About C.B. McCullough:
Corey (C.B.) McCullough is a freelance writer, editor, and author. He lives in the northeastern United States with his beautiful wife, his daughter, and a small menagerie of pets. He does most of his writing in a little house in the woods. C.B.’s resume includes copywriting, editing, proofreading, ghostwriting, and digging up artifacts as an archaeological technician.
What inspires you to write?
I’m the kind of person who has to make shopping lists. If I try to rely on memory during a trip to the store, the butter or the laundry detergent are invariably forgotten. A shopping list ups my chance of success—but only if I remember to bring the list. I’ve found that if I make a list and forget it at home, I remember even fewer items than if I’d never made the list at all. As soon as it’s on paper, my brain has permission to promptly forget about it. It’s in writing. I don’t have to think about it anymore.
Writing is like a release valve. Once an idea’s put into words, it’s one less thing bouncing around in my brain. Sometimes, I write just to liberate some of the thoughts rattling the cage bars. Combine a habit of writing with a love of stories, and it’s no wonder the journey of my life is mapped in strange tales scrawled across whatever pages and/or surfaces were on hand.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write by the seat of my pants when brainstorming, but when the work gets more serious, I’m a hardcore outliner. It’s much more demanding but pays major dividends in the long run.
I used to do my best writing at night, normally with metal music blaring from a pair of earbuds. Nowadays, I’m a husband and father, and the only time I can afford to do my best writing is the present. I’ll write in the early morning, in the mid-afternoon, or at midnight. You’ve got to be able to jump-start inspiration and jam creativity in, whenever, wherever, and however you can. In any given field, the difference between a professional and a hobbyist is not in what he or she has accomplished, but in his or her ability to force the work to happen, even if they have to drag it home kicking and screaming.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Both. Every character I’ve ever created is a different version of myself. Sometimes, it’s an idealized me. Other times, it’s a twisted shadow of myself. For each character, I try to imagine who I would be if I had lived a different life. What would I be like if I’d had a traumatic experience as a child? What would I be like as an old man, embittered by life’s woes? Or as a young woman burdened by an unexpected responsibility? My characters are me. They interact and speak to one another, and sometimes, they don’t get along. That’s when it’s the most fun.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write every day, read every day, and reread your old writing. You can learn a lot from your previous attempts. You’ll notice things you do differently, prompting you to consider why you diverted from old techniques. You may notice things you’ve improved on, which will build self-confidence. Most importantly, you’ll remember the person you were when you wrote it, and you just might recapture some old thoughts and feelings you forgot existed.
Okay, now forget everything I just said, and go do your own thing. Don’t listen to other writers. Most of them are full of it.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was almost ready to start sending out query letters for my first book when I began reading up on self-publishing. I’ve always had a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit, and the idea of self-starting and retaining creative freedom really appealed to me. There was something about self-publishing that excited me, so I never even sent out a query for my first book. I self-published. It was hardly an overnight success, but it’s certainly been a fun ride.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m sure of only one thing. Physical books will always exist.
It’s tempting to liken the rise of ebooks to the DVD replacing the VHS or the Blu-ray replacing DVD, but you really can’t improve on the the book. It’s a brilliant little invention that requires no wires, no cell service, no Wifi, and no subscription fees—it asks nothing of the user but an inquiring mind. Ebooks will continue to exist alongside physical books, but I don’t think they’ll replace them.
What genres do you write?: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Adventure, Young Adult
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.