Sunday Surprise

And it’s another guest! Still author of the month! Yes, we have four together this month! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Chamber Mars! Bonjour et bienvenu! 🙂

24265528Where do you live and write from?
I generally spend my time in Saint Tropez – I prefer the climate! I do spend time at the house in Saint Hilaire in Haute Saone, near to the spiritual retreat where Alp lives for part of the year. I generally only write when I am at home in Saint Tropez, on the balcony.

Why do you write?
It was something which I always wanted to try but never found the time to pursue. Once I began, I found that I couldn’t stop. I was always pretty certain that I would write crime fiction. There were no gay private investigators with the same humour – hence Zachary Tremble. I wanted to write it in English to reach a wider audience.

When did you start writing?
I began writing several years ago. My issue is that English is my second language – so it is more challenging – that is where Alp came into the picture.
I had contacted Alp through his website, to ask him if he was interested in a collaboration – I needed help with the translation of my first Zac Tremble Investigates case file. I had read his work and was really keen to work with him. I had the case file written but it needed an English feel. Fortunately, we share the same sense of humour. The Johnny series needed less of the English feel because Johnny is French – but Alp still translates. He finds it harder to translate Johnny because the style is very different – but I think we’ve achieved a good result.

23924755What genre(s) do you write?
I write LGBT-themed fiction – the Zac Tremble Investigates series – he’s the gay PI; and the Life & Times of Johnny Sante series – he’s the young bisexual Parisian con-artist.
And in 2014, I began writing with Alp. First we did Dust Jacket and then The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries – the gay, crime fighting duo of Inspector Alfred Fenchurch and PC Adam Cowley. I would like to write something different – maybe Sci-fi but I am also keen to produce either Zac or Johnny as a graphic novel series.

What does your writing routine consist of?
Most days are not devoted to writing because I am working. When I have the idea for a new Zac case file or a Johnny instalment, I usually write it pretty quickly – within a couple of days. Because of the need to have my English checked, the process can get dis-jointed.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?
My friends and readers tell me that the strength of the stories is the humour in Zac – they tell me that they laugh out loud at his antics. Johnny is a character study and maybe the strength of the series is in the insight we get into Johnny’s character – I am usually much happier writing short stories.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
There is very little of me in the stories – perhaps more of me in Johnny than Zac. The inspiration for the Zac series really came from the series of short novels which Le Monde publishes each summer – pocket-sized, fast-paced reads. Alp says James Bond meets Fawlty Towers – I love both. Johnny is partly inspired by John Cusack’s character in The Grifters; Zac partly by the film Renaissance (with Daniel Craig) and partly by the relationship between Lola and Manni in Run Lola Run.

21309823Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
Generally, quick and improvised. However, as the Zac series have stretched out (nearly 2 series completed), it gets harder because there are a lot of details – especially names – to keep checking. The plot is developed in a flash.

Tell us about your latest book
It’s been a while since I published the last Zac case file – Viva La Tremble – however, I have just delivered my part of Storm Clouds (part 6 of The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries) I can now concentrate on finishing series 2 of Zac.
Here is a link to all of the books. Clicking the cover of the book will provide links to the major retailers where it can be obtained:

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
Indie publishing without question – I write fast and I want to publish fast. I may be wrong but I never saw Zac being picked up by a traditional publisher – a gay PI is very niche; Johnny too.

Any other projects in the pipeline?
There is right now the completion of the second series of Zac Tremble Investigates and the first series of Johnny Sante to factor into this year and I have already spoken to Alp about doing a second series of The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries. I would like to write another novel like Dust Jacket – at least, a long romance. I don’t think I will develop another character-led series unless something captures my imagination. A third series of Zac is a possibility but that gets harder. A second series of Johnny? Not sure. Maybe a gay superhero?

23718040What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
My goal is to entertain my reader – all the time people laugh out loud, I’m happy. I don’t write full-time so it’s hard to have concrete goals when I am never sure how much time I’ll have.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
Write the story you want; not what you think the reader wants. Never shy away from writing something which is nothing like anything else around.

About Chambers
I am French, living in Saint Tropez. I travel widely, collecting and dealing in art. My childhood home is in a village not too far from the place where Alp Mortal lives in France.

I am vegan, a Buddhist and a dog owner – I have a Jack Russell/Italian Greyhound mix by the name of Pinocchio (Jack Russell with long legs and a superiority complex to match). Together with Alp Mortal, I am half of Carter Seagrove, author of Dust Jacket and The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries.

Alp Mortal, Chambers Mars and Shannon M. Kirkland are The Carter Seagrove Project LLC – an independent book publisher. Find us at, on Twitter @carterseagrove and on Facebook

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