Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Interview with debut fantasy author Chris Reardon

Today I have an interview with debut novelist Christopher Reardon. He has a lot to tell us about his novel, Obstacles.

Christopher Michael Reardon is a writing fellow at a Michigan College where he's currently a student. He says you always learn something new about writing when tutoring other students. Reardon is always searching for exciting books to read, especially new authors. 

Chris graduated with honors from Lumen Christi High School in Jackson, Michigan. He's also an avid tennis player, being on the varsity tennis team for four years. He received the honor of most valuable player his senior year at number one and two singles.

Obstacles is Chris's first novel. He says fantasy adventure books have always been an interest, because they challenge the mind and send you on an epic journey.

Welcome, Chris. Can you talk a little about what your book, Obstacles, is about? 
It's all about people trying to bring back the dead, or save someone from dying. There are these extremely tough challenges, called the Obstacles, that let you do that. One challenge is fighting a great white shark. The story follows a cowardly doctor competing in them to save a sick child's life.

Book blurb:
A child will die. You're afraid to live. Would you go to all lengths to save him? Darkness knows no bounds, as Alcott, an African American doctor sees all too well. The man is petrified by death. His fragile existence rests at the mercy of the universe. This fact is far too much for him to handle. From unyielding nightmares to elevator terrors, he's lost in paranoia.

Assigned to look after an ill child, Alcott's horrors only heighten. Gari is a nine-year-old boy with a fatal disease. He will surely pass on within the year. Alcott bonds with him more and more each day. Part of him knows this grim fate just isn't right.

Alcott befriends a hospital patient. This lunatic forces him to lug home an ancient text on bringing back the dead. Despite the man's obvious dementia, Alcott attempts the scheme. Charging up a cliff, he recites the chant over ocean gusts.

A god woman glides in from the horizon. She instructs Alcott on the trials to save Gari's life. These fearsome Obstacles require true strength. From battling sharks to wielding a flail, he must prove fortitude against genuine danger. Alcott decides his fate at this moment.

Death's claws shall not grasp Gari's soul.

What message do you want readers to get from reading the book? 
Well, the story follows a very cowardly doctor who is afraid of everything, having nightmares almost every night. Throughout the book, his darkest fears come to life, and he has no choice but to face them. A message I want to get across is that, things are never set in stone. Perspectives and experience can change everything in a second.

What are you favorite books and authors? 
The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games, and the Eragon series are definitely my favorites so far. I really liked how they made you feel involved, or even part of the story. They get you attached to the characters, and you need to find out what happens.

What is your writing process like? Do you have a regular writing schedule? 
My writing process was never set in stone. I only wrote something if I felt it was worth writing about. If I had no ideas, I would just wait. There was at least a 2 week hiatus at one point. I didn't want to write anything then that I could make better later.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I always liked imagining stories and thinking about different adventures I could create. But, I never thought I could actually do anything with it. One day, I just decided to write a chapter and see what'd it be like. I was very surprised to find out that I loved writing it! It felt awesome to be able to make anything I wanted happen with the story, and control what the characters would do. So, I kept going and thought, hey! maybe I can actually make this a book! I was just afraid I would get bored or quit halfway through, so I had to tell myself that if I keep going I have to stick with it.

Anything else you would like to share with readers today?
For aspiring authors, if you have an idea, go for it! So many people just give up on stuff half way, and miss out on great things they could have done. I really hope you stick with it.


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