What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Christopher Lee and my writing tends to stay within the Epic Fantasy, Sci-fi/Fantasy genres.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
My current WIP’s Pantheon and Westward are being written in the old fashion of serial publishing. For Pantheon, I wanted to explore the myths and legends of the Western World in a futuristic setting. Basically gods, goddesses, and heroes in space. As for Westward, it is a paranormal western with an epic fantasy feel, for that one I just wanted to be more character oriented then I had been with previous works.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
This genre is a calling, you have to have it in your blood. I have been fascinated by the stories of myth and legend since I was a child. It is how I best relate to the world, so it felt only natural to pursue this genre in my writing.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Pantheon requires a great deal of research into the myths and legends of the past. Because of its nature, different cultures collide and managing the interplay of over 200 characters in the cast is a difficult task, so research is key. I look to the actual histories/myths to provide much of my structure. As for Westward, it is based on an alternate timeline, so I have heavily researched the era right before the Civil War to give me a basis to write the world.
Can you tell me about your Series?
Both series, Pantheon and Westward, are serialized, meaning they come out once a month with a new episode for readers to enjoy. Pantheon follows the myths and legends of the ancient Western world in a new setting. It is an attempt to relive the history of mankind in a fresh and exciting way. Westward is an exploration of magic, the occult, and how characters deal with the supernatural realm.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
Not yet, I am really enjoying both thus far.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
My inspiration almost always comes from myth, legend, or dreams. Westward came from a dream where I was like the main character Enoch Clarke, battling demons and monsters. Pantheon came from a desire to tell the stories that my generation has forgotten.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Lots of library time, wikipedia, and diving into old manuscripts online to find the proper descriptions and structure for the books.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Because of the nature of both series, they are meant to continue far into the future. I don’t write small, at all.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I try to set a daily writing goal, but I try not to stress about it so much. My main goal is to get something down everyday. Because I tend to burst and pop out 25k or 30k words in a week, I don’t have to stress about a daily goal.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I am considering going into production on the sequel for my first release Nemeton: The Trial of Calas. I promised readers that I would have a sequel to them by 2019, so it is time to get started. The working title is Inquest: Hallowed Veil Book Two.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Oh I love each and every character as if they were my children. So naturally most of their names are sacred to me and relate a great deal about the character. A good portion of the names are straight out of history, so naturally they would be important.
Where do your ideas come from?
Most often they come from dreams. I am a hyperactive sleeper, meaning I often recall almost five or six dreams a night. Two or three of which I become lucid, so my dream world is my inspirational playground.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
Well Pantheon has a science fiction flair to it, so yes. I’ve always been a science fiction fan and reader. In fact I started out writing Sci-Fi before making the jump to Fantasy. So this is my first entry into the pseudo-science fiction world, because Pantheon is not hard sci-fi, even if it does dabble in some elements.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part of writing has got to be editing. I can slam out hundreds, if not thousands of words a day, but when I go back to edit and tune up the work, it starts to drag. Not that I hate it, it just slows me down and when I slow down I get a little discouraged.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I made one by myself for Nemeton, when I was attempting to crowd publish the book. Coming from a background in film/video production with my B.F.A from University of Colorado at Boulder, it was an obvious marketing strategy to employ.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Finishing Nemeton: The Trial of Calas. The book took me six years to write. By the time I finished it, I had changed the idea, the story, the characters all a hundred times. I finally had to sit down and say screw it. Write it. Just flippin’ write the damn thing. Once I did, it was like a weight came off my shoulders.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Being able to daydream and create. Creation is an act of divine magic, and as an author/writer I get to perform miracles every single day.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Well I made myself a promise to be on the NYTimes Bestsellers list by age 40, so I hope that goal is achieved.
Have you always liked to write?
I am a natural born storyteller, so yes, its in my blood.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
STOP calling yourself an aspiring author, unless you always want to be just that. You are a WRITER now, you may not have published yet, but as long as they aspiring is coming out of your mouth, that is all you will ever be. Humility is great, but achievement is far superior. Know that you are an author TODAY, and watch how the dominos begin to fall.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Oh I don’t know exactly, I’ve been around the block, I’d probably be a teacher because I love to teach. Most of my books are meant to explain, teach, or illuminate the mysteries of life, so I would probably continue to do that.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Reviews are great, but they cannot be the only reason you write. I take the time to thank everyone for their reviews, comments, and suggestions, but beyond that I do not put much stock in reviews or their weight.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Like I mentioned earlier, editing can be such a drag, though it is hyper necessary.
What are you working on now?
Pantheon and Westward
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Well the first episode of each series are live on my website, and for only $1.49 you can get both. How about that for a tasty morsel? Go on over and check it out, see if you like it. What’s a dollar gonna hurt?
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I chose it because that is how I see the world, I cannot sit and write about the mundane for I do not see the world as mundane. I see mystery, adventure, and excitement everywhere I look, so that is why Fantasy is my bread and butter. Plus its way cool man.
Where did your love of books come from?
From learning, I am a learning addict. If I don’t conquer some form of knowledge each and every day I feel like I am going to explode. I can’t explain it, but it feels like I need to consume knowledge at every turn just to stay breathing.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Neil Gaiman, Frank Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson are just a few of the authors that have inspired me to do the work I do today.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
I don’t know if I can choose just one, but it is probably the Morrighan, the Celtic goddess of War, Death, Magic, Prophecy, etc. She holds a special place in my heart, and as such she is in two of my series.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
That would depend on the day. Some days crashing through the keys makes me an unstoppable force. Other days it lays me clean out.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
A sunny day where friends and family call my name to go on real life adventures. If there is something to do, I often will set aside the keyboard for a day and go enjoy fresh air and sunlight.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I think that “original” is a misnomer. Nothing is original anymore and yet everything is. I try to deliver the closest representation to the feelings and images that pop up in my own head. If I can do that on a day to day basis, I consider it a win. If readers dig it, cool, if not, oh well babe.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I am part of the LEGION of writers who struggle against the tides of indie publishing. We have a new website called www.writingbloc.com
Together we have coalesced into a force of nature where soon, we will all be enjoying some time in the sun thanks to our concerted efforts. Take a look and see what we have been brewing. Soon we will be running workshops, courses, running promos, etc. It’s an extravaganza of helpful people whose aims are the same as every writer’s. To be heard man!
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
A dude tells stories, cause stories are cool. Haha, I honestly don’t know. I’ve been working on a memoir of my twenties, and I have tentatively titled it Into the Mystic, so I’d probably stick with that.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
My favorite interview question is always, Who is your favorite Superhero and Why?
My answer would be, currently, Thor. Because well, have you seen the Marvel Cinematic Universe? He is badass.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
www.christopherleeauthor.com and on Twitter @ChristLeeEich