Interview with Chris Laing

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Hamilton, Ontario during WW II. My family lived in the so-called "Wartime Houses", a small concentration of prefab houses - hastily-built plywood structures which allowed for maximum heat in the summer and maximum cold in the winter. The neighborhood was teeming with kids whose fathers were either serving overseas or employed in war-related jobs. Needless to say, you learned about life and how to survive at an early age - lessons which have lasted me a lifetime.
I fondly remember those early experiences (the hardships are dulled by time) and attempt to recall them in my writing. "West Side Kid", my collection of short stories, is an example.
My experiences working in downtown Hamilton during the 1950's has strongly influenced my detective novels set in the 1940's. "A Private Man" is the first in the series of Max Dexter Mysteries, a wounded veteran of WWII who returns to Hamilton to set up his own private detective agency. The second novel in the series will be published by Seraphim Editions in Sept., 2014.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
This is my first indie publication. Print book publishers can't make a buck with short story collections (unless you're world-famous) and I have a collection of rejection letters to prove it. A friend told me about Smashwords and here I am. So far, so good.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It may sound selfish but I enjoy writing for my own entertainment. I know I've hit the sweet spot when I either make myself laugh out loud or I scare the pants off myself. That's why I keep doing it. And if others are also entertained by my work, well, that's an added bonus.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everyone likes a little praise in their life and to hear from someone who enjoys reading your stuff is a great morale boost. Fans are also an excellent barometer and I listen closely when they tell me what they liked and didn't like.
Who are your favorite authors?
Sadly, my favorite author, Elmore Leonard, has recently died. I guess I'll just have to continue re-reading his novels. I've learned more from him than any other writer.
Published 2014-07-31.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

West End Kid: Tales from the Forties
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 39,760. Language: Canadian English. Published: September 13, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Fiction » Historical » General
An imaginative collection of 9 short stories about a group of kids growing up in Hamilton, Ontario during World War Two. This coming of age collection captures the spirit of the times and reflects the age-old challenges facing every generation.