Interview with Christopher Settle

What's the story behind your book?
The Bird Knows More is about a few young people on an island just west of California in the year 2122. The story follows Kasside Cissine, a 19-year-old boy who is part of a group of people with special abilities known as "Alchens." The Alchens are forced to attend an academy by the military government until they can prove they are ready to live in the world outside. Kasside and his friend Maron are placed in a dire situation when Maron's body begins to rapidly deteriorate from unknown causes. They manage to escape the academy an tirelessly fight for survival in this action-packed adventure. Cool, right?
When did you first start writing?
We've been writing since we can remember. We loved making stories, and we were good at it. We first started writing The Bird Knows More when we were in high school. I (Joey) was maybe 16, and Chris was about 18. I shudder every time I think of my writing style back then. Then again, in a few years I might shudder at my writing style now. You have to start somewhere.
Where did you grow up and how did this influence your writing?
We grew up in southern California. The Bird Knows More takes places very close to California, which is obviously a pretty strong influence. Other than literal location, we see a lot of interesting things happen out here that you might not see in other places. California is a very diverse place, and everyone strives to be the best. With so many strong personality types and with each city being so different from the one next to it, you're bound to be inspired.
Is having two authors difficult?
Not at all. In fact, having someone just as invested as you are in something is a tremendous help. If one of us doesn't like an idea, we revise it or toss it in the garbage, and that's that. Our ideas usually start out as moderately interesting, but we bounce them off each other so many times and reach heights we never could have alone. The Bird Knows More wouldn't have been possible without both of us.
How did you approach cover design?
The cover was huge for us. We spent so much time tinkering with ideas and then solidifying one. We knew that the cover needed to be awesome if we were going to attract ny readers. We read countless articles on making covers and what to avoid, and we looked at dozens of websites. A good cover is essential to your book's success. As much as people love to say "don't judge a book by its cover," it's the first thing we all do. That's not to say a book with an awful cover isn't well written, but it definitely helps to have a professional one.
Describe your desk.
Oh, man. You'd think most things these days are done on computer, but I do have a really messy desk (and desktop at that... so many different versions of the same files). What's on my desk? Sketches of characters, failed attempts at scenery, symbols upon crossed-out symbols, and notes regarding the logic behind our story. We spend hours trying to make sure everything fits, and sometimes it's easier to grab a pen when ideas strike. Unfortunately, those ideas are a bit harder to find when it comes time to actually put them in the story. I hope I'm not alone on this.
Describe yourself in three words.
Not good at counting.
What do your fans mean to you?
Okay, this will sound completely cliché, but the fans are everything. We wouldn't have written a book had there not been an audience to read it. Every time we get someone who says they love our book, it's the best feeling in the world. Just to know that someone we've never met somewhere out there read what we wrote and thought " This is awesome!" makes our day a million times better.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has brought us almost all of our success. We read the entire manual of how to publish, we watched the online tutorials, and we read FAQs and reviews about the dreaded Meatgrinder. We learned so much in such a short time just by utilizing what Smashwords put in front of our faces. Not to mention Smashwords making The Bird Knows More available practically everywhere. Even this interview, Smashwords was like, (non-direct) "Hey guys, set up an interview and people will read it and like you more." (direct) "Great idea, Smashwords, we would have never thought of that!"
What are you working on next?
The Bird Knows More is definitely not over. Just sayin'.
Published 2015-11-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Bird Knows More
Price: Free! Words: 77,720. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Death, discrimination and alchemy circles. Kasside Cissine is a cadet at a military-run academy which houses Alchens (people born with supernatural abilities). Kasside and his friend Maron are placed in a dire situation when Maron’s body begins to deteriorate. They manage to escape the strict government academy and tirelessly fight for survival in their search for answers and for salvation.