Today I welcome to my blog Chris Stevenson, another of the writers I have encountered at Absolute Write. He graciously agreed to an interview, so with no further ado:
Tell us about yourself. What do you write?
I’ve written a lot of spec fiction, both novels and short stories. My favorite genres include fantasy, science fiction, YA dystopian and dark fantasy, paranormal romance and thriller. I like these genres because I can really stretch my world-building. I’ll take you places like Middle Earth, and beyond with a twist. I’m totally visual, so you’ll live in my worlds and become accustomed to them like they were real or second nature.
Authenticity means a lot to me in crafting any spec worlds, or even a casual space flight. I go into detail and leave subtle hints and information on how and why they work, instead of glossing over it or expecting you to swallow a pile of nonsense. I’ve also written non-fiction books that have to do with my areas of expertise, mainly yard sales and auto mechanics. I’ve had poetry published as well as radio horror plays. The only thing I haven’t tackled yet is a feature film screen play.
Could you tell us about your publications and where we can find them?
The Wolfen Strain is a werewolf thriller with a Crichton-esque twist. It involves a DNA experiment that goes horribly wrong. It’s available on Amazon in e-book form:
Planet Janitor: Custodian of the Stars is an epic space opera adventure. A group of environmentalists are recruited to clean up a newly found planet, only to discover that it is infested with horrific monsters, bent on their destruction. It’s available on Amazon in e-book and hard-copy versions:
The War Gate is a paranormal romance/thriller that involves a murder mystery and time-travel. It has hints of Roman mythology mixed into the plot. It is available on Amazon in e-book format:
Two prequel short stories complement Planet Janitor, and they are The Moon is Not Enough and Journey Interrupted. The appear on Amazon in e-book versions:
Do you have any new releases coming up?
My newest release is The War Gate. My agent is current shopping four other titles at the moment, which include Dispossessed Incorporated, Fusion, Screamcatcher, and The Girl They Sold to the Moon. The Girl They Sold to the Moon just recently won the first place grand prize in a novel writing contest and is up for a film option. My agent is trying to leverage that YA book into a larger and more prosperous deal at the moment.
What are you working on now?
I have an idea for a sequel to Planet Janitor, since it’s done so well with my publisher. I foresee the crew coming across a derelict object in space that has a diamond exterior, which they bring aboard. As soon as the temperature raises on the object, two shelf-like drawers extend outward to reveal tens of thousands of plastic wafer sheets. Upon examination, the wafer sheets contain blood and fiber splotches, which turn out to be complete DNA library of a planet with all of its plant and animal species. The crew surmise that this object represents an ark, the last ditch efforts of an alien species to preserve their entire world as the result of an oncoming cataclysmic event. The crew calculates the trajectory of this object and goes to investigate this probable catastrophe. That’s about as far as I’ve gotten with a very loose outline. This is my first outline ever.
What was your favorite childhood book?
I didn’t read much as a child, except for the standard required books in school. None of them really stood out. A little later, as a teenager, I was completely take in by the Hobbit. I just couldn’t believe that such a fantasy world could exist. I went on to read the Lord of the Rings books and enjoyed them very much. I even tried my hand at epic or road fantasy, and didn’t do too well with it in the beginning. It did allow me to branch off into urban fantasy and paranormal, which I do like to write. I love world-building.
What were the last three books you read and what did you think of them?
Seabiscuit really blew my mind. I don’t even like horses. They scare me. But I’ve never read such a touching, realistic account of a horse, its owners, rider and trainer in all my life. It was just gripping. It’s the story of an underdog, whether that character is a human or animal. It explores the trials and tribulations associated with competition and winning, when the odds are stacked against you. I love themes that explore unlikely heroes, such as Frodo in Lord of the Rings, and Cinderella Man. Seabiscuit had all of that. All of my stories have unlikely heroes thrust into situations where they must overcome impossible odds.
Poul Anderson’s Virgin Planet. It’s the story of a wayward space explorer who lands on a planet populated by women only, and he’s the first male they’ve ever seen. Of course, they don’t quite understand the need for him since they have special doctors (a DNA machine), that provides a type of artificial insemination. It’s really a gas in how he tries to explain his worth and how nature is really supposed to work between similar mammals. There’s a lot of wit and irony in the storyline, and later when the female inhabitants find out how he functions and what his purpose is, they fight over him. It’s an older book, but truly an impressive read in the classic golden age vein.
The Black Marble by Joseph Wambaugh. This is the story about a killer who lives in the seedy side of the show dog world. A aged, alcoholic cop and a frumpy, overweight female sidekick, team up to chase down this character, Philo Skinner. This book was one of the first that showed me the high points of a character-driven story, showing great diversity in personalities with ample quirks and foibles. I fell in love with the characters before I even realized what the plot was about.
Where can readers track you down?