Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Interrogating Eric Christopherson

Eric Christopherson is the author of some seriously good thrillers where sanity is a matter of opinion.

How do you strike the balance between writing something you want to write and writing something that people want to read, in terms of the compromises you make, if any?

I enjoy reading thrillers to such an extent that it's no sacrifice at all consigning myself to writing within the genre. I haven't made any sacrifices with the writing of the books yet either. I write books I wish I could read myself. I do wonder how the work-in-progress--Tentatively entitled, Fortress of Ephemera--will play with the reading public, though. I have a very large vocabulary, partly as the result of possessing an advanced degree, and for the first time that vocabulary will be on display through the stuffy voice of the story's narrator. I think some readers will enjoy the rich language while others will be glad it's so easy on an ereader to access the dictionary. :)

What excites, attracts or appeals to you about the genre(s) you write in.

Vladimir Nabokov once said: "The unraveling of a riddle is the purest and most basic act of the human mind." I think it's the riddle aspect of the thriller genre that really turns me on: What is this character really like? Really made of? What happens next? Who done it? Who will prevail? How will s/he prevail? And so on. I like the outsize stakes usually found in a thriller very much too, the world-hangs-in-the-balance scenarios, as well as the clever high concept ideas and the often exotic locales.

Do you have a box, drawer, folder etc where you keep thoughts and ideas for future stories? Such as names you have come across, bits of dialogue, ideas, characters - even if you have no idea when you might use them?

I used to have such a folder, now it's a computer file. I've already collected more story ideas than I have time to write if I live a century. On the other hand, I'd only really want to write about ten percent of the ideas, if push came to shove, but any of the other 90 percent might serve as inspiration, a jumping off point for a really good idea.

How much of you is in your characters? Which of your characters is the you that you’d most like to be? Or be with

I think it varies how much of me is in a character from little to a lot. I think we all are multidimensional but most of our dimensions don't get exercised or developed. One of the pleasures of being a novelist is the opportunity to take one of my more or less neglected dimensions out of the box for a nice run.

The importance of humor in life only increases as I age, so I think the me I'd most like to be amongst my characters would be Argus Ward of Crack-Up; albeit, I wouldn't also wish to be schizophrenic!

Do you become so wrapped up in your writing that your spouse wonders if they're married to you or one of your characters?

No, because my wife and family come first, and that's my wife and family insisting, by the way. It slows my productivity, no doubt, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

What type of book do you like reading? Is it the same genre as you write?

I read thrillers and I read classic novels and nonfiction and little else. My favorite author of all time is probably Charles Dickens. I like Shakespeare nearly as well. I'm very slow in reading my favorite authors as I don't want to run out of new material from them. I'm fast approaching the end of Raymond Chandler's short oeuvre, and it's a bit sad for me.

Besides thrillers I read a lot of mysteries. I mean to write a straight mystery one day purely due to my love for them.

What lengths do you go to to convince us readers that your book has the X factor?

Well, there are the blurbs I write for the novels as well as the star ratings on Amazon and at Goodreads. I'm very grateful that the books have been so well reviewed. I only wish more people knew about them.

I do very little in the way of marketing. I mean to change that once I've finished Fortress of Ephemera.

How do you feel when a reader points out the spelling mistake(s) you have made?

This has yet to happen. I'm sure it will happen one day, probably a homonym the spell check fails to pick up.

What do you like most about visiting KUF?

Counting the number of members who've recommended my novels. :)

What is on your near horizon?

Finishing the work in progress and raising my one year-old, mutually incompatible goals.

Where can we find you for more information?

I don't have a website yet. But I can be reached at:

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