TGIF Everyone! 🙂 Today I have an awesome guy and cool author, Christopher Waltz for you to check out. Sit back and Enjoy!
Christina: What’s your current project? Tell us a little about it.
Christopher Waltz: I have a couple of projects in the works. First, my second novel Old Habits released on October 20th, so I’m doing a lot of promoting with that. I’m really proud of it, so it’s all I can do not to just shove it in people’s faces constantly. The paperback is available on Amazon, and the Ebook is FREE through Smashwords.
I also have a serializes horror/comedy novel being released every two weeks on http://www.channillo.com. It is called Hellbound, and it is about a small town where everyone begins acting out their most prominent of the seven deadly sins. One guy, kind of a big nobody who grew up in the town, but doesn’t feel like he belongs, figures out that the world is coming to and end and he has to try to stop it. It’s wacky, and funny, and a little scary sometimes. I love it.
I also just released the first episode of a horror podcast I’ve been working on. It’s based on a few short stories I’ve written over the past few years, and I’ve been really happy to see how it has evolved and turned into something of a completely different medium than it began. It’s called Dead Oaks and you can listen to it here: https://soundcloud.com/bronzecast
I also just started writing the final book in the Ivy League Trilogy, Loose Ends. So, I’ve been pretty busy!
C. What has been your favorite scene to write so far?
CW. There is a scene in Old Habits where a pretty placid character basically snaps and gets to beat the tar out of his not-so-placid partner in crime. Jamie is this laid back guy who normally wouldn’t resort to violence, but he just has all this emotional stress pent up, and he lets loose on Gabe, a very violent character. The fun part about the scene to write is that Gabe could completely stop Jamie from whaling on him, but he chooses not to. I like writing violent scenes, because as a person, I’m very non-violent, and it really challenges me as a writer.
C. Who or what has inspired your writing?
CW. So many things have inspired me, but it always comes back to a couple of different teachers I had in high school. I had an English teacher named Mr. Gaylord, and he basically let me work as his teaching assistant so I could work on my writing during school. I also had a journalism adviser named Mrs. Green who, outside of my parents and close friends, has been one of the most supportive people in my life.
C. What is your biggest goal with your writing?
CW. My goal is to write something people can relate to or feel some kind of emotion towards. Nobody wants to read a book that doesn’t make them feel anything, so I want to be the author they read when they want that emotional experience.
C. Do you have any pre-writing rituals?
CW. I don’t know if it’s a ritual or not, but while I write, I always listen to the same two or three bands on repeat. It took me about a year to write Old Habits, and I swear I’ve only listened to the same three bands over the course of that whole year. I’m also very meticulous about how I layout each and every chapter of what I’m writing. I have to know every detail about these characters and what happens to them, even if it doesn’t make it onto the pages of the story.
C. What is the weirdest location you’ve ever written at?
CW. I can’t think of any weird places I’ve written, but I do write at Starbucks a lot. I kind of have this setup where I go in and have my own little table in the corner, and the baristas always know what I’m going to drink. I swear, one of these days they’re going to kick me out!
C. How do you handle writer’s block?
CW. Basically, I don’t. If I have writer’s block, then I just don’t write until it goes away. I always hear a lot of advice about “just power through it,” and that’s totally cool if it works for you, but I’d much rather take a break and not write something I’m going to hate just to be writing when maybe I shouldn’t be writing. To me, writer’s block is my brain’s way of saying “take a vacation!”
C. How much research was involved in your latest piece and how did you tackle it?
CW. I’ve had to do a lot of research for the horror/comedy serial, Hellbound, because it focuses a lot on stories and characters in the Bible. I’ve had to read a lot more of the Bible than I ever have in my life and make connections to characters in those stories. I feel like the biggest amount of research I’ve done there is taking the story of Samson and Delilah and updating it to a modern setting for Hellbound.
C. Are you a planner or a plotter?
All of the above.
C. What has been your biggest learning experience so far in your career?
CW. My biggest learning experience has been to kind of take a “who cares?” attitude about some things. With indie publishing, it’s so easy to get discouraged or feel like you’re wasting your time, so I’ve had to just push everything back and say “Who cares? I’m happy and doing what I love.”
C. Is there anything you wish you were told prior to writing or publishing?
Yes, that formatting Ebooks is terrible and it’s definitely worth the money to have it professionally done.
C. What’s next for you?
CW. I’ll be at a horror writer’s retreat in Colorado when this interview goes online, so hopefully I’ll be learning a lot and getting a lot accomplished. I also hope to finish Loose Ends within a year, so I can have it published by the end of 2016. I’m also planning a new novel, and really the only thing I know about it is that it’s called The Don’t Get Killed Club, and it’s basically a mix between The Breakfast Club and Fight Club and The Lost Boys, so that should be interesting…
C. Have you taken any writing classes? If so, share those experiences.
CW. I have not taken any writing classes outside of run-of-the-mill college courses.
C. Is there any talent or skill you wish you were better at within the writing/publishing process?
CW. I feel like I wish I was better at editing my own writing as I write it. I have a bad habit of writing in passive voice, and then my editor has to fix it, so I can fix it, so I don’t look like an idiot when people read my writing! But, writing is a learning process, and it wouldn’t be any fun if I was perfect and had nothing to learn.
C. Have your parents read your work?
CW. My mom read my first novella, Come As You Are, and I think she said it “blew her away.” I don’t know if she has read Ivy League, and I definitely don’t want her to read Hellbound, because it’s kind of more risque than anything else I’ve ever written. My parents are always supportive of my writing, but I’m not sure if they want to experience some of the subject matter I write about, and that’s understandable.
C. What made you decide to self-publish?
CW. In all honesty, I have no patience, and the traditional publishing route takes a lot of patience! You send out hundreds of queries, and you hear back from maybe ten percent of those, if you’re lucky. With self-publishing, I have the ability to take things at my own pace, and I don’t have to wait for anyone to accept or reject my writing (which can be traumatizing).
AWESOME interview. Thanks Christopher. Now….. Where you can Find Christopher Waltz’s work.
Soundcloud (Dead Oaks Podcast): https://soundcloud.com/bronzecast
Old Habits Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Old-Habits-Part-Trilogy-League/dp/1517756499/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1445282585&sr=1-1&keywords=old+habits+christopher+waltz
Old Habits smashwords (FREE!): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/584876