Interview with Brian Christopher

When did you first start writing?
As a teenager - but never thought I could make a living out of it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The idea for 'Mick's Second Last Great Rock 'n' Roll Adventure' came to me when I was in a recording studio talking to a 'famous' musician when another musician (both British) came in to the room carrying an acoustic guitar and looking for a plectrum. The second musician was not really famous but he was a lot older - I think late sixties. I could see that his body was worn out from going from stage to stage - town to town, probably earning just enough to survive from one concert to the other. He asked the famous musician if he had a plectrum, and he just shrugged him off saying 'no, I don't have a plectrum'. Immediately the other musician got irritated and said, 'what? All those f***ing millions and no plectrum?' I immediately grabbed him, turned him around, and with my arm over his shoulder said 'come on, let me find you a plectrum', and quickly guided him out the door.

Then the thought came to my head - what happens to all these old musicians who have not made millions (or lost it all) when they retire or are unable to play. It was not long after that when I started to develop the story - being helped along by the big question 'What if...'
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The difficulties in reaching agents and publishers.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It has certainly motivated me to put my head down and get all the stories running around my brain written down and published - which is an easy and nearly instantaneous process with SmashWords! For me the only really hard part of it all is not so much the writing, but the editing – THAT is a lot of work!!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Of course when it is finished and published.
What do your fans mean to you?
I enjoyed the feedback - either complementary or negative – it does not matter. The complementary of course gives me a pat on the back and makes me smile. Negative feedback can help me improve if the comments are specific enough.
What are you working on next?
I will be working on 'Mick's Last Great Rock 'n' Roll Adventure - and the second and third part of de 'Def-Con City' trilogy. Hopefully The Amsterdam Chronicles - the adventures of New York police detective Harvey Wall in Amsterdam - will continue after that - otherwise I will start work on 'The Puzzlemaker' - another thriller.
Who are your favorite authors?
Too many to mention.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The stories stuck in my brain that have to be put down on paper.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working, paying the bills and having lots of fun with two great daughters.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I've try to pick those that are highly recommended.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I cannot remember what the first story was about but I do remember writing long essays in school when I was about eight or nine years of age that did impress my teachers.
What is your writing process?
I can type blind - with ten fingers - but when I am typing a story directly into the computer the whole technique disrupts my creative process. Typing a wrong letter, correcting it, deleting it or whatever slows me right down and gets in the way of the story. So now I write everything down longhand. The direct link from my brain to my pen is 'one' and does not create any irritation. I transfer it to the computer using software – namely Nuance NaturallySpeaking. It takes me a couple of hours to write 4 to 6 pages, but dictating it into the computer will take no more than fifteen minutes. Once in the computer I print it out and start editing right away. The largest volume of time and effort goes into editing, trying to say the right words, finding the beat in the story and looking for Nuance software errors such as 'were' instead of 'where' - or 'fowled' instead of 'fouled'.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I believe the first stories I read were Enid Blyton - especially the famous five. But in my teen years I moved away from general fiction and into science-fiction because I found it more creative and original.
How do you approach cover design?
I really like the process of designing and creating my own covers. I use photographs that are copyright free – but I always try to contact a photographer and let them know I'm using their work. The rest is Photoshop - and getting everything to fit. A lot of people told me that the name 'Micks Second Last Great Rock 'n' Roll Adventure' would be too long to put on a cover - but I managed to get it in there.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I will give two that had the biggest influence on me. Dune, by Frank Herbert - and 'The Many-Colored Land by Julian May.
What do you read for pleasure?
I like a good thriller. When I was on holiday in France this year my French friends were reading 'no second chance' by Harlan Coben - nobody could put the book down. A couple of weeks ago I ordered the English version, but have yet to start because preparing my own work for publishing has been taking up all my time. But I think within the next couple of weeks I will be on page 1.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I do not have an e-reader. I have read some e-book's on my iPhone when travelling in a bus or train - but that's about it. I still prefer the actual book in my hands.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Writing an 'original' story is a great marketing technique!!
Describe your desk
A large mahogany dinner table in my living room that is one metre forty-five centimetres long (4.75ft) and 86 1/2 centimetres (2.82t) in width - which is full of print outs, writing ledgers and mail, and my seventeen inch Dell laptop sitting squarely in the middle.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Dublin which for a greater part of my life was more traumatising than anything else. The Irish are great in telling you "you can't do that" or "that's a load of rubbish" and putting you down in every possible way .............. I left when I was twenty.
Write your own question here!
How do you like my work? (Critical commentary always welcome)
Published 2013-10-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Amsterdam Chronicles: Def-Con City Part 3
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 80,720. Language: English. Published: September 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Fun loving homicide detective Harvey Wall from the NYPD does not believe his six month exchange work program with the Amsterdam police will last as long as he hoped. Recovering from a smashed collarbone, and charged with murder, and attempted murder of another by the Dutch DA, a new spate of strange deaths occur. He's itching to investigate...
The Amsterdam Chronicles: Def-Con City Trilogy Part 2
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 82,730. Language: English. Published: December 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
After apparently solving a series of mysterious deaths, NYPD homicide detective Harvey Wall believes he can enjoy his new apartment next to the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, and finally have a good time during his six-month work exchange program with the Dutch police. His world takes a strange turn when a body is discovered in a freshly made concrete pillar which has Mafia written all over it.
Rembrandt's Confession
Price: Free! Words: 12,490. Language: English. Published: November 6, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Rembrandt is famous for his paintings but not many people know about his personal life. After his wife Saskia had died, his life became embroiled in relationships that would shock the world even today. This short story is about the other side of Rembrandt, that is documented, but few people know of. He was a great artist, but at the same time - a great criminal.
Micks Second Last Great Rock 'n' Roll Adventure!
Price: Free! Words: 88,520. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
Once a famous rock star, now long forgotten, Mick roams the streets, totally unrecognizable with long matted hair, ragged clothes, and near death. When he ends up in a hospital he not only has to save himself but others like him - and go live in a retirement home for retired rock musicians. That's when the mayhem really begins!
The Amsterdam Chronicles: Def-Con City Trilogy Part 1
Price: Free! Words: 82,860. Language: English. Published: October 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
When the happy-go-lucky New York detective Harvey Wall arrived in Amsterdam for a six month work exchange program with the Dutch police, he thought it would turn out to be a long holiday with plenty of fun. His world is turned upside down as he tries to solve the strangest deaths he has ever come across in his working career.