It’s been a little over a year since I last blogged about the release of Charles Phipps’ first novel Esoterrorism. Since then, Amber Cove (Jim Bernheimer’s publishing company) has published three novels in the Supervillainy series (The Rules of Supervillainy, The Games of Supervillainy, and The Secrets of Supervillainy). Charles has also published two more books with Crossroad Press (Straight Outta Fangton and Cthulhu Armageddon) and has more on the way.
Look at these covers. I’m drooling! Raffaele Marinetti’s work is stunning.
And I applaud you, Charles! You’ve had an incredibly productive year.
However, before we get into the grit of the interview, please take a moment to share what it’s like to go from struggling author to successful publishing machine.
It’s a tough struggle keeping up with all of your books as they’re all my children. I’m very pleased with the response The Rules of Supervillainy has received from the public. I’ve managed to sell over ten thousand copies of it and that opened quite a few new doors as publishers started wanting to talk with me rather than the other way around. Other books have a more niche audience while some of my books are just starting out. I think a lot of authors expect their first book or series to explode when it’s really a better case to cast a wide net and see what picks up.
Casting a wide net is a smart approach. It’s definitely working for you!
When I interviewed Charles in June 2015, we were buzzing about the debut release of The Rules of Supervillainy. Now, the Supervillainy Saga has grown with the addition of The Games of Supervillainy and The Secrets of Supervillainy. My husband, a super hero fanatic, can’t get enough of this universe. How many books do you expect to publish in the series?
My present plans for The Supervillainy Saga are to continue the series with The Science of Supervillainy and a big finale to the first “arc” with The Supremacy of Supervillainy. I originally envisioned the story as a long-running series of short adventures, but I wanted to enjoy building up to a fairly epic series of events.
I wanted to cover the various types of comic book ideas ranging from time-travel, to space-exploration, to ghost stories, and bank robberies. If fans are still interested, I may knock poor Gary down a peg and establish a series of standalones until I get bored with him—which may take a while given how much he occupies my headspace.
Topics like these could keep you going on the series for a long while. When I think about J.B Robb’s “In Death” series, I’m in awe. She’s up to book forty-three now! It might be a challenge, but I can see Gary going the distance, give or take a few resurrections.
Can you share any themes or developments you’ll be exploring in the saga over the next installments?
The Science of Supervillainy is the second part of the story started in The Secrets of Supervillainy. Gary has finally bitten off more than he could chew by ticking off the time-traveling dictator, President Omega, and Gary’s alternate universe doppleganger Other Gary. This leads poor Gary on a time-travelling journey across several universes (each representing a different genre and period of comics) until he finds himself confronting the most heinous threat of all: self-discovery. Will Gary decide to remain a supervillain in name only or become one in truth? Find out!
Oh and we’ll finally get a resolution of the Mandy/Gary/Cindy love triangle. #TeamCindy #TeamMandy #TeamGabrielle #TeamCthulhu.
Time traveling into a multi-verse with Gary and the gang sounds epic. I am envious of your world building and ability to organize this cross-genre exploration.
Also, I know who which team I’m rooting for. Come on, Team Mandy!
Another fascination for me is audiobooks. I’ve been a member of Audible since 2004, and am thrilled to have your books in audio format. I tend to buy both print and audio from my favorite authors. Can you tell us about audio sales versus print sales? Do you see a difference or do they generally go hand in hand?
I fully attribute The Supervillainy Saga’s success to Audible and releasing the books in audio format. Different formats are different markets and if you can afford it, independent authors should definitely try to get themselves represented in both audio, ebook, and paper formats. Honestly, I sell many more copies of my audiobooks than my ebooks and the latter actually took a big jump because of the promotion of my audio fans.
With long commutes and busy schedules these days, Audible is a godsend. I’m glad you are reaping the benefits of this format.
You have the incredible, exquisitely talented narrator Jeffrey Kafer (Swoon!) voicing Esoterrorism and your Supervillainy Saga. How much do you collaborate with Mr. Kafer on a project?
Jeffrey is awesome. If there’s any single figure who is responsible for the majority of my success, I’d say it was me but after that it’s Jeffrey, Jim, and a few others. LOL. No, seriously, he’s a great guy and when Jim Bernheimer brought him onboard for THE RULES OF SUPERVILLAINY, he was a true professional from beginning to end. He’s also very thorough in making sure pronunciation is right and the work flows smoothly. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather work with.
That’s all we have time for today. Be sure to check back soon for part two of my update with author Charles Phipps.
In the meantime, please check out Charles’ author page on Amazon.