Interview with Christopher Bessette

When did you first start writing?
Before I was in kindergarten (4 years old), my parents used to buy me Marvel comic books. After they told me the story, I'd have my mom cut out the characters so I could slide them around the table and make my own stories. It's in my DNA to be a story teller. That naturally progressed in my school years, into college and after. The first big "ah-ha" moment came 10 years after college, on a flight from Toronto to BC. On the plane the stewardess offered a prize to the person who could write "in-the-style-of" the best David Letterman Top 10 Ways to Avoid Airsickness. When she read mine over the intercom, I had the entire plane laughing and cheering. I won the prize but bigger than that, I heard a live audience respond to my writing. Encouraging.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The inspiration for “The Mythamohre” came from the sad but true story of a famous Hollywood producer. He had reached the pinnacle of the movie industry and was riding the crest of success. Success meant he could live in excess without limits. It was that excess that ended his life. A friend, John Garner was preparing to speak and asked me for information on the Hollywood mogul. The illustration John gave of a life lived without boundaries was thought provoking. It caused me to think of (The-Myth-of-More) “the Mythamohre” in tangible ways and my characters journey was born.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Destiny is in your hands.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I love it that Smashwords takes the multi-platform eReader prep and puts it in one package.
Describe your desk
"Comfortably Busy" is the best way to describe the papers scattered on it. I have two desks in my office sitting in an "L" fashion. My main desk actually was purchased at an auction. The desk cost me $9.00. It's an old-fashioned wooden writers desk; where two people sat and worked facing each other. There's drawers on both sides. I fixed it up and it makes a great surface. Then my computers sit on a IKEA lunch table from their restaurant remodelling that I bought in their AS IS section and modified to be a computer desk. My iMac sits on that modified lunch table. I have huge windows in my office - one looking out to my driveway and front yard and one to my right looking across my property. It's an excellent place to write.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Southern Ontario in the Niagara Region. As a matter of fact the house I am in was my family home as a boy. The land it sits on has been in our family for over 200 years. Untied Empire Loyalist land. The significance of what my ancestral grandfather fought for to protect his family and land has never been lost on me. I hope to be able to pass it along to my children. The sense of heritage and history, stability and the comfort of home encourages me. I think the sense of knowing who you are comes out of you as a writer.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love spending time with my wife and family. I also love riding my motorcycle through the winding country roads of the Niagara Peninsula. I don't think a writer is ever not writing. Even when I am out on my motorcycle ideas and story lines drift into my head. Down time is refreshing but it can also be inspirational for me.
What are you working on next?
I am working on a couple of things simultaneously. For the novel readers out there I have a very cool supernatural thriller well underway. I also have a couple of feature films and a television series in development.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Life. It's great to be alive; to have another opportunity to inspire and be inspired, to be encouraged and be encouraging. Like the Beatles sang, "the love you take is equal to the love you make." I think those lyrics are simple, profound and true.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was about the picture of a cat I coloured in kindergarten. I coloured the picture of my cat turquoise. That caused the adults to say, "A cat is not turquoise," and a short time after my kindergarten teacher found me writing with my left hand. In those days (late 60's) if you were left handed they forced you to write with your right hand. I was born a non-conformist and my writing continues to be true and honest. Perhaps if each of us look back at our first story and our first art expressions we see a glimpse of the strength of who we are.
What is your writing process?
A high concept idea sparks the imagination. Screenwriters will understand the difference between a soft story and high concept idea. High concept ideas sell movie tickets and books. From there it is a little different for each story but the basics remain the same. I build character triangles for each and on each point of the triangle put different character traits. I bounce dialogue off each point of the triangle so my characters don't accidentally end up sounding the same. I design a character arc and plot my main characters growth. I work in a classic screenplay structure even though I am writing a novel; no turning back, everything that could go wrong goes wrong, and the resolution. If two characters are set up to collide they have to collide. I design set-ups and pay-offs - something that the character learns which becomes useful later in the story. There's a path for the main character to take to achieve what he wants. In his way are obstacles with twists and turns. So I lay out the main beats to achieve his goal. Sounds like a lot but it is all part of my process and it works. A lot of times along that journey my characters will say something that surprises me and the story goes in a new direction... and I go along for the ride.
Published 2013-08-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Mythamöhre
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 71,570. Language: English. Published: August 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
An archeological discovery reveals man existed long before anyone thought. A quest set in motion during ancient times, discloses a powerful evil that threatens mankind today. In that ancient time: a village mystic sends the sole survivor on a quest to find the warrior capable of defeating the supernatural forces holding the world captive. The fate of many rests in the journey of one.