Interview with Chris Lehto

What do your fans mean to you?
Honestly I can't imagine having fans, but if I can affect someone in some small way to make lasting changes in their life then all the work has been worth it. As I've gotten older I've found that we all have some impact on each other. Young kids make changes in my life and I like to think I make the cashier's life at the chow hall a little tiny bit better. When people tell me the book has helped them with motivation or looking at the problem differently it motivates me to keep producing. So I guess in the end fans feed the fire.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I started training Turkish airmen in the gym while I was stationed in Turkey for 2 years. Finally I trained a good friend of mine from Pakistan. He said "you changed my life." It felt awesome so I decided to write the book and maybe change another person's life.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on the sequel to Stay on Target. I have some interesting data and unique points I think but it's been tough to plow through. I published a short supplement guide I thought people would find useful and so far I haven't received any input, good or bad, which is disheartening. I think maybe I need more data on what people want to read before I invest a lot more time writing something people won't want.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Take care of my kids and spend time with family. Work my real job as an F-16 instructor. Play tabletop and video games.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Hah, yes the first serious story I wrote was a short sci-fi story. I wrote it on deployment in Iraq and made all the mistakes any new author makes, terrible leading dialogue, flat characters etc... But it was a great exercise. I am definitely no Earnest Hemingway but I think we learn from any serious writing. Like anything else it is about practice.
What is your writing process?
I sit down at night and write something for as long as I can take. Sometimes just starting to write leads to further writing. Sometimes I write a bunch of terrible sentences. Sometimes I think it is terrible at the time and it turns out to be okay. I think you make your money in the editing and the second and third times writing the book.
How do you approach cover design?
I hired a professional.
What do you read for pleasure?
I wrote what I like to read. I like science backed non-fiction. I wish I could read fiction but I kind of feel like I'm wasting my time. I read to improve and learn more about the world. I do enough other time-consuming fruitless activities.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Published 2015-12-14.
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