Today on Paws4Thought we continue our Shades of Fear series with author and cat-lover, C. Lloyd Brill. He stopped by to talk about Shades of Fear story, The Gift, his debut novel, Pure Control, and his ten furry friends. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Clint.
I’m 42 and live in Bakersfield, California. I started writing stories 30 years ago but never seriously considered publishing them until just recently. I love to write and when I’m not writing I’m reading anything I can get my hands on or playing with my cats.
How did you get involved with Shades of Fear?
I was part of a NaNoWriMo support group on Facebook and the other members called for stories that involve Fear. The idea intrigued me and I asked to be included in the anthology.
Who are your favorite authors?
Piers Anthony and Terry Brooks are at the top of my list of favorite authors. I grew up reading everything I could find by them. I still re-read their books from time to time and I never get tired of them.
Tell us a bit about your story The Gift?
The Gift started as a story idea on a role-playing website I was on. I was given three elements (Urban Fantasy, Action, and a gift) and had to come up with a story using them. I imagined a character having the worst day of his life and tried to think of a way to make that day even worse. I’ve always been fond of imps in stories and knew I had to include one somehow. That’s when I settled on the idea of the painting as the gift element from the prompts. I’ve never done well writing action scenes but I had fun writing Sean’s fight with the imp.
Are you planning to go back to the world of The Gift? I was intrigued by the world you created in this story and would love to read more.
I’ve always seen The Gift as a standalone story. I did enjoy writing it and I’d consider doing a full length novel (or two or three or ten) set in that world if there was enough interest in it from readers.
What is the strangest gift that you’ve ever been given?
The strangest gift I ever received would have to be a bowling ball. I’ve never bowled, I’ve never been interested in bowling, and I have no idea why that person took it upon himself to give me a bowling ball.
What are your own greatest fears and how do you deal with them?
My greatest fear is spiders. I’m so terrified of them I can’t even look at a picture without getting the chills. I’m trying to get over it by looking at them on occasion but it isn’t easy.
Tell us about Pure Control?
Pure Control is my first full length novel. I had a lot of fun writing it. It’s categorized as science fiction but it’s really more about a group of people thrown into an unusual situation and their attempt to deal with it. The story focuses on the people and their emotions and reactions to each other and the situation so I tried to make the characters as realistic and believable as I could.
Any advice to others planning to self-publish?
Don’t rush into it. Without an agent or publishing house telling you what needs to be changed, it’s easy to get in a hurry to get your “masterpiece” into the hands of the public. Take it slow. Get people to read it and get an honest opinion. Edit, rewrite, and polish, then set it aside for a few weeks or months then go through the process again. You’re the final judge of when it’s ready for the world. If you rush into it the world will know and it will hurt your reputation as a quality author.
I hear you have ten cats! We love kitties here at Paws4Thought. Can you introduce us to your cats?
I love all of my cats. It all started a few years ago when we heard a cat meowing outside the back door. We brought her in, named her Kat and she’s been with us ever since. Not long after she joined us, she gave birth to Sinjin, Mini, Reyna and Peewee. Reyna is no longer with us but the others are still here. A couple years ago we found a pregnant female that was being attacked by other neighborhood cats so we brought her in. We named her Mama and she gave birth to Niño, Blondie, Baby and Garfield. Mama passed on earlier this year and we found a home for Garfield but the others are still with us. Brutus was abused and abandoned in the alley behind our house and he was fighting with the other males so we brought him in and have been giving him all the love he can handle. Teddy and Angel were born under our house (we have quite a few strays that we feed outside that live under the house) and they came inside one day when the door was open. They’ve been indoor cats ever since. All ten of the indoor cats get plenty of love and affection and I love them like they’re my own children.
So what’s next? What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a fantasy novel with a working title of Wynter’s Song. I also have the beginning of a science fiction mercenary story that doesn’t have a title yet. I’m hoping both of them will be the first books of an open ended series.
How can readers connect with you?
Also follow Clint on his new blog –