When do you know you wanted to be a writer?
Writing has been a passion of mine since I was 12 and read my first Shannara book (by Terry Brooks). The first book I ever tried to write was “The Adventures of Murray Slovack” about a slacker-day dreamer and his happy-go-lucky loose friend Goober, aka The Goob. From there I have been writing off and on my whole life from novels to short stories to even the occasional Murder Mystery Dinner Party for my friends J The Monster Squad is my first published work, though.
Which authors/works have inspired you?
Wow… where to start? I am particularly impressed by anyone who invents or reinvents a genre. Tolkien basically invented the Modern Fantasy. JK Rowling reinvented the Fairy Tale. Rick Riordan reinvented Mythology for a whole new generation of kids - each of these authors are icons to me (plus Terry Brooks whose work I continue to love today). I also love fun writing and fast pacing - Eric Kripke and Super Natural is brilliant, Robert Zemeckis and Back To The Future, Steven Spielberg and basically anything he ever did (okay, I wasn’t a fan of AI… but that was more Kubrick than Spielberg), JJ Abrams… even Jerry Bruckheimer and his pacing, imagery and accessibility have a terrific commercial appeal. I love works that are fun to read, play out in your mind, have unique characters with real voice and move at an almost breathless pace. I aspire to capture this in my stories.
What was the hardest part about writing this book?
Editing. Oooo… editing is hard… especially the 3rd or 4th time thru what you wrote and you really start to doubt the quality of the story and the words. But then you get to a Hemmingway-like place where you really start to chip away all the extras, take a step away and get to the core of the story, then editing gets easier and much more satisfactory.
Could you talk a bit about your publication progress?
It’s pretty brutal. I work in high tech at a large company and deal with a lot of fact pace innovation and decision making. The book industry is still pretty old school. You need to get an agent and finding one is basically a cold calling process. You then need to find a publisher and that is really hard. Feedback in the whole process is pretty minimal… you cling to the professional opinions you receive because feedback prior to publication is pretty minimal. My best piece of advice is keep pushing - you have to be the biggest believer in your work. You also need to have a thick skin - don’t be too “precious” with your art… be open to feedback, learn from rejection and refine and get better as you wind your way thru the process. The result is a more enjoyable experience for the reader.
What other projects are you working on?
Yes! I have book two of Monster Squad, titled Jekyll & Hyde 75% of the way done and have the outline for the final two books after that in advance draft stages. I also have started working on a bit spookier work called The Unseen about a girl, Willow Freeman, who dies on page 1 but whose story just begins. I try to post previews and updates on upcoming works on my author web site www.chrispagewriter.com for readers who are interested. A preview of Jekyll & Hyde is up there and a short blurb on The Unseen is also posted.
If you could give one of your characters a piece of advice, what would it be?
Hmmm… My favorite character in the book is Kevin Wallis… he is a classic side-kick character who is a total comic book and sci-fi nerd much like I was like as a kid (but funnier and bolder than I ever was). If I were to give him advice it would be to stow a bit of the humor (he uses it as a defense and to get attention) and be a little braver with the girls he likes (he has a crush on a main character, Shelley Merry, who is the heir of Frankenstein). In general, in my life I regret the people I didn’t talk to or the actions I didn’t take more than those I did… especially when it was just a case of nerves. Kevin proves brave in the clutch but at the school dance he would still be the wall flower… he should get over his own doubts.
Christian Page loves stories that combine fun, action and adventure. A father of two, he lives in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with his wife, son, daughter, overly plump cat and under-behaved dog. You can visit the author to learn more about his stories and upcoming work at www.chrispage.com or follow him on Facebook (Chris Page) or Twitter (@chrispagewriter).
Monster Squad: The Iron Golem on Amazon
Monster Squad: The Iron Golem on Amazon