May 17, 2012

Author Interview with Christopher Waltz

Hi Christopher, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Well, I’m twenty-four-years-old and have been writing since I was about eight. For some reason, it never really occurred to me that I could be an author someday until after I had graduated from college. I got my degree in secondary education, but wasn’t sure teaching was for me, so I currently work with a non-profit organization, training and placing new volunteers. It’s something that I love doing, but writing is still my main passion in life.

Why do you write?
For some reason, that seems like a really difficult question. I think one reason why I write is because I had such a hard time learning to read. I struggled with reading up until about the third grade, which is also when I started writing for fun. I think that once I got the hang of reading, writing came very naturally to me. I also love telling stories that people (hopefully) want to hear.

What do you think makes a great story?
A great story has to be character-driven. If you write the most interesting story in the world, but have characters that no one cares about, then no one will care about your story. When I write, I try to make my characters as real and human as possible. If people like them and can relate to them, then I am more likely to have a great story.

What is your latest book called and could you explain to us in 20 words what it is about?
My debut work is actually a novella called Come as you are. I’m working on publishing a novel as well, but I’ll talk about Come as you are since it is coming first. In twenty words, it is a story about the crumbling relationship between two brothers and their mother and how they try to fix it.

Which kind of reader do you think will enjoy your book?
I typically write with “young adult” readers in mind, but all of my test readers are around my age and they seem to enjoy it as well. Anything I write tends to be on the bubble of what is considered young adult literature and what is a little too mature for young people. I never write anything hoping someone will think it’s too mature for their child, but people need to understand that today’s teens know a lot more about life than what we give them credit for.

What influenced or inspired you writing it?
I think I’m influenced by everything that happens in my life. I also have a very creative imagination, so when I see something or read something, I can always add to the story and recreate it to fit the story I am trying to tell. Come as you are is based on a news story I read last year. I took the idea and fictionalized it to fit into what I wanted to say.

Why did you choose especially this title? Was it your first choice?
I chose this title because it speaks a lot about the subject matter of the story and because it also happens to be the title of a Nirvana song; one of the main characters of the story loves the band Nirvana, so I feel it is a very fitting title. However, it wasn’t my first choice. Originally, I was going to call it Better Days, based on a quote by Mark Twain.

What was the hardest part for you working on your book?
The hardest part was deciding whether or not I wanted it to be a novella or a full-length novel. In the end, I chose for it to be a novella because I didn’t want to force more out of the story than what I wanted to say. I could have added another couple thousand words and made it a novel, but in the end, I would have still been telling the same story.

Do you already know what to do next?
I have a couple of ideas for what to work on next. I’m publishing my novel this summer and have already been thinking of ideas for a sequel for that. I’m also planning to write something else about a group of teenagers in a private boarding school who make some bad, scary decisions their senior year.

Where can we find more about you and your books?
You can find more about me and my writing through my blog and through twitter, @Christoph_Waltz

Any last words?
My only last words are for potential writers to keep working on their goals and never give up. There were a lot of times that I questioned why I was writing and wanted to stop because I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. But it gets better and it gets easier, so never stop writing.

Thanks Christopher for taking your time.

Come as you are 
by Christopher Waltz

When his younger brother August runs away from home after a disastrous argument with their parents, Connor is the only person not worried. After all, August is known to take off without notice all the time, and he always comes back. However, August doesn’t show up again until two months later, having drunkenly fallen from the Young Street Bridge in Aberdeen, Washington. Connor and their mother travel from California to pick up the teenager, unaware that the next twelve hours will cause them to reexamine their own lives and strained relationships, all while Connor and August’s time together leads to a reconnection between brothers and a revelation that Connor never saw coming.


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