Interview with Christopher Goodrum

When did you first start writing?
As I kid, I dabbled. Creative stories in grade school as young as 10. They were creative writing assignments. I don't know how many children ever really experience those types of assignments in school, but for me, it was fun. Then, there were talent show skits and poems leading into high school were I wrote plays and original dialogue for my high school's Broadway Revue.

But certainly, the thing that got the whole thing started was a story I wrote beginning my freshman year based on a comedic one-act play I co-wrote and performed in 8th grade. A film-noir detective tale turned "Lethal Weapon"-type actioner. It's pretty bad, I must confess. But I enjoyed the creative and writing process. That, above anything else, is what keeps me writing in all forms and all formats.
What's the story behind your latest book?
"The Order" is a special book for me. It is a culmination of a lot of different stories, characters, and concepts I had been trying to put in a tale for 20 years. The book, itself, was finished in '02, I have been waiting for the right time to dust it off and revise it. It finally hit the bookshelves February 2016.

I began writing "The Order" during my years working at the Disneyland Resort in the Entertainment Department. It was the best creative environment I could ever hope for, surrounded by many creative and supportive people.

I have a love for two science fiction franchises: Star Trek and Star Wars. And there are many similarities between "The Order" and those franchises. It is an homage, of sorts. My first leap into science fiction involving space and aliens rather than the paranormal. I wanted to delve deep into the genre, using the inspiration from Star Trek and Star Wars to create a worlds and galaxies that were exciting and characters that were adventurous while giving my unique take of some traditional science fiction concepts. "The Order", in a way, pays tribute to them while being its own original work.

There are, at least, two more books planned in the series.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The world and the market is at the point where it is easier to share your work than ever before. Ten years ago, you could barely get your work published without a major publisher or paying a heavy cost. I want to share my love for writing and creating stories. Tell the stories I want to tell and how I feel they should be told without worrying about the commercial success of the previous work dictating whether I should continue. Being an indie writer allows me to pursue my dream and share what I love. And hopefully, the readers love what I share.

Writing is a hobby for me. Always was and always will be.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
You know, it may sound weird, but I love naming female characters, and writing dialogue. For the latter, writing dialogue is a great way to display or showcase a character's personality and wit, and a wonderful tool to establish the relationships between characters. In a review for "The Leaping Lepre of Letterfrack", the reviewer loved the realistic and comical banter between the siblings. I take great joy in such a compliment. Coming from a theatre and entertainment background, I take great care in creating witty dialogue.

In regards to the former, I find that woman have a plethora of fantastic names to choice from. There are not as dry as Richard, or William, or even Christopher. Discovering the right name for female characters further inspires me to create great characters that befits the name chosen, even if I have to completely make the name up in such case with alien characters.

As an added unexpected joy, book titles sometimes make me happy. The danger is creating a fantastic title for a story you haven't conceived yet. "The Leaping Lepre of Letterfrack" was one of those titles. It was created as an inside joke. But I liked the title so much, I developed a story around it.
What do your fans mean to you?
I consider myself a humble and modest person. Particularly when faced with compliments and praise. I am grateful to my fans. I am grateful, first and foremost, they are interested in my books. I am grateful they purchase my books. But I am absolutely beyond words in gratitude that they read my books. The support and enthusiasm keeps me going. My number one fan are my daughters. They are constantly interested in what I'm writing and eager to read them. They are avid readers and writers, too, so we have our own little support system.

What I love the most is when my fans talk to me about a funny moment in the story, or a plot element they found intriguing. Any opportunity to share my thoughts with them is a blast, and it further inspires me to continuing writing.
What are you working on next?
I'm on the first leg of the editing the follow-up to "The Leaping Lepre of Letterfrack". No release date is set. The story is a book for young readers and set in Ireland one year after the events of the first book.

In "The Leaping Lepre of Letterfrack", an ancient peace offering known as the Airgead, a symbol of peace and unity, is stolen. The queen of Letterfrack and the king of Claddaghduff accuse the other of the betrayal and theft, and the king of Claddaghduff threatens war unless the Airgead is returned. Seamus, Dáira, and Riona, three young teens knows who took it: a dark shadow only they were able to see. They embark on a journey to get the Airgead back, and find themselves on a magical adventure that will test their bravery and their magic in the hope of stopping a war before it begins.

The follow-up, which has yet to be titled, explores these characters and their magical land further while putting them on another potentially dangerous adventure throughout Ireland. It was great fun to write. Didn't think I was going to revisit that world.
Who are your favorite authors?
Peter David is amazing. He created a series of Star Trek books called "New Frontier". I pretty much read them all, but two or three, and there's about 18 of them, I think. He also wrote a couple of books about King Arthur coming back in modern times, first running for Mayor, then becoming President: "Knight Life" and "One Knight Only". There is a third book, but I never had teh pleasure of reading it He possessed the creativity and dry wit I admire, and has a way of taking old, ridiculous ideas and making them work. He actually worked in "The Great Bird of the Galaxy" into a Star Trek story which was just a nickname for Gene Roddenberry. He took a boring one-off character from The Next Generation, Dr. Selar, and made her an interesting and vital character in the series. He possess a talent for storytelling, I hope to achieve.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created one of the greatest characters in literature in Sherlock Holmes. The storytelling is simplistic but sophisticated in its approach. Sherlock Holmes is considered the greatest detective and a genius, however, one must wonder who much of a genius who have to be to create a genius. "The Sign of the Four" is a challenge to work through, but "The Study in Scarlet" is masterful, and his various short stories involving Sherlock Holmes are fun to read.

J.R.R. Tolkien should be on everyone's favorite list, just for the mere fact that modern fantasy owes him a debt of gratitude. While "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" may be his greatest triumphs, I am partial to "The Silmarillion".
What do you read for pleasure?
I try, but it is difficult for me to find books that are interesting to read. I will try to the occasional Star Wars book. Some are not as interesting as others and find myself not getting passed the first couple chapters. If I'm not interested by then, it goes back to the library.

Occasionally, I will pick up a classic to learn and study from: "From the Earth to the Moon", "The Invisible Man", and "Beowulf". But I mostly try to find books to read for the pleasure of it.

I began to write books partly because I didn't enjoy reading. As I mentioned before, I didn't find books that were interesting to read. I figured I might has well create stories I would enjoy reading. It wasn't until much later in my life did I look harder. "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and the novelization of "Star Wars" were my first books on that journey. Since then, I have enjoyed the stories of Sherlock Holmes, a couple Stephen King books, "Eragon", Tolkien, and Peter David, and many others.
What is your writing process?
I write organically. I enjoy discovering the story as I write and so there is little planning to the stories. What little planning is made it preparation is done so in my head and the ideas, concepts, characters, and chapters swirl around until is on paper. This has two affects on my writing. One: it keeps these elements in the forefront of my thoughts. Two: it subconsciously works out certain details as the story progresses. I know Point A and Point B, and so on, but how I get there is the fun part that challenges my creatively and leaves me open to changes. That is not to say I write blindly. On the contrary. I know where I want the story to go, but I'm not rigid in the storytelling. That's fun for me. It's literary improv to an certain extent.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love movies. It is my therapy after a rough day. I watch for the pure enjoyment, and I also watch for inspiration. In fact, if I could help it, I prefer to write while one of my favorite movies is playing in the background like white noise. I can't write in silence, and usually music will do the trick, too. But movies are one my favorite things and gets my creative juices going.

With a family, however, that is not always possible, but I do it when I can.
How do you approach cover design?
I start with the basic elements of the story I wish the cover to represent and share those ideas with the artist, if one is available. But I make it clear that the artist has the freedom to illustrate that however they see it. I trust in the creative process and in the illustrator to make it work. Illustrations are not my forte, and so I leave that in their capable hands. I will share my input and thoughts and direct the placement of the title when necessary. I also request different mock-ups. Preferably, at least one where the artist used his/her own creative freedom and design something I didn't ask for because you never know when you've get something wonderfully unexpected.
Published 2016-06-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Two Souls, One Door: Another Realm
You set the price! Words: 6,880. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Nothing is certain or known in the void. Space is infinite and time is irrelevant. In a place such as this, two souls wait for a door that may never open. A door that disappears and reappears at random surrounded by light. The void is an unforgiving place. Something lurks in the darkness. A soulless entity. A phantom of light. And it wants something. For one of them doesn't belong.
Two Souls, One Door: The Threshold of Reality
You set the price! Words: 6,870. Language: English. Published: March 2, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Nothing is certain or known in the void. Space is infinite and time is irrelevant. In a place such as this, two souls wait for a door that may never open. This is where Alex Porter found himself. One moment, he was taking a nap before going to his high school reunion; and the next, he was nowhere. In a place where time was irrelevant, Alex encounters a complication: his new waiting companion.
Two Souls,One Door: Beyond
You set the price! Words: 7,280. Language: English. Published: January 17, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Nothing is certain or known in the void. Space is infinite and time is irrelevant. In a place such as this, two souls wait for a door that may never open. A door that disappears and reappears at random surrounded by light. But where does the door lead? Savannah and Kayleigh would love to know. Wandering around in the void offered no answers. Only the door that has yet to open.
Two Souls, One Door
Price: Free! Words: 5,590. Language: English. Published: December 13, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(5.00 from 1 review)
Nothing is certain or known in the void. Space is infinite and time is irrelevant. In a place such as this, two souls sit in wait for a door that may never open. A door that disappears and reappears at random surrounded by light. But where does the door lead? Bilbee doesn’t know, and Joe isn’t telling. However, when the door finally opens, only one of them is allowed to walk through it.
The Legend of the Dragonskinner (The Dragonskinner Saga, Book 1)
Price: Free! Words: 22,670. Language: English. Published: September 23, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
A comedic romp about Ryan Henderson, a hapless man who believes in Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, and dragons, and his quest to find them.
The Leaping Lepre of Letterfrack
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 26,690. Language: English. Published: June 26, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
An ancient peace offering known as the Airgead, a symbol of peace and unity, is stolen. Only three young teens, Riona, Séamus, and Dáira, know the truth. That a dark shadow has stolen it. They embark on a journey and find themselves on a magical adventure that will test their bravery and their magic in the hope of stopping a war before it begins.
Alice's Strange & Peculiar Easter
You set the price! Words: 13,440. Language: English. Published: June 15, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Short Stories, Fiction » Children’s books » Holidays & Celebrations / Easter & Lent
Alice McBride never knew Easter could get so…complicated. But then, a talking rabbit with a bowler hat named Chester White shows up looking for an egg: an egg containing a dangerous creature known as the Jibbernosh. The good news: it is harmless while still an egg. The bad news: it is in her house and ready to hatch.
The Order
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 88,760. Language: English. Published: June 14, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
The Order of the Nova’Psi, also known as the galactic peacekeepers, were nearly destroyed 10 years ago. They survived living in secret. But a file is stolen with the identities and locations of the surviving members and now, they must find and destroy the file before every bounty hunter and mercenary finds them.