This is a new feature I wish to run on my blog. Every so often I’m going to interview another author and talk to them about one of their books/something they are working on. This first one is going to be a very good friend of mine, Chris Turner
Tell us about your latest project.
Well Jess, I think you should know about this, as it was your idea. I’ve not got any ideas for a novel currently and nor do I have the time to write one, but I have a few short story pieces hanging around. You kindly offered to write some too and lend your name to an anthology of short stories. So I’ve been rewriting an idea that I had quite a while back but it’s got a whole new angle now. I’m quite eager to get it finished and share it, but I can’t really talk about it with everyone for fear of mentioning spoilers. Suffice to say, it’s fantasy themed and has an explosive ending which will leave you wondering.
When and why did you start writing?
Wow, that’s a hard question. I guess I started when I had to learn, but the first fiction writing I remember doing was in year 2. Each class was given a cuddly toy and everyone had to write a story about it and they were then judged. I’m now almost ashamed of the story, even though it won best in the school. All I’ll say is that it was called Dr What and the Dinosaurs and featured a red phone booth. My Dad was a fan before Eccleston came along and although I’d never read them, I must have got some inspiration from them.
I’ve always had ideas for stories but rarely wrote them down. I remember throughout my childhood when I lay down to go to sleep I’d create stories in my head to send myself to sleep. I’ve gone through phases of trying to start writing things but have soon given up without any specific goal or encouragement. I guess I started taking it seriously when we started Flight Productions, as there was a clear purpose and reason for it. That was only film scripts though and now with the rising e-book market and ease of self publishing, I see no barriers preventing me publishing my own stuff. So in summary, it was thanks to you Jess. You saw I had ideas and encouraged me to record them and develop them fully, and I must say I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly.
What’s your favourite genre to write and what’s your favourite genre to read?
I tend to write lots of short reflective stories about characters that are merely observing the world around them with all its jewels and scars. I like slow completive pieces as they allow me to think as I write them. I enjoy showing people flawed characters who still have some redeemable qualities. I also enjoy writing sci-fi and fantasy. Fantasy is a new one to me but culture building is something I’m enjoying rather a lot.
When it comes to reading, it is almost exclusively sci-fi and fantasy. I’ve recently finished the most recent Discworld novel and am now reading Kil’n People by David Brin, a sci-fi I highly recommend. I also read a lot of non-fiction and try to expand my knowledge often. I’m reading an introductory book to Communication Studies and a few theological texts.
What inspires you?
What doesn’t? I take my ideas from all walks of life and whatever I think about. This can often by films, but it isn’t always. I feel particularly inspired to create when in a place of natural beauty. On a nice day when the world around me is free from defects and all I can say about my surroundings is how nice they are, I tend to think about adding to it. I can just let my mind stop wanting to add anything more and just let it sort through what lies within.
I also find people very inspirational. Not big figures of history but close friends who share life with me. Their own struggles and overcomings always encourage me to keep pressing on. When I hear what other people have done with their lives, even though they may not see it as massive, I can’t help wanting to help them and also press on myself with my own goals.
Do you have any quirks to how you write?
I’m not sure really. I don’t think so, but I only write the way I know how. I tend to vary the format I choose as I get bored of it too easily otherwise. I find that if I keep the medium fresh I can keep myself interested more easily.
I don’t shut out distractions and rarely force myself to focus solely on one thing. If I’m writing on a computer I will have emails, facebook and my phone all going at the same time. I’ve even been known to write more than one things at once, as I find taking a break when stuck is the best way to overcome it. I do tend to write in lots of short intense stints as opposed to one long session. Whether this is good or not I don’t know, does that count as a quirk?
I do prefer being alone though. I like to talk things through with myself as I do it, and people would give me a few odd looks if I started doing accents in the coffee shop. May have to try that all the same though.
Are their any of your characters you particularly relate to, if there is, who and why?
All of them I think. Each has a part of me that I can relate to in some way. The current short story I’m writing is partly a metaphor for real events that happened to me and I am thus writing it in first person. I won’t say what events but suffice it to say that the central relationship is based on one of mine. I tend to relate to other people’s characters more than my own, but I think Aydin must be the one I relate to most. I think time spent with them has a huge impact and I’ve known him for about a year or so now.
There is one I’m very attached to and has always been my favourite though I’m reluctant to give details away. I had an idea for a film where two omnipotent beings come to earth and they disagree with each other. Mankind has to decide which to side with or risk being destroyed in their ongoing struggle and he is one of those two. I’ve been thinking about him for about eight years now and he’s still got hidden depths and I love that about him. I wouldn’t say I relate to him particularly but he is certainly my favourite.
What are you planning on doing next/What else are you up to?
Well, I’ve told you about the short stories but of course it doesn’t stop there. I have my blog (shameless and in fact quite full of pride plug for something I think deserves far more attention), which is a constant ongoing thing. I love the freedom it offers in lack of structure except what you impose on yourself. I can talk about anything and in as much depth as I feel it deserves. It also means I have to keep up to date with films, so have a lot of good upcoming films to look forward to. Reviewing the new X-men film, Cowboys Vs Aliens and Tintin are all things I’m looking forward to doing.
There is also a lot of Flight work going on, though I’m not sure how much I can say. Suffice it to say, filming is not far off and our first project is not something you’d expect from what we’ve been doing so far. It’s a short thing that you should be able to catch for free, so keep looking out for it, as Jess will be involved too. I’m also thinking about Aydin again, but not in the same way. I’m actually having to let go of a lot for the next Sardis project, but this time its going to be even more innovative and interactive than the twitter novel.
Next I think I’ll have a coffee. Because its better than tea.
Jess says: I think I have to disagree wtih you Chris. I prefer tea. Other than that though I’ve loved having you here on my blog. Thanks for answering those questions and being so lovely.
If anyone wants to check out Chris’ blog you can find it here