Interview with Christopher Wright

Published 2016-01-24.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've been interested in my family history for over 50 years now, adding new information to my tree and accumulating all sorts of interesting biographical details on my ancestors and relations. With two young grandchildren, I began to think about how to leave a coherent record for them to appreciate when they are older. Then I realised that there are lots of other researchers and relations who would love to have a readable account of our shared history. Why stop there? Why not make the family history available to a wider readership too?
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords allows me to share my research with as many as are interested, as efficiently and effectively as possible, and allows my readers to access my work in a way that is convenient to them. Sharing with interested people is success in itself if they enjoy my work.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing for me is providing a legacy for the future about the past. It's the culmination of a process of research, analysis, problem-solving and realisation. The joy is in finding out and sharing new knowledge and new insights. And because it's about my ancestors, it's also personal to me in some way.
What do your fans mean to you?
There's nothing better than knowing what excites me also excites others! And if my work also inspires others to find out about their history or record their family stories, that's the best positive feedback loop you could wish for.
What are you working on next?
'Lancasters of Pateley Bridge' covers the story of the family back to about 1800 and traces the descendants of John Lancaster and Jane King. Now I'm going back another couple of generations to the middle of the 18th century and following the fortunes and fate of more distant ancestors and cousins.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Here's a list of a whole load of things that interest me, some of which I do at different times during the year, some when I can spare the time, and some that I have every intention of doing this coming year (even though I probably said that last year as well): photography (landscape mainly), painting (the artistic variety but also interior decorating in the house when I have to!), watching cricket and football (soccer), visiting historic buildings, bird watching, gardening.
What is your writing process?
It starts with the family history research. It has to be right and it has to be as thorough as possible. This means being sure of my facts, dates, etc. Then I take different branches of my tree in turn and choose individuals to be subjects in the story. All the research material on these subjects is then brought together so I can decide what to include or exclude. Then the magic bit - I don't know how it happens but somehow what's included orders itself into a sequence around a chronology or a theme. Then it more or less writes itself. When it's done, I then re-write it or prune it to get it into shape. It might go through any number of revisions. When I'm satisfied with the final copy of the whole book, I employ a professional editor to proof-read it and do another light edit.
How do you approach cover design?
One of the best bits of the process of publishing! I'm a keen amateur photographer so I have a good digital SLR camera and lenses. I enjoy digitally processing my photos and use Photoshop software. From there it's a short step to preparing a great cover design. (Well, I think it's great. What do you think?)
Describe your desk
That's easy! I don't have one. Well, I do but I hardly ever use a four-legged table except to support my scanner and printers. My lap is my desk and my desk is my laptop.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Bradford, Yorkshire, was my home town. I was born at Great Horton, lived in Little Horton and Wibsey, and walked a couple of miles each way to school and back twice a day (I went home for lunch). It was a grammar school. I was in an Arts stream, so we learned French, German and Latin instead of science. I went on to study French. Most of my education was about language and literature. My favourite pastime in Bradford was spent getting out of it, walking in the countryside. But Yorkshire stone gets into the bones and I have to say I quite miss the place now. I suppose all that permeates my writing.
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Books by This Author

Lancasters of Pateley Bridge
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 99,580. Language: English. Published: January 24, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Family history
This history of the descendants of John Lancaster and Jane King of Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire, from about 1800 to 1950, is rich in biographical detail from genealogical archives and contemporaneous accounts, and illustrated with photographs of people, places and family artifacts. Their stories provide an interesting insight into the period, particularly war, social change and migration.