In recent months, leading up to and following the release of Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure, I have had the pleasure of meeting many fellow authors. As I have come to know these fine folks, I have learned much from them. What inspires them, how they develop their craft, what they do outside of writing.
To that end, I have invited several to answer a few questions to answer share their stories with you. First up, fiction writer Christopher Schmitz!
How do you get inspired to write?
I get inspired by so many things. I often take queues from my dreams or daydreams and take notes when I wake up. I also take inspiration from the works of others. For instance, I thought that my Kakos Realm fantasy series was growing too big in scope for readers to keep track of… and then I read some George R.R. Martin and realized that this wasn’t the case.
Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
My most recent book, Wolf of the Tesseract (Black Rose Writing), just kind of came to me. I was actually taking a bunch of teenagers to a summer camp and had the idea. I sketched the character profiles and outline during a camp meeting and the WIP sat in my “idea notebook” for almost two years while I refined my ideas for dimensional travel, the agod Sh’logath, etc… for which I drew heavily on one of my favorite authors, Madeleine L’Engle.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Don’t just call yourself a writer. Actually sit down and write. Don’t write a novel out of the gate; work on novella and some novelettes. Learn to start and finish well and also learn how to trim out what should NOT be there. Above all, learn to engage an audience with pacing and verb tenses. I often tell young authors I interact with on platforms such as Wattpad, “If you average more than 1 usage of “was” or “were” for every two pages in a chapter, you need to go back and rewrite it. Passive tenses make people put books down.”
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
The ability to not just live in other worlds, but to lead the way there so others can join you.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I write. Even if it’s all garbage, I write. I lock myself away and give myself a hard limit to reach (word-count, finish a passage/chapter/etc.) I find that after a page or two the “blockage” (usually) lifts.
What are you currently working on?
A nonfiction book meant to be left on the back of a toilet. Seriously. But for fiction, I’m editing the three books of my Kakos Realm fantasy series and working on an apocalyptic horror novel called “Fear in a Land Without Shadows.” “The world was dead, and Jimmy Swaggert was the one who killed it.”
Jimmy Swaggert–he hates that name and insists people call him Swag, came from a home with hyper religious parents. As he rebelled and turned to the answers in science, his desire to disprove his parents pushed him into theoretical physics and metaphysics. It was Swag who uncovered the link between the supernatural and the natural. He called the creatures he discovered “Entities” because “demon” hearkened too much of the Judeo-Christian mysticism he so fervently rejected. Entities proved the ability to take control of most human hosts, turning them into the “Afflicted.” Secretly, the group who funds his research formed a clandestine military group which weaponized them as military assets. What could possibly go wrong with that plan?
Following E-day, when humanity experienced the extinction-level event, a small remnant of the population made it into the top-secret bunker. Now 313 humans remain in an underground facility, Ark I, where special lights illuminate every scrap of darkness, prohibiting the entities from entering. But on the edge of the bunker the lights have begun to go out…
What is your book about?
In a world underneath our own reality, magic & science are two sides of the same coin. After merging with her copy from an alternate reality, college student Claire Jones works with an inter-dimensional guardian in order to stop a warlock from shattering the laws of existence. As they flee his wrath, she must decide what these romantic feelings for him mean… warlocks aside, their mission is to rescue the woman he loves.
What book/movie/etc. is it comparable to?
If Guillermo Del Toro directed a He-Man and the Masters of the Universe movie but had the option to insert a dose of HP Lovecraft, you might get a universe similar to Wolf of the Tesseract. I’ve always envisioned it as a trilogy–I even have some ideas for the subsequent story arc–but we’ll see.
Where can readers go for more?
Readers should check out my website: www.authorchristopherdschmitz.com and should sign-up for the mailing list. I don’t send out many emails–but when I do, it’s bound to be because of a book-giveaway or a huge discount on paperbacks. It also has about a dozen ways to personally connect with me via email or a variety of social media outlets.
They can also visit my publisher here.http://www.blackrosewriting.com/sci-fifantasy/wolfofthetesseract