious project. LCABL was something that I could write with no pressure. I didn’t really have plans to do anything with it at that point – but as I wrote and knew it would only be a short novella, I thought about self publishing. And the rest, well, is history.
What other projects are you working on?
I’ve just finished my f/f Beauty and the Beast retelling NIGHT SO BLACK, so that’s sitting on ice right now for about a month so I can get distance from it. Then I’ll go back, read through it and make plans for Draft #2.
I’m also still working on LAMBS CAN ALWAYS BECOME LIONS. I always rewrite draft #2 completely so that’s what my main project is – I’m currently doing that for Camp NaNo.
Beside that, I’ve got a few other things going. I’ve got a f/f equestrian based romance called PRETTY LIES & UGLY TRUTHS in the works, as well as a prequel to my f/f pirates fantasy THE CRIMSON ROSE in the works. That’s called THE SHATTERED PEARL and I’ve put it on hold for a while but I think I’m finally ready to get back to it.
I also have a VERY long thread about all my WIPs on Twitter here.
What’s one thing that would surprise people to know about you?
Uhh, I don’t know? I’m such an open book on my Twitter it’s hard to think of anything that people would be surprised to learn about. Maybe that I’m really shy when I first meet people and will probably stand there, barely saying a word and only answering with one word replies? We’ll go for that, haha.
What do you to break out of writing slumps?
Well, I always work on at least two projects at once, so that tends to help avoid falling into writing slumps. However, I still do manage to get into ruts that’s hard to get out of. I think it depends on the kind of slump I’m in. I’m always able to tell whether it’s a Lesser Slump or a Greater Slump. Lesser Slumps for me is when I’m at that stage in in WIP where I’ve lost my initial drive. I know the only way to get by this is just to make myself write – I’ll set myself small targets, make myself write it and get over the hump.
Greater Slumps are trickier though. Those are the ones that, sometimes, I end up having to just take time away from the WIP altogether. It can be a week or even months. I don’t forget about it completely. I still have it in my head so that when I listen to music or scroll through Pinterest, I can recall it and hopefully reinspire myself into writing again.
Other than that, I have no set thing. Every slump is different, brought on for different reasons, and needs to be dealt with in its own way. 🙂