Wednesday 29 June 2022

A Slice of Cake With... Clancy Weeks

Today I am delighted to have a slice of cake with author Clancy Weeks. 

Clancy is a composer by training, with over two-dozen published works for wind ensemble and orchestra, but always was an author at heart. Having read SF/F for over fifty years, his life took a sharp u-turn when he published his first novel, Sleepers, a Sci-Fi thriller. Two other novels and a handful of short stories quickly followed.  He has lived his entire life in Texas, and currently resides in the Houston area with his amazing wife, Molly, and son, Leo.

What kind of books do you write?

Hmmm… I try to write character-driven stories, exploring how events affect them on a personal level.  I think most writers try to do this; some with more success than others.  The genre really doesn’t matter—a good story is a good story, and great characters are great.  And a great character is one that changes.

Can you describe your writing why?

My stock answer has always been “because I want to know what happens next”.  I guess that’s because I’m a hardcore pantser, and I rarely know where the characters are taking me until they get there.  I write the stories I want to read.

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

Interestingly, though I usually like best the one I wrote last, I’ll share this from an earlier horror I wrote titled The Ward:

WHEN YOU LIVE DEEP IN THE BIBLE BELT, you’re surrounded by a whole host of people my daddy classified as “about a half-bubble off plumb”.  The worst of the lot were religious nuts because there was no debating them, and no way to convince others these people were off the beam.  I’d had my fill of them before I turned eight.

When I was nine, Maryanne Herman, she of the First Baptist Bakers League, got the gin-induced idea the stain on her screen door was staring at her.  The old sot told her next-door neighbor before she’d sobered, and by the time the story had spread past more than a handful of families, the stain had become the image of Jesus.  True believers came from all over and stood in Mrs. Herman’s back yard, packed like the little fishes on their car bumpers, each claiming they’d seen the vision.  News cameramen rolled up in their vans, but by then her yard was little more than a mud pit, and the new claim was Jesus had turned and smiled.

It never mattered to anyone the origin of the stain was a drunken fight with her husband, culminating in a mug of cold coffee hurled like a fastball directly at Joe Herman’s head.  He’d disappeared the next week, and everyone figured he’d simply had enough.  They thought that right up until Maryanne’s mud pit of a back yard gave up old Joe’s skull.  It was three girls from out of town who found it, at first thinking it was a muddy ball; they didn’t get too far cleaning it off before the screaming reached a pitch only dogs can hear.

After the cops took Maryanne away in handcuffs, the story of Screen Door Jesus became Joe’s Revenge, and ghost stories weren’t quite as engaging among those who believed in an actual Holy Ghost.  Plus, the evangelicals no longer had a home-grown conduit for sucking cash from peoples’ pockets.  The crowds petered out, Maryanne Herman’s back yard dried up, then overgrew with weeds. Screen Door Jesus remained to watch over the property.

Tell us about your latest project

My most recent is a YA High Fantasy titled Bitter Knight.

From my pitch: Once a century, an elf births a human child.  Evan appears human, but the witch knows he is far more. From across the Dragon's Teeth, a dark dragonrider leads an army to the land of Àrthalum. Evan, fourteen and ignorant of his abilities, stumbles headlong into a conflict between his people and one man’s lust for power.

This is the first true fantasy I’ve attempted, and it’s got dragons, witches, wizards, knights, talking wolves, elves, demons, and fairies.  Not to mention dwarves—which aren’t short, by the way.  They just look short from a distance because they’re so wide.  Yeah… my mind takes me in weird directions.

What is your favourite cake?

Dutch chocolate, of course!

You can connect with Clancy on Twitter: @clancy_Weeks and on Facebook: @clancylweeks. All his books are available on Amazon.

Join me next week when I will be having a slice of cake with William Mitchell. 

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

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Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop. Never miss out on future posts by following me

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