Winterview with Author Christopher Woolf

To celebrate 13 weeks of winter, Hàlön Chronicles will be conducting one interview a week for 13 weeks. Join us on the hashtag #13Winterviews, or check out our right-side blog hop to sneak a peek at all the wonderful authors and artists I’ll be interviewing in the coming weeks.

Hosted by: K. J. Harrowick

Without further ado, Thriller Author: Christopher Woolf.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Knew this one before I even finished the sentence–I’m a procrastinator. Hell, it took a couple eons just to figure out a date for you and I to meet. Suppose I could blame it on the constant LA traffic, or the lush environment that never ceases to steal my attention while I’m cruising endless, winding freeways. The view out here is magnificent. And I say that as both a writer and an average human being. Ha! Wait, what was I saying? Oh, right! Yes, I’m a procrastinator who’s forever lost in my own mind and wonders.

My mother always harped that I should ‘turn my mind off every once and a while’, and honestly I wish I could. Must’ve lost the instructions all those 23 years ago. Speaking of those years ago, I grew up in small New Jersey town, worked a few months in grand ol’ New York, and now reside in Los Angeles. It’s been quite a whirlwind, but without my coastal relocation I never would’ve realized what a beautiful world exists beyond the NY Tri-state area. Too gushy? Okay, onward.

What types of books do you write, and why?

Thrillers! When I was thirteen years old, my father kindly sat me through John Carpenter’s Halloween. Hell, I was so young, how would I have known what was to come from watching a mere movie? Well, it scared the {insert adult word} out of me. Ever since then I’ve been drawn to the world of dark and creepy, and no matter how hard I try and stray—yes, I tried writing a romantic mystery once—I always come crawling back. There’s something so excitingly uninhibited about that shock moment!

What were your early influences, and how does this manifest in your work today?

We all have that one childhood memory that we lean fondly on, and for me, speaking literary-wise, it was Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Looking back, I am forever WOW’d at how expansive that thirteen book series is. So I’ve always had the knack for vast plots and twisted storylines, but, if we’re talking the real, nitty gritty inspiration, mine dawned with Gone Girl. And part of me hates saying that, only because I feel a lot of thriller writers are tempted to say the same, or compare recent works to its overwhelming success. However, everything else aside, GG captivated me in ways I never thought something would. And it’s that very feeling that I hope to one day install in my own readers.

Are there aspects of the craft that excite you more than others?

Sorry, I shouldn’t laugh at the question. Honestly I think I’m laughing at myself because I know 100% how I feel about certain parts of the process. Writing is a beautiful thing (roll credits), and I remember hating all those grade-school picture prompts for the sole reason that I never had sufficient time to craft a 300-page response. I’m a huge advocate when it comes to world-building and plot expansion, and I’m always in awe when writers start without any true direction. Boy, I hope to have the guts to one day pull that off! I think it’s my OCD (or is it OCPD?) that gets in the way here.

What books or websites are your go-to places while editing?

That’s pretty interesting to ask, for I think every writer frequents the same place when their brain cannot conjure up the perfect word. I’m always visiting and googling {insert word + synonyms}. But every now and then, when I’m feeling super crafty/stumped, I’ll return to a past novel and see how that author chose to style something. I know this detours away, but the thing I love about stories is that every author finds their own way to tell something. Absolutely fantastic.

Tell us about your writing space (music/snacks/interruptions/etc).

Suppose this is the part where I mention how much I really don’t like coffee. Ah! I think I see the police on their way to get me. But seriously (as my boyfriend often likes to point out), I’ve way too much energy on an average basis, and an ounce of coffee has me looking like Courage the Cowardly Dog during a jump scare. Music is essential, though it’s usually instrumental and must fit whatever scene I’m crafting. David Arnold, Hans Zimmer and Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross are certainly in my top three. And, as cliché as this might sound, most of my recent WIPs’ progress was accomplished sitting at the counter of my local Starbucks. I know, I know, hit me with those clichés.

Tell us about your current WIP or your latest book release.

Last January is when I made the move to California from New Jersey, and it was in that same month that my prior WIP was born. Most of my work is usually inspired by real-life events, but this one definitely takes the cake. Though I’ll admit that nothing remotely sinister has happened to me during my time in LA. The story follows Cameron Lowd as he flees New York for a better life in California, where he hopes to finally pen the perfect thriller. Little does he know that in just twenty-four hours he’ll be responsible for murder and imprisoned in a house of unspeakable torture. Now his goal of writing a thriller has become a real-life nightmare.

I just finished its final round of edits, and am hoping to query come Spring. Fingers crossed!

Though I’m not entirely keen on social media—which is shocking for someone my age—you can find me on Twitter @thewritingwoolf. Hope to see you there!

Before you leave, don’t forget to check out all the amazing Winterviews Authors. 🙂

2 comments to Winterview with Author Christopher Woolf

  • Jackie Taylor  says:

    Christopher you are a great writer and I’m sure we will be seeing your name on bookshelves. Keep at it, you rock!

  • Maria Guglielmo  says:

    Great interview! Love to hear about all the dark and creepy things that between the pages 😉

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