Charlie David Gets Moodylicious in Shadowlands
In addition to hosting a TV travel series (Bump!), working steadily as an actor (Dante’s Cove, The L Word), playing music, and running his own production company (Border2Border Entertainment), Charlie David somehow finds time to write.
Photos by UKMCBO Photography
His stories have been published in Instinct, National Youth Ambassador, Adventure Women, Outlooks, and BoyCrazy! magazines, as well as on AfterElton.com. He’s also published two novels, Boy Midflight and Mulligans, the latter of which was adapted from the film of the same name, which he also wrote and started in. Both were among the top 10 sellers for Insight Out and Book of the Month Club.
His newest book, Shadowlands, is a collection of short stories in which David explores the paranormal as well as the passion and pain of gay sexuality by re-imagining ancient myths, turning them inside out, and slapping on his own clever twists. The tales, which are beautifully written and often heartbreaking, feature characters full of self loathing, despair, and anger.
It’s pretty heavy stuff—and not what you'd expect from an affable guy like Charlie David, who was kind enough to share with us his thoughts writing as therapy, his fascination with mysticism, and why a gay remake of Jaws is a good idea.
Your characters in Shadowlands end up in such dark places, yet you always seem so sunny. What the hell happened to you while you were writing this?
In general I would say I’m a very happy person. But I can also be horribly moody. Shadowlands was a two-year effort. Which just happened to take place after I ripped myself from the one major relationship in my life. A lot of the stories are about loss, coming to terms with death, and an almost frenetic searching for home, purpose, and sense of completion through another person. Should we just admit the book was therapy? I’m addicted to the sense of catharsis we get once traveled over difficult roads.
Have you always been fascinated by the paranormal?
Absolutely. I think for many of us who grew up steeped in Catholicism you can’t help but be enchanted by a bit of mysticism. It’s all so richly interwoven into our traditions: the transfiguration of the body and blood into the bread and wine that we then consume, the incarnation of a Divinity, the realm of angels and demons, prophets who could turn their staff into snakes. I mean, really—it’s fantastic stuff.
Any plans to adapt any of these stories for the screen?
Yes. There is a feature script written for Shadowlands that’s going to combine three of the stories. I’m very excited about it. It’s going to be one twisted ride.
Your second book, Boy Midflight, is about a young man in Canada exploring his sexuality and experiencing love for the first time while pursuing a career in American entertainment. How autobiographical is it?
[Laughs] Okay, you got me. I wrote Boy Midflight when I was eighteen and going to college. Although released as my second book, it was actually written first. Though the book is fiction, a large percentage of it is based on my life and experiences at that point. I’m actually recording the audio book version now, and I find myself laughing out loud at some of the ways I viewed the world back then. It’s still me, of course—I just have another decade of perspective under my belt.
If you could star in an all-male remake of any classic horror film, what would it be?
I think a gay Jaws could be really awesome. It takes place at the beach, so there would be lots of great swimsuits. And nothing will shrink an erection in the water quicker than the threat of a shark. I’m positive of that.
You were a member of the boy band 4Now and opened for some of today’s hottest performers. Who was nicer: Beyoncé, Fergie, Pink, or Snoop Dogg?
I’m a huge Beyoncé fan. The girl can do no wrong in my book and she’s a sweetie to boot.
What literary character do you most relate to?
Well, for a while I think it was Dorian Gray but I believe I’ve gotten over that insane preoccupation with youth and looks. It’s a downright deadly battle to engage in because you’ll never come out the victor. And now perhaps Screwtape from C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters. Not that I see myself as demonic in any sense, but that I feel I view the human condition more readily and in fact delight in its often predictable conundrums.
You’re a writer, an actor, a producer, and a musician. Please tell us one thing you can’t do.
Dress myself with any hope of being considered fashionable. I hide in monochromatic to disguise my ineptness.
What would you say is the gayest thing about you?
My penis. It makes me do all types of fantastically gay things.
Last question: Does being in a boy band enable one to get laid as often as we fantasize it does?
Absolutely. Should we call Lance and get a second opinion? [Laughs]
Get yourself a copy of Shadowlands here.