Friday, February 3, 2012

Feature Friday: Christopher Walker

Today, I’m really excited to say that we have Christopher Walker, author of The Lightforce Rebellion, here with us. Everyone, please welcome Chris…

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
Hi, my name is Christopher Walker and I currently am a technical writer for a computer storage company up in Washington state. I'm a Star Wars fan, enjoy reading fantasy and sci-fi fiction, and this book represents my first step to becoming a full-time writer.

What is it like to self-publish your own book? 
It's empowering because I don't have to wait for a large publisher or agent to accept my work. Although my eventual plan is to publish a few of my novels through New York. So the upside is that it's very easy to do. But the down side is that it's, well, very easy to do. That's why if you've browsed around any of the major eBook retailers you'll see a glut of self-published novels with horrible cover art, and probably even worse writing. 

Where did you get the idea for Foronar, the world that Zach finds himself in for most of the story in The Lightforce Rebellion? 
The name just popped into my head. Not sure where it came from. But the world itself was based on a place some of my friends and I built up online in this virtual world called SW City ( It's miles and miles of virtualized terrain we made while we were growing up in high school and college. SW City is a little more light-hearted and whimsy than Foronar, but some of the elements of SW City found their way into Foronar. 

There are obviously a lot of fantasy elements in your book, such as the races of cloud- and rock- people that inhabit Foronar. Where did you get the idea for these two unique races? 
The cloud people, the Cirrans, actually came fairly directly out of SW City from a race of cloud beings I had invented called Nimbusians. And those were based on a Nintendo character named Mallow. One of my friends from SW City also invented a counterpart race called the Submins who were very physically similar to Nimbusians. I toyed with using them, but eventually I ended up creating an entirely new race of volcanic beings and named them the Fyros, and they fit right in with the story I wanted to tell. 
And I justified using the fantasy characters by saying that the Cirrans the Fyros are both made out of the four basic greek elements of earth, air, fire, and water. The Cirrans are made out of air and water and the Fyros are made out of earth and fire

You put a lot of detail into describing the worlds of Foronar in your book. Do you plan to write other stories set in this same world?   
I would certainly like to. I left the door open for more adventures, so hopefully it won't be too long before I can write another.

Your main character isn’t exactly the typical hero that is seen in most novels. What inspired you to create a character like Zach?
Zach is a 14 year old Kansas boy who is the protagonist of the story. Zach kind of came up out of combination of elements. I wanted to do a story about bullying, but there's also a bit of me in there at 14. For example, he's from Kansas. I'm from Kansas. He goes to my school. I went to my school. As an aside, I actually put in those demographic elements because I figured that I won't be writing too many stories set in the modern world and I wanted to do an homage to where I grew up while I had the chance. Hopefully I didn't make Zach a Mary Sue because I tried to give him characteristics that I didn’t have at that age. For example, I never would have gone through that door in the tree. 

The characters in your book are really fun to follow throughout the story. Do you have a favorite character from the book or one that you relate to more than the rest? 
Erika was really fun to write. I approached her with some trepidation because she's female and I'm not, and she's 14 and I'm not. And I think she turned really well! 

Do you have a certain process that you go through when you’re writing?
I plotted the story out ahead of time on note cards, using various methods like Dramatica and a few of Holly Lisle's tricks. I then used the note cards as a guideline while writing the story. I set a goal to write about 4000 words a week, because I figured I had four evenings a week that I could write. So I wrote 1000 words a day. By the end of it I was writing two days a week and 2000 words a day. 

Where do you do your best writing? 
I did a lot of it out on my balcony, and a lot of it on my couch. And only some of it on the new writing desk I bought. 

Are you working on anything new right now?
I'm noodling around an idea involving space Nazis. It'll be science fiction/fantasy, but not young adult. 

What do you do when you aren’t writing? 
I'm probably working, watching Survivor or some random movie, or playing a game with my friends. 

I’ve heard that you’re a fan of Star Wars. If you could be any character from Star Wars, who would you choose to be?
Well, I'll be playing a Jedi Consular in the new Star Wars MMORPG "The Old Republic". I wouldn't want to be any of the named characters. Their lives are much too harsh and exciting.

I’ve read that you are also working on a voice acting career, in addition to writing novels. Can you tell us a bit about what that’s like? 
Voice acting is great fun because you get to do all these crazy voices, and you really get to act. I actually play the lead in an audio drama you can find on Amazon and Audible called "Stitched Crosses" about a knight named Marcus who's become disillusioned with the Crusades. 

Has any of the work you’ve done as a voice actor inspired your writing at all?
So far they haven't crossed over, because typically I'm voicing someone else's writing. However, having multiple voices is very useful when reading your work aloud. And kind of fun.

Thanks for joining us today, Chris! I hope you guys enjoyed that interview. Be sure to check out Chris’s book, The Lightforce Rebellion. And, if you want to get a glimpse at the virtual world that was the basis for the world in book, give a look. 

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