Welcome to our third author interview, Chris and I have met at several book signings and I really enjoy his stories. I hope you enjoy getting to learn more about Chris and his books.
So tell us a bit about you and your background.
Hi, I’m Chris. I’m a Yorkshire born and bred author who is a self proclaimed ‘multi-genre’ author. I love to delve into different genres as I feel it challenges me as a writer. What my books do have in common though is that they are all set in the past, whether it be WW2, Victorian England or 19th century Paris.
I live just outside the city of York with my husband of 6 years, and Jack Russell terrier, Olly. I love travelling, photography, graphic design and reading.
Have you been influenced/inspired by other authors?
I read a lot of different books (which is possibly why I write in different genres) but authors who have stood out for me are JK Rowling/Robert Galbraith, Charlotte Rogan, Helen Dunmore and RL Stine.
How do you start the writing process for a new book/idea?
For me any book starts with an initial idea. Whether that be an old military coat I buy in an antique shop (resulting in The Vintage Coat book) or the wish to set a book in a certain location (for example Paris in my book Carousel).
You don’t seem to stick to just one genre; you have books that range from children’s books to crime. Is there a genre that you prefer to write or would really like to write?
My children’s books were always a passion for me, and the text for A Home For Emy I had for many years before it was eventually released in 2016.
As mentioned above all my other books are set in the past, so I don’t personally consider my books to be too different, despite dipping into multiple genres. The book I am currently working on is a detective book (set in Victorian England) and this is a genre I’ve been wanting to try for many years and have finally become brave enough to do.
How do you overcome writers block?
Personally I don’t believe in writers block. If I’m struggling with a current story I often go back and look back over where I am at, and I am going and have often taken a story back to take it in a different direction. If that doesn’t work then I would either take a break (as tiredness can make it difficult to focus on the story) or work on something different for a while until enthusiasm for the current project returns.
Is your writing personal to you or do you write for the readers and what they would like to read?
I always believe that writers should write for themselves first. It’s important as the author that you love your own story, and that in turn come across on the page to the reader.
Would we be worried if looked at your search history?
I think most writers would agree that our search history is probably the most random thing ever. Setting my books in the past means I spend more time researching the time period than anything else, in fact I can loose hours doing this as I enjoy it so much.
Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists or C) Epic settings?
I think the perfect story needs a bit of everything. Although if pushed for an answer I’d say A, Strong Characters. Your characters need to be engaging to the reader otherwise readers won’t connect to them.
Do you listen to music as you write? If so what’s on your writing playlist?
I can’t listen to music whilst I write, otherwise I end up just singing along and failing to write anything.
Do you get a chance to read for yourself, if so what was the last book that you read?
I love reading as much as possible and recently finished Eagle of the Empire by Martin Ferguson. It’s the first book of a series and I can’t wait to read the next one.
Is there any book that you wish you had written?
The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan – I love this Victorian drama and would certainly love to have written it.
What was your favourite book as a child?
I loved reading Roald Dahl books, the Goosebumps books by RL Stine and the Harry Potter books.
I know that you have a love of Harry Potter, what is it about Harry Potter that you love?
I discovered the Harry Potter books when I was 10 years old, just before the films, and instantly fell in love with them. I adore the imaginative world JK Rowling created, the complexities of the intertwining stories and characters and the escapism the books (and then films) give to the audience.
Which house would you be in?
On Pottermore I was sorted into Griffindor. Personally I can see aspects of each house in myself Haha!
What can we expect next from you?
I am currently working on a Detective book set in Victorian England. I also have a few other projects on the go including a project related to my first ever book The Vintage Coat.
Where can we connect with you? Facebook? Twitter? Own website?
You can find me at:
Thank you so much for taking time out to answer my questions.