Interview with short story writer C.D. Gallant-King

Today is the
first interview in a series with the authors of:
Tick Tock: A Stitch in
An Insecure Writer’s
Support Group Anthology

About the
The clock is ticking…
Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant
find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes?
Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze?

Who killed what the tide
brought in? Can a soliloquizing
gumshoe stay out of jail?
Exploring the
facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in
both dark corners and plain sight.
Featuring the talents of
Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M.
Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R.
Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary
Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales
will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find
the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting…
“Each story is fast paced, grabbing
the reader from the beginning.”
 – Readers’ Favorite, 5 stars
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the
Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike.
It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a
Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter.
First up is C.D. Gallant-King. His short story is a mystery/comedy
called “Gussy Saint and the Case of the Missing Coed” in Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime.
Gallant-King wrote his first story when he was five years old, and he made his
baby-sitter look up how to spell “extra-terrestrial” in the dictionary. He now
writes stories about un-heroic people doing generally hilarious things in
horrifying worlds. A loving husband and proud father of two wonderful little
kids, C.D. was born and raised in Newfoundland and currently resides in Ottawa,
Ontario. There was also a ten-year period in between where he tried to make a
go of a career in Theatre in Toronto, but we don’t talk about that.
What do you enjoy most about writing
short stories?
I like short
stories with a hook, or even better, a twist. Short stories can’t be written
just like mini-novels, it’s a completely different skill and style. A short
story needs something that makes it memorable, something to make it jump out at
the reader with only a few pages to get your point across. I can’t say I’ve
always succeeded in finding that special spark, but it’s a lot of fun to try,
and very satisfying when it works.
Can you give us a little insight into a
few of your short stories – perhaps some of your favorites?
Well, I’m
contractually obligated by Dancing Lemur Press to say that the Gussy Saint
story in Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime
is the best thing I’ve ever written. With the legalities out of the way, I can
tell you honestly that Gussy Saint was a lot of fun to write. It’s a
mystery/crime sort of story, borrowing freely from those terrible old Mickey
Spillane books, but with the same lack of seriousness that infects all of my
stories. I love to blend serious genres with weird humour. I had a story
published in Strangely Funny IV last
year, which is a collection of comedic horror stories. My tale included four
main characters who were killed in horrific ways nine times between them. If that
math makes sense to you then you will definitely appreciate my sense of humour.
What genre are you inspired to write in
the most? Why?
If comedy is
a “genre” then I’ll go with that, but usually I tend toward fantasy and
speculative fiction. I like having the option to have anything and everything
happen in a story, without the silly constraints of dumb things like death,
gravity or the combustion point of small mammals.
What exciting story are you working on
I’m hoping to
have another installment of my Werebear
vs Landopus
series completed in the near future. It’s a weird, comic
fantasy with a lot of potty humour and senseless violence. It’s heartwarming.
And the next part will feature a nun with a gun.
When did you first consider yourself a
I still
don’t, half the time. I’m a monkey that flings words at a typewriter and
sometimes good stuff comes out. I’ve been writing my whole life, but I rarely
call myself a “writer.” A friend of my wife once greeted me with, “So you’re a
man of letters!” and I basically replied “What the _ are you talking about?”
It’s just not something you discuss in polite company.
That being
said, I think the single-most defining moment for me thinking of myself a
writer is when I hit “Publish” on Amazon with my first self-published book.
That was the moment when I realized a certain threshold had been crossed, and I
was actually putting my work out into the world for people to read and
hopefully enjoy. I was now out in the world, and there was no turning back.
How do you research markets for your
work, perhaps as some advice for writers?
I don’t,
which is probably why my success has been limited, and I’ve been rejected by
plenty of places that I had no business submitting to in the first place. In
that vein, my advice would be “Don’t be afraid to fail.” Revel in your
rejection and wear it as a sense of pride. Every writer goes through this, and
if you’re persistent and continue to hone your writing, eventually you will
whittle down your options and find exactly
the right audience for your work. Because you will have tried and failed
everything else.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I outline
after I write. For some reason, writing the outline beforehand hurts the fun
and creativity of writing for me. I like to just sit down and write and hammer
out a story, then go back afterward and try to mold it into something that
makes sense. It ends up taking a heck of a lot longer and being a lot more work
this way, but it’s what works.
Also, I do
most of my writing with my laptop balanced precariously on my knees on a
crowded bus. Is that quirky?
As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
The first
thing I remember wanting to be was a bricklayer. I was a big LEGO fan. It was
in grade 4 that I decided I wanted to be a writer, but even back then I
realized it was probably a terrible idea. So then I went to university to study
to be an actor.
Yeah, I’m
terrible at choosing careers. I probably should have stuck with bricklaying.
Thanks for being here today, C.D.!
Tick Tock

9 thoughts on “Interview with short story writer C.D. Gallant-King

  1. cleemckenzie says:

    Sometimes bricklaying seems easier than writing, but I'm sure you made the right choice in choosing the more challenging work. It's great to learn more about another author.

    • C.D. Gallant-King says:

      I suppose bricklaying and writing have a lot in common. Put all the pieces in the correct order and it's sturdy and aesthetically pleasing. Mess it up and it all falls down.

  2. Gwen Gardner says:

    I loved the quirkiness of your story! Crime noir is so fun too, like watching an old black and white Sam Spade movie. Also, it’s just struck me that I could benefit from writing an outline on a couple of stories I’ve recently completed. It makes a strange kind of sense. Thanks, C.D.!

    • C.D. Gallant-King says:

      It feels backwards, but it really helps to figure out if you've hit all the right beats in the right order.

  3. Yolanda Renée says:

    A sense of humor is always great reading and crime noir an excellent choice. Your story was tops! Loved it!

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