Discovering What It Means To Be Happy

Charles Crittenden Author Interview

Inhabitant follows the narrator after they have been exiled from Earth on their journey through space to find a home. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

This story was inspired by a few different things, both personal and philosophical. The primary catalyst was a series of events in my life that really threw me off track. I was searching for a better understanding of them. Those major life changes that make you feel like your world has been turned upside down are brutal to the psyche, and that image of having the ground ripped out from underneath you just stuck with me.

The further I dove into this concept, the more parallels I found with modern human nature: how we’re always looking for the next big thing as opposed to finding contentment in the present moment. We see that in how we’re treating Earth, an action that will harm us in the long term, but we also see that in the relationships we build around us. So much time planning for the future, hoping we can make perfect memories, while simultaneously reflecting on the past and what we wish we’d done differently. Meanwhile the present moment slips through time and time again.

This unique experience is told using poetry. What led you to use this style of writing to tell your story?

My experience in school with poetry greatly influenced my desire and appreciation of saying more with less. In-person I’m not usually the most verbose person in the room. I think there is an elegance in being succinct. But that’s the great part about the English language, and about poetry especially.  It offers so many different options and avenues to tell stories, where each person can have a unique voice. For me Fairchild and Levine were two of the poets that most influenced my desire to work in this form. When I was first introduced to Burned, I think I read it three or four times that night. It’s such an incredibly unique work, and I tried to channel that energy and feeling into mine, especially Sunset.

Over the course of writing, I played with a few different methods of telling this story. It started as a pure narrative, evolved into a hybrid of narrative and poetry, and eventually I landed where we are now. It was a difficult choice to pick a single path, but I wanted the form to best place the reader in the mindset of the traveler. Our traveler is out on their own for long periods of time, and I liked being able to play with that space on the page and the wandering thoughts that come with it.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

A number of different themes emerged as INHABITANT progressed: isolation, home, finding yourself…but the primary themes I latched onto early on were those of discovering what it means to be happy in your space and the importance of connection in our lives. With so many experiences and opportunities that we all will have while we’re here, the ones that impact us the most are those spent with our close family and friends. Moments of celebration, heartbreak, excitement, laze, (and the list goes on,) are all best felt with others around. INHABITANT is an exploration of someone who had this, lost it, and now is trying desperately to find that meaning and connection again.

One thing that I explore in the book is the significance of connections that don’t last forever. These friendships and relationships we build around aren’t necessarily going to be there through our entire lives. We hope they’ll be around forever, acting as our foundation, but sometimes life throws curveballs, and we have to adjust course. It’s better for us to find a way to enjoy what they offer in that time, and use those meaningful experiences to shape our future as we go.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have a few concepts that I’m building now but don’t want to say too much until I’m further along with them! The overall goal will be a bit of an expansion on the themes here, but in a more specific setting. I really want to explore the importance of family and community early in life and how they help establish a foundation for coping skills and healing later in life. This one is still a little way away, but I’m assembling the skeleton.

Currently, though, I’m back in school for Music Therapy, so that’s taking up all of my time and then some, but I’m working on a new album with my band abbr. as well as working with my friend on the score for the audiobook of INHABITANT to come later this year. This audiobook is going to be something special! I’m very excited for it. In the meantime, I look forward to continue moving forward and creating in many different ways.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

EXPERIENCE THE MARVEL OF THE UNIVERSE through the eyes of the Inhabitant!

After years of mistreating their home, the Inhabitant has been unexpectedly expelled from Earth and must journey across the universe to find a new home by any means necessary. Haunted by dreams of the past and hopes for the future, they can only rely on their experiences. Taking it day by day (and with a little help from a new friend), they explore new worlds, both wondrous and frightening, on the path to solid ground.

Charles Crittenden’s Inhabitant brings a unique blend of poetry and storytelling, inviting the reader to join the search for a new home.

Posted on February 16, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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