Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of your latest books, I Was a Teenage Weredeer and Lucifer’s Nebula! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the novels’ premises?
CT Phipps: I Was a Teenage Weredeer is the first book of the Bright Falls Mysteries which is part of a larger universe called the United States of Monsters. It was released simultaneously with its sequel, An American Weredeer in Michigan and is one of my funniest works yet. The premise is the world has discovered all of the vampires, werewolves, and monsters among them before integrating them into their lives. Jane Doe is the eighteen-year-old weredeer living in a small rural town. Possessed of psychic powers, she is forced by her best friend to investigate the death of the town homecoming queen—which becomes greatly important to her when her brother becomes the primary subject.
Lucifer's Nebula is the sequel to Lucifer's Star which is a dark space opera. Cassius Mass is the greatest starfighter pilot of his generation, but he's lost his world and family. Almost as terrible, he has discovered his people were conquerors hated by the rest of the galaxy at large. Sinking into a drunken stupor, he was forced to fight against the terrorists who sought to revive his nation and work for the nation he despised. Now a pirate and smuggler, he is called back again to prevent a second war from occurring.
BD: What inspired you to tell these stories, and what are some of your creative influences?
CTP: I Was a Teenage Weredeer was inspired by my love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, and Twin Peaks. I created it as an homage to the kind of small town mysteries which I've always enjoyed (having grown up in a small town). It’s meant to be both lighthearted and dark with the seedy underbelly of Bright Falls contrasted to its Mayberry-esque appearance. I love urban fantasy and also drew from Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, as well as Patricia Brigg’s Mercedes Thompson.
Lucifer’s Star was born from my lover of Star Wars mixed with the fact I have sort of drifted out of what the series is about. I found myself wanting a darker, more introspective, and morally ambiguous series. I drew from Firefly, Blade Runner, World War 1, and the Golden Age of Piracy among other sources. It was also written with spy fiction in mind as no one is entirely trustworthy in the series.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in working on this latest book, and what do you hope that readers will take away from the story?
CTP: I Was a Teenage Weredeer is just meant to be pure fun and something that I hope readers will respond to as an entertaining adventure. Most urban fantasy stories take place in the big city when I think rural communities are natural settings for them. People all know one another and yet there is still a massive amount of hidden secrets as well as ugly pasts. My process for writing it was just letting the humor fly and draw from some sharp tongued, smart mouthed people I knew growing up.
Lucifer’s Nebula was created with a lengthy diet of my favorite science fiction. I indulged myself with The Expanse, Killjoys, Dark Matter, and other fun science fiction programs I’m enjoying. I like to surround myself with all things related to the genre I’m writing with so I can get into the universe easier. Once I established the crew of ragtag misfits, pirates, and ex-slaves, I was able to write the book in a couple of months. The characters just leapt off the page.
BD: If given the opportunity to expand your book into other entertainment mediums, in what format do you hope to see it adapted?
CTP: If any of my series could be adapted to television series, then I think that would be awesome. I think my work would be an easy to adapt as I devote a lot of effort to making sure my comic timing and character interaction is down pat. It's not entirely impossible as I've been approached for the rights to a couple of my works over the years.
I also think it would be awesome to have a video game based on my work. Something like an I Was a Teenage Weredeer adventure game a la the Telltale’s The Walking Dead series or a Knights of the Old Republic RPG for Lucifer's Star. I doubt that it will happen, but they would be awesome.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
CTP: I'm currently writing the third volume of the Bright Falls Mysteries, Camp Deerwood, which follows Jane Doe dealing with a set of monsters that take the appearance of slasher movie villains. I have a huge love classic '80s horror film, so I decided to an homage. While the subject has been trodden by Scream and Final Girls, I'm having a huge bunch of fun dealing with a horror movie monster (as much as a weredeer is) who is trapped in a horror movie herself.
I'm also working on a third installment of Lucifer’s Star with Lucifer's World. That's going to be a straight up pirate in space work. Treasure hunting, politics, betrayal, privateering, and more. I’m having a lot of fun making it.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about I Was a Teenage Weredeer and Lucifer’s Nebula?
CTP: Purchase a copy and give them a read. If you're interested in learning more, then I suggest you check out my blog, The United Federation of Charles, and my author page of C.T. Phipps.