Today we have the pleasure of speaking with author, C.E. Baker. The author of 3 published novels, which you can check out on AMAZON, Mr. Baker was born and raised in London. He has prior experience working in the film industry before starting his writing career, so this was a great chance to delve into how the publishing and film industry intertwine!
Thriller Magazine: Thank you for agreeing to this interview! You have a very interesting background with having traveled to many parts of the world throughout your years. What are one or two major experiences from your travels that have impacted your writings?
C.E. Baker: Surprisingly, there have been no specific traveling experiences that I can honestly say have impacted my writing so far. It is more the collective experience of travel, of living an itinerant life that has shaped me as a writer. The life of the outsider is a recurring theme in all my novels. However, the main inspiration seems to come from those places I have left behind. My childhood places where I used to play and the fairy-tales I used to read.
TM: I know you also have quite a bit of experience working in the film industry in different capacities. Even though the writing industry has some major differences from the film industry, there is definitely a lot of overlap. How has working in the film industry helped you become a better writer?
C.E.: Working in the film industry has been invaluable to me in become a better writer. I am not an abstract writer. Everything I write is based on me visualizing the action. Even the thoughts of my protagonists tend to have a visual element to them. I guess working as an editor then as a scriptwriter enhanced my already strong visual sense of the world. I was always a daydreamer as a child. My mind roamed in classes. I would create stories in my head, like picture books, which as I grew older became moving images. Film helped develop that side of my imagination. However, the main reason I shifted focus onto writing novels instead of working in film was the creative freedom writing a novel afforded me. There were no producers telling me what I can and can’t write and no budgetary constraints to adhere to. The written word in film wasn’t the end of the process but only the beginning. I wanted the written word to be the end.
TM: In terms of your works, all three of your published novels fall under the thriller/horror genre, but they all have very different plot-lines. What is it about the genre that attracts you, and that you think attracts readers?
C.E.: I have always been a massive fan of the thriller/horror genre ever since I can remember. It’s the most visceral of all genres. It also affects the reader the most; the shiver-down-the-spine, the nervousness of turning out the light after a particularly scary passage, the grimace/disgust of some particularly gruesome form of death. The genre demands that you react to the events unfolding on the page, I like that. There’s an element of relief too when I put down a book, relief that I am not in the protagonists shoes. As a writer, the genre offers you freedom to explore your own fears and render them safe through prose, like a twisted therapy session that you share with everyone. It also allows you to just go wild and enjoy the farfetched notions rattling around in your head.
TM: Have any of your novels been easier to write than others?
C.E.: I would say my first novel The Crown of Distant Dreams was the easiest. I think the untamed enthusiasm of actually writing a novel just carried me through the whole experience. Everyday I would get up looking forward to working on it. My imagination was finally set free.
My next novel The Lostman Woods was more of a grind – the curse of the second novel. There were ups but there were plenty of downs too. Struggling with the plotting and characters was at times deeply frustrating. However I did learn a trick on how to fix these frustrations. It was quite simple really. All I had to do was sleep on it. The next day my mind had, without me being conscious of the fact, found a solution.
Book of the Drowned took the shortest time to write. Almost as soon as I had the initial idea I began writing. I didn’t prepare at all. The story just flowed as if I was a mere conduit for some other entity. Writing is a strange business.
TM: What can readers be expecting from you in 2019?
C.E.: I am in the early stages of a new novel. This one is also set around the moors of Devon, England. It is a dark fairy tale about witches and an unhinged witch hunter.
TM: Thank you for the great interview. One last question (this is a fun one). If The Lostman Woods was turned into a feature film, which actor would be playing Detective Sergeant Harris?
C.E.: Hmmm. I would love to see Dan Stevens in the role. He would bring a great depth and intensity to the character of Harris I think.