Interview with Christopher Valdez

What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are my ego. Each person who enjoys one of my stories is a rush of endorphins. I write my stories for myself, and that is its own reward. But sharing them with others, and seeing them enjoyed and appreciated, is like a free ticket to Disneyland.
What are you working on next?
I am trying to complete three novels. But in the meantime, there are always new short story ideas popping into my head. Some of them require my attention.
Who are your favorite authors?
Wow. Hard to narrow it down. C.S. Lewis and Tolkien, of course. Jean Auel. Kim Harrison. Anne Rice. George R. R. Martin. David Eddings. Linda Howard. Nora Roberts. And one or two I'm embarrassed to admit to.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family. My cat. Hunger. Sometimes, I even have to get to work.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading. Playing Words With Friends. Arguing with people on Pinterest. And trying to get my new business up and runnin.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I have ordered plenty of books from favourite authors. The places I order from now suggest things their computer think I should enjoy. I often take the suggestions.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
When I was five, I wrote a one-page story called Toasty the Clown. I can recall nothing about it other than the title, but I have been writing new stories ever since.
What is your writing process?
The process starts usually by talking to myself. I do this in the car, the shower, grocery shopping, wherever. I play with voices, sometimes I sing, often I argue. Occasionally, I will hear myself say something that sticks in my head and needs to be developed. I continue voicing that idea until the voice becomes a character. Then new voices chime in. And I get a pen or my tablet.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I learned to read very early, and those first stories are forgotten. But the Narnia books, by C.S. Lewis, were hugely influential. The idea that other worlds might be waiting in any cupboard or closet captured my imagination. In many ways, I am peeking into a new closet every time I pick up a pen.
How do you approach cover design?
I think about the story, and the elements essential to its character. I apply my awesomely amateur photoshop skills to the task. Finally, I look at the mess I've made and then contact a professional.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Godfather, The Princess Bride, Clan of the Cave Bear, Lord of the Rings, and the entire Harry Potter set. These were masterpieces in which every character lived and breathed. More than words on a page, they were real people whose lives mattered.
Published 2015-04-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.