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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Author Interview: Christopher Newman




Christopher Newman: Romancing the Succubus
Author Interview by A.J. Llewellyn

1. Chris, thank you so much for your time. I am impressed with your work as you know and have had several stories of yours. I am enthralled that your wife encouraged you to write back in 2003, but after failing to sell your work (according to your bio) you combined your two favorite genres horror and erotica. I assume she was still very supportive which is fantastic. Was she? And was she the one who encouraged this artistic blending?

Thank you AJ, it’s an honor and a privilege to be interviewed by Dark Diva Reviews. Diane, my wife, has been extremely supportive of my writing career. I had written three impossibly long sword-and-sorcery epics, each one over 200,000 words and tried to get traditionally published.

AJ says: 200, 000 words? Who do you think you are? JK Rowling?

(Laughing) I wish, but after finding out that practically no one would take a chance with such a big body of work from an unpublished author I fell into a bit of a funk. Diane suggested I abandon that genre and work with erotic/horror. She’s a fantastic woman whose energy and encouragement is buoyed by her honest criticism when she reads my work. I do owe it all to her that I have sold any books to publishers.

2. Does she have any gay, single brothers available? I’m looking…
(Laughing merrily) I’m afraid not, God broke the mold when He made Diane.

3. Hey, I’m sure he did! Actually, I’m happily a deux, but I thought I’d ask just to see how you’d respond. I slip those curly ones in there, you know. I didn’t shock you, dammit…anyway, you have a wonderful gift for very topical fetishes! In one of your short stories I read, Made to Order, one of my favorites in fact, you go into quite intriguing and from what I saw in a recent documentary, accurate detail of a lonely man’s relationship with a sex doll. Did you er…indulge in any research to write this one?

(Laughing) No, but I did do research on the web, mainly for the prices but found more than I bargained for. I believe the site was for Real Dolls which I was amazed to discover the great lengths and diversity they go to produce someone’s dream girl/guy.

4. That’s the company that was in the documentary I saw! Judging by that program, the people who buy these dolls develop very obsessive relationships with them and have outfits and wigs and all kinds of thing…I’m feeling a little suspicious here, Christopher…is Diane a real doll or a Real Doll?

No she’s very, very real… or I’m in a coma and this is all a really great dream. Nope, I just pinched myself… this is real.

5. Another story from your Ghost Lover anthology I really admired also came with a sharp little twist, The Featured Entertainer has surprisingly endearing, believable portraits of strippers. Again, did you spend much time researching this one?

No, but I have been in a few strip clubs in my day, not since I married Diane of course.

AJ Says: Of course (ROFLMAO)

Why have hamburger out when you have steak at home? Mostly I put myself in the place of those types of women and just envisioned why they would chose such a job and lifestyle. I have friends who frequent these “Gentlemen’s Clubs” but I’ve always had a strange opinion of them. It’s like going to a restaurant quite hungry but only paying the waitress a dollar at a time to just stare and smell the food! (Laughing)

AJ says: Diane typed these answers, right?

No, that’s a sentiment I’ve gone on record of saying for quite some time ask any of my friends and co-workers. Seriously, when you fully commit to one woman, that’s all you should need.

6. She is typing this! I know she is! Moving on…I am intrigued that one of your book heroines, Dr. Sarah Bookings has her own MySpace page and a blog. I have two questions. Do you blog as Sarah as a creative outlet? And two, does she get a lot of readers who don’t know she’s a fictional character?

Sarah’s MySpace site gets a bit of traffic, she’s got a few guys who seem to really like her. I don’t think any of them know she’s not real (snickers). I, or my wife, do the blogging and update her mood and we try to do it daily. When I feel like kicking out a short story in that genre it tends to go into Sarah’s blog.


7. What is your every day life like in Ohio? Do people know how sick and twisted you really are? (Laughing)

Right now it’s damn cold! We have strange weather here in the Buckeye State and it feels like Fall right now. My native area is populated by former steel workers and automotive employees with a dim view of anything that’s not considered the norm. Ohio is very conservative in its views on the World and Life. It can be a little insensitive to creative people, I believe the rock band Rush put it best in their song “Subdivisions” when they talk about “Nowhere is the dreamer or the misfit so alone”. I grew up with my books, art, and other non-typical interest unlike my peers. Yes, I’m not shy and so everyone considers me “sick and twisted” but I’ve had this tag on me my whole life. I don’t mind it; it keeps some of the true oddballs away! (Chuckling)

8. Oh sweetie, trust me, you’re an oddball, too. Tell me, did you do depraved things as a child to earn the ‘sick and twisted’ tag?

I plead the Fifth Amendment. (Laughing)

9. Coward! (Laughing) I was intrigued to find one of Sarah’s heroes is the wiccan publisher/author Raymond Buckland. He is one of the first people I read when studying wicca. It was a book on candle magic. I also loved Scott Cunningham’s books and was pleased to meet him before his untimely passing. How active are you in the wiccan community yourself?

Not much, my wife and I tend to be solitary witches and really don’t follow one particular division of Wiccca. Actually we’re more Christian Witches, as strange as that sounds. I grew up Roman Catholic and have a strong view on God but I believe the magick in the world comes from Him via many diverse incarnations (Allah, Diana, etc..).

10. I think that’s a beautiful description. I think I might be a Christian Witch too…are you allowed to eat unlimited cupcakes if you are officially a Christian Witch?

I think the officially approved desert would be hot crossed buns. Oh wait, that sounds rather dirty, doesn’t it? I meant because of the cross on them.

11. Tell me about your book Uprising and your upcoming Dark Roast Press trio: Those Dangerous Times, A Noah Ravenswood Adventure, and A Terrible Tryst of Fate. When can we expect to see these published?

Very soon, I believe it’s this month. In a shameless plug, keep visiting Dark Roast Press’ or my website for more details! I’ll take these in the order of your question so sit back and relax; I can talk a person deaf! (Laughing)

AJ says I’m comfy. Did you bring cupcakes?

No sorry, if I knew you were coming I’d have had Diane bake a cake.
In Those Dangerous Times, we begin to learn more about our hero Noah and his past. Most people will find him quite closed mouthed about what he did prior to the first book The Curse of Albrecht Manor. His former Marine buddies, who he served with during “Operation Urgent Fury” come to visit. I chose this particular conflict because most people have forgotten about it. While there in Grenada, an American med student is raped and killed, but the SP (Shore Patrol) don’t see it that way since the victim’s body had been staged to look like a suicide. The members of Noah’s squad are suspicious of one another but nothing happens until her wraith rises and seeks vengeance upon them.

A Terrible Tryst of Fate is a very romantic/erotica novel that is based around the love affair between a librarian and a fallen angel. It weaves the current belief that we are in the End Times into the speculation of what a Demon Prince would do to prevent the Second Coming of Christ. My wife and step-son Ben worked damn hard with me on this doing research and hashing out plot problems and such. I also didn’t want to use a lot of the stereotypical characters found in romance books. Amelia is a tall, big, busty girl who is, in her words, similar to the deep dark tarn in Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher.

AJ Says: I love that story!
So do I, particularly the movie with the Master of Horror, the late and great Vincent Price! Anyway, back to poor Amelia…

AJ says: Sorry, I lose focus without cake. But I’m listening…

Most men find her a bit distance and too mysterious to consider dating. Hunter, our hero, changes all that during a random encounter. The book, like all my works, has many twists and turns that should intrigue the reader while provoking a lot of thought about End Times, love and the quest for it.

Uprising is my tribute to George A. Romero and the effect he’s had on my life. I saw Night of the Living Dead as a kid and it scared the crap out of me. The book revolves around a widespread human genetic mutation from the chemicals in our food, drinks, and water combined with a solar flare. Everyone turns into a zombie upon death, so the government takes steps after the initial outbreak.
However, like in all things Americana protest groups and such begin to lobby for the release of those who take the tax break and opt for becoming a member of the RWC (Reanimated Working Class). Typical of zombie movies or books it’s more about social commentary than the living dead. In Uprising, I make the points of how people view others who work for them, the utter lack of success of the Anti-War movement present in this country, and political climate in Washington DC.

12. What is your writing process like and do you write every day?

I write every day, or at least I’m reading through one of my manuscripts. I have been called “a maniac behind the keyboard” by my editor Helgaleena and Rhiannon Rhodes from Dark Roast Press. (Chuckling)

AJ Says: Helgaleena’s your editor? I befriended her on MySpace. She’s a real doll. (Not a Real Doll). She reads my blogposts!

(Laughing) Helgaleena is a miracle-worker and a treasure.
I start with the plotline, subplots, and what I’m trying to accomplish within the manuscript. After all that I then flesh out the characters in detail. I add background info, date-of-birth, and a brief physical description. The Complete Ravenswood Companion (which contains all the characters from the Ravenswood Adventures) is quite large and extensive considering I’ve already written the seventh installment. I keep very good notes, since I’m almost anal-retentive about it.

13. Stephen King said that his muse is a fait, hairy guy with battered wings and a cigar. What is your muse like and is he/she bossy?

I wish mine was a fat guy I could buy a beer for to shut him up! Mine is a pixie-sized succubus who has a nagging voice and won’t let me alone until I’m sitting behind the keyboard. She flutters around me like a moth and constantly bugs me no matter where I am. I’ve taken to bribing her with honey and bread… I just hope she doesn’t see the flyswatter in my back pocket! (Laughing)

AJ says: She’s probably reading this and now you’re in big trouble. I suggest you smooth her ruffled…er feelings with a cupcake or two.

Nah, she’s into honey and bread… and avoiding flyswatters. Succubus pixies don’t fly really well after a cupcake, it fills them up too much. But I treat her pretty good so she forgives my little indiscretions.

14. Which authors do you admire? Which authors have influenced your work the most?

I got into Robert E. Howard when my late mother bought one of his books for me one day. I literally devoured anything he wrote. Stephen King, the master of modern horror, is one of my favorites as well. I have recently discovered Richard Matheson and his body of work which is astounding and inventive. David Eddings, another sword-and-sorcery author, fills my bookshelves as well. Shakespeare, H.P. Lovecraft, Mercedes Lackey, and Jim Butcher influenced me (although I was four books into the Ravenswood series before I discovered The Dresden Files). I have quite an extensive collection of books and graphic novels which inspire me continuously.

15. You and Diane invite me to dinner and a movie over at your place. What can I expect to find on my plate and what three movies would you pick for us to watch?

Stuffed manicotti, homemade garlic bread, salad, and homemade cheesecake for desert. Diary of the Dead, Fight Club, and Stardust would be on tap on the DVD player.

16. What is the one genre of book you would never write?

Historical (especially Civil War) romance.


On behalf of Dark Diva Reviews, I would like to thank Christopher Newman for stopping by to visit with us. I enjoyed reviewing his books and couldn’t wait to interview him! To find out more about Christopher Newman, visit him at:
His website:
http://www.swordforhire.net/

Myspace: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=308024159

Purchase Links: Sizzler Editions: http://shop.renebooks.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=119

Dark Roast Press:
http://www.darkroastpress.com/

3 comments:

roxann said...

Christopher Newman is a man after my heart. I am impressed that he hasn't been to a strip club after he met his wife.

roxann said...

Christopher Newman is a man after my own heart. I'm really impressed that he hasn't been to strip clubs since he got married.

Blogger said...

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