Friday, May 19, 2006
Chris Well Interview--Part 2
Continuing our interview with Chris Well:
8) Do you put Fruit Loops in your coffee?
I have never gone that far, no. Charlie’s obsession with putting extra materials in his coffee is inspired by a former boss of mine who would put chocolate syrup in his coffee; he was the one who told me that coffee is merely the transportation device for whatever else you can put in it.
I only started drinking coffee after I got married in 2002. Until recently, I put hot chocolate mix in it. But lately, as part of a bid to lose weight, I’ve been taking my coffee black. (And it is every bit as horrible an experience as I expected.)
9) What's the best piece of practical writing advice you'd love to give aspiring writers?
Do the writing. No writing is wasted. Do not wait until after you are discovered to do the work—or you will never be discovered.
10) What's up next for you, Chris? Can you give us a sneak preview of your WIP?
I have the next three Kansas City novels loosely mapped out. I have to turn #3 in this August. I am always nervous about giving away details too early, but let’s just say that Charlie has a reason to brush up on his eschatology.
I am also noodling around on some other ideas, including a concept for a different series. I hope to be able to talk about it this fall.
11) What is your favorite way to keep up with pop culture? Is it TV shows, movies, magazines?
If you mean news, I get most of my info about this stuff from the Internet. I also read a lot of books. You’ll notice that most of the pop culture stuff referenced in my novels is actually classic TV and films—so a lot of that is on DVD and I love reading books about old TV shows.
12) What are your favorites (shows, movies, etc) from the question above?
TV: Cheers, Monk, The Munsters, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Columbo
Film: Marx Brothers, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, James Bond, the THIN MAN series, Get Shorty. Anything starring Cary Grant. Anything directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Print: I am currently on a mission to read everything ever written by Agatha Christie.
Musicals: Singin’ in the Rain, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera
Comic books: She-Hulk, Fell, indie comics
MUSIC: Cindy Morgan, Steely Dan, Tonex, Sting, Needtobreathe, Rush, Pee Wee Callins, Beatles, Daniel Amos, Crowded House, Hawk Nelson.
13) Now that you've got a couple of novels under your belt, what marketing/publicity has been most effective in promoting these thrillers?
It is a learning curve. The marketplace is so crowded, and so competitive, that all I can really do is try to win over one reader at a time. Of course, with email and the Internet and blogs, it makes it so much easier to reach and touch someone.
14) Why do you write?
My head is always full of stories. I am always scribbling notes and ideas on whatever scrap paper is handy. The only way to get this stuff out of my system is to write. A lot.
15) I haven't seen much, if any, fiction focusing on forgiveness. I'd like to hear you pontificate on the challenge of writing Christ-centered fiction in general.
The challenge for a Christian artist in any field is to balance the needs of the “art” with the urge to bend it into some utilitarian purpose. The more artful and beautiful a work of art, the more godly it is. The work that stands the test of time is something that was beautiful first, and communicated out of it in a natural way.
As my characters go through their paces, if they do not behave in a believable manner, if the story is not written in a compelling manner, all the good intentions in the world do not matter if the reader has already put the book down and gone on to something else.
16) Chris, I loved Forgiving Solomon Long. From concept to print ready, what does your novel writing process look like?
This is such an involved process, I am posting the answer here: [http://chriswellnovelist.blogspot.com/2006/05/from-plot-to-print-making-of-novel.html].
Thanks, everybody! And many thanks to Brandilyn for hosting this!