Charles Gilman, author of Professor Gargoyle, agreed to answer some questions for me about his life and his writing career. I hope you find his answers as interesting as I did.
Professor Gargoyle is the first in a series. Are you going to write each book in the series? How many will there be?
If the books find an audience, I would love to write 10 or 12 of them.
In the back of the book it says that you are an editor. Did you decide to write this book on your own, or were you approached by someone and asked to write it?
The series was my idea. As the Creative Director of Quirk Books, I spend a lot of time brainstorming ideas for titles, and then I usually collaborate with writers to reach a finished manuscript. But something about this particular idea got its hooks in me. I guess I realized it would be a fun way to revisit the sorts of spooky stories I loved as a kid. And eventually I decided that I couldnít give it up.
Do you feel that your experiences as an editor have helped you to be a better writer?
Definitely. As an editor, you spend so much time repairing broken text. Putting things in order. Making text clearer. Tightening plots. Amplifying character. And so on. Every project usually offers some kind of lesson or takeaway.
Did you edit this book yourself?
No, I worked with two very talented editors at Quirk, Mary Ellen Wilson and Jane Morley.
Did you have any experiences in school similar to those Robert Arthur had?
When I was 12 years old, I moved to a new school where I didnít know anyone, and I was terrified. Thatís Robertís predicament on page 1 of Professor Gargoyle. And then there are other experiences. Iím a terrible swimmer, I had trouble with bullies, I spent a lot of time in the library. All of these things surface in the books.
Have you ever had a two-headed rat for a pet? If not, have you owned and cared for a rat?
No, but Iím thinking of getting two for my kids! Everything Iíve read suggests they are wonderful animals. Unfortunately, we already have two cats in our house, and Iím not sure they would agree.
Did you base the characters of the teachers on any of the teachers that you once had?
If you would like a copy of Professor Gargoyle to add to your library, I have provided an Amazon link below.