Monday, April 25, 2011

Check it Out: Chris Wimpress

Hi everyone! Here's your second dose of author goodness for the day!

Meet Chris Wimpress, author of Joe is Online. Luckily I remembered to get Chris a copy of the questions so I do have an interview for you today! (And we get an answer to the burning pizza questions. I do have to say, I've never wanted pizza as much as I have during these interviews!)

What made you decide to write? Did you always know that you wanted to be an author or was there an “aha!” moment in your life where you suddenly knew that this was what you wanted to do?

I’ve been writing all my life, starting with short stories (which I’m rubbish at), then poems and then finally novels. Two novels were aborted when I was younger. This one took 3 years to finish.

What inspires you? Do you have a muse that you tap into each time you write or does your imagination respond to different things, like seeing an apple & suddenly deciding to write a story about an apple farmer?

Most of my inspiration seems to come from visiting places and traveling. I write about cities I love or which have a lot going on inside them. I try to find music which matches the mood and theme I’m trying to create and then listen to those tunes a lot. But then I always have to write in absolute silence.

How do you come up with the titles for your books? These can often be amongst the hardest things for authors to settle on, so how & when in the process do you start coming up with titles?

‘Joe is Online’ just came to me because it’s one of the most frequent statements in the book. It had a working title before that but it was just something I could name it as a file on my desktop. I only had my title about six months before completion.

Are any of the experiences in your book based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Have you ever seen or done any of the things in your book? If not, how did you go about doing your research? Any funny stories you can share with us?

I’ve been to all the cities in the book, and plus all of the less urban areas as well. I’ve been on roadtrips around the UK and north America many times. I love open, empty roads. I did a lot of research on explosives, computer viruses and hacking. Given the laws we have in Britian these days to snoop on people, I sometimes expected my front door to be kicked in by the police.

Do you have any latest news I can dish for you?

I’m going back to work as a journalist at the British Parliament. I’ve had three months off and I’ve missed it.

Who are some of your favorite authors? Have they helped inspire your writing by reaffirming your decision to write or by indirectly giving you ideas for various stories?

My favourite authors are Margaret Atwood, William Boyd, Iain M Banks, Alastair Gray and Thomas Pyncheon. I think all of them can be very funny. I love it when you find laugh-out-load humour in even the darkest of books.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

A friend of mine owns a restaurant, and she has a sign above her bar which reads ‘The chef accepts tips but not advice’. All I would say is be sure to back up your work, in duplicate and triplicate. If you can’t be disciplined about that, buy an Apple Time Capsule.

What is the hardest thing about writing for you? Everyone’s got that one part of writing that seems to stick with them.

Editing. I can’t edit my own work once I’ve finished it, so I have to edit as I go along. The idea that you could write a first draft then go back and edit it from the start is very strange to me.

In the light of recent infamous responses to negative reviews, how would you recommend responding to negative reviewers?

I wouldn’t recommend responding to any reviews at all.

What do you like on your pizza? (Not book related but everyone’s got a favorite topping!)

I LOVE pizza and my favourite combo is BBQ sauce (not tomato), ground beef, jalapenos and green peppers.


Curious about Chris's book? You can check it out via amazon & smashwords!

In 1997 a 13 year-old boy with no friends called Joe went online.

He decided the offline world was too harsh be real. With the help of an internet psychic called Magda Magenta, Joe unleashes a series of co-ordinated attacks on the world, beginning online and spreading into the offline world. He develops an online cult populated by people who've also been let down badly by the real world.

Nobody can trace their source until a quiet, shy professor in terrorism called Penelope Hunt discovers a link to Joe. She finds herself sucked into a conspiracy which transcends race and religion. With only a radical tele-atheist to help her, Penny decides to shut down Joe's activities, placing her own life in grave danger in the process.

'Joe is Online' spans continents and decades. Its setting is at the boundary where the online and offline worlds meet.


Don't forget that there's still time to enter the giveaway!

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