Reyna: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Christian: I spent 5 years living around the world-courtesy of the US Army. Of course most of them were in Iraq and Afghanistan so I would cross them off the list. To live anywhere? I absolutely love Charleston, South Carolina. Hands down my favorite city.
Reyna: We are eternally grateful for your service, good sir
Reyna: Out of all your characters, which one would you take with you?
Christian: Probably none unless I was expecting to get into a pretty serious gunfight.
Reyna: Yeah, that’s probably not a good idea
Reyna: Bear with me, if you could live in the world you created, would you?
Christian: Oh no. Nyet. Nein. No. Almost all of my worlds are richly developed but none of them scream vacation destination.
Reyna: Now, that’s an emphatic no, yes? LOL
Reyna: When and why did you start on the path to become an author?
Christian: I began by writing goofy comic books as a kid, won the student of the month award in 10th grade for writing a very bad book I threaten to burn every time I visit my mother. It took me 20 years to get published but now I’m like a flood. My uncle is actually Geoffrey C. Ward– the guy who writes Ken Burns books to go with the miniseries. I guess it’s in my blood.
Reyna: Do you read books that are the same genre as your work?
Christian: I think any serious author has to. Some of my favorites (McKiernan, Drake, Brooks, Goodkind, Erickson and Esselmont) have inspired my writing.
Reyna: Who do you write for? The audience or yourself?
Christian: I have always maintained that the true measure of my personal success is in people enjoying my work. The money helps, of course, but I write for the satisfaction of knowing somewhere someone really digs my stuff.
Reyna: I certainly dig that!
Reyna: In The Sleeping Gods Tales, who is your favorite? How and why did you create them?
Christian: My favorite character is Senior Inquisitor Tolde Breed. Here’s a guy who is trying to do the right thing but has the carpet ripped from under him. We all know life is hard and this guy troopers on with his shoulders square and head down.
Reyna: Who would you compare Tolde Breed with?
Christian: A lifetime of being a soldier showed me how a true man acts. Tolde is a manifestation of real soldiers. Unlike fiction, sometimes the good guys don’t win. I try to emulate that with his character.
Reyna: If Tolde Breed were real person, would you hang out with them?
Christian: Probably not. He’s a little too stiff for my easy personality.
Reyna: Are you totally separated from your characters or is there a bit of you inside?
Christian: I try to put a little bit of me into a character in each book, as well as traits from a host of people I’ve met over the course of my life.
Reyna: Can we have a short blurb about The Sleeping Gods Tales?
The Gods are gone, lost in one apocalyptic moment of their own design. Humanity is alone, forced to struggle through a mundane existence. They are guided by the Conclave, an order of priests desperately trying to maintain order in the God’s absence. Along with the Order of the Inquisition and their Prekhauten Guard, the Conclave alone knows the one secret that threatens to unravel all. The Three, fabled sons of the Gods, still live and they aim to kill their fathers once and for all. Only a handful of brave men and women stand ready against the rising darkness and can avert war before it spread across the universe.
Reyna: What books, movie or play inspired you?
Christian: My dad took me to see the original Stars Wars in the drive in theater when I was four. I was hooked ever since.
Reyna: What is the hardest part to being an author?
Christian: Balance. Ok, actually marketing and trying to keep ahead of things. Writing is so easy for me, it’s the rest that kicks me in the tail.
Reyna: What’s your technique? Plan it out or make it up as you go?
Christian: I start with either a name, place, or title. Yes, unlike most authors I write for the title. Then I let it stew for weeks before rough outlining. The books takes shape from there and it’s game on until The End.
Reyna: If you could, what part of the publishing process would you tell to go to Hades?
Christian: Editing. I. Hate. Editing.
Reyna: That is a very popular answer, lol.
Reyna: Who are your two most favorite authors? And why?
Christian: Steven Erickson and Ian C. Esselmont. These two created the Malazan Book of the Fallen and completely hooked me. What a great fantasy series AND without elves, dwarves or dragons.
Reyna: What are your thoughts on good & bad reviews? Do you learn from them, take with a grain of salt…or, a little bit of both?
Christian: I think most reviews hold value, good or bad. The only ones I don’t care for are the ones that are overwhelmingly bad and don’t offer any reason. I get it, not everyone is going to like my books, and that’s fine, but at least give me a reason so I might be able to address it. The worst review I got (before Amazon removed it) was: “I didn’t actually read this- but it looks horrible.” Ummm what?
Reyna: For newbie writers, what advice would you give them?
Christian: Don’t be afraid to take chances. So many self-published people I see are afraid of taking chances. And where does that leave them? Like the New Zealand Special Forces says, “Who dares wins”.
Reyna: Your answers are so awesome, we are so glad you joined us. Well…you gave a great interview.