Interview with Chris J Peterson Musa Event (2)

Welcome to Julies Book Review! 
Chris J Peterson is visiting JBR today!
There is a tons of prizes on the rafflecopter to the right of the page. The giveaway will last all April long. So lots of GREAT items for a AWESOME giveaway!

We are all very glad you came here to JBR. Can you tell us a little about your self?

I first started writing fiction at about seven years old, before I could even read well. My first book was a paperback in the truest sense of the word: ten yellow steno pad pages stapled together. It was called “The 89 Bills,” where a guy named Bill went to the castle and there were 88 other guys named Bill there. It got bogged down pretty quickly, and I trunked it after about 25 words. I dabbled in short stories all through my teens, but they were more essays (okay, diatribes) than stories. I only got serious about novels in my late thirties, although I’d kept up with the short stories. It’s been a slow build for me, but I’m happy with the direction I’m going. Perhaps it’s natural to assume your current project is your best, but for me I really believe that. The next one will be even better.
I grew up in Iowa and I’ve always been a dreamer, playing down at the creek behind the corn fields and thinking up exciting things I could be doing. I found that all those “what if . . .” moments were great inspirations for stories. I could live out all those fantasies I spent all day devising. I lived in Mississippi (land of Faulkner, Welty and Grisham) for about eleven years, and there is something about the South that makes people want to write. I am now in Uganda for a couple years, and the problem with Africa is there is perhaps too much to write about! I am finishing up an African adventure novel, and have another one planned. Well, it’s actually an older one that’s in need of major revisions.

What genres do you write?

My novels are contemporary; think Tom Perrotta, John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut’s non-sci-fi books. I like to think my books are “real life, only MORE so.” My short stories are all over the board, however. Two of my favorites are historical, I have a couple light sci-fi and some humor.

As a reader I love all genres but my followers want to know what to except from your books. Action, adventure, romance, sex, magic??

If the point of a story is to put your main character in a tree and throw rocks at him, I like to put my main characters in trees the readers can see themselves in. Then I make the rocks . . . more so. I do this by upping the threat level in ways the reader can see happening in real life, then putting the situation on the edge of total chaos with seemingly no way out. Then I find a way for my character to come down from the tree.

Who is your favorite character(s) from your books?

Probably my favorite character is Eadie Heflin, the lean-and-hungry investigative reporter in Paper Thin who breaks the Eric Sarobbin sex scandal. She’s smart-alecky, determined, and even when she’s wrong, she’s wrong in the right way.

What is your newest release? can you tell us a little about it?

Product Details

Paper Thin is a story of corporate crime and cover up. Frank Osgood and Phil Ruddick think they’ve hit a gold mine when they hire Eric Sarobbin as a vice president of their paper company. But Eric’s heart has some dark corners, and his taste for teens and adolescents puts him on the wrong side of the law. Frank and Phil have friends in high places, but favors come at a price—not only on the job but closer to home when Eric’s prowling threatens Frank’s family. When Phil is stricken with cancer and dies, Frank is left to keep Phil’s dream and the company alive at all costs while holding the reins on Eric. But when Eadie threatens to tear Frank’s paper-thin veil of secrecy and deception, Frank must stop at nothing to keep his family from falling apart and the company from going up in flames.

What about future projects? any hints?

Three friends find themselves suddenly divorced. Vance wants a new woman pronto, Mike wants his old one back, and Joe can’t seem to remember that he’s twenty-five years older than he was the last time he was single and doesn’t know what he wants.

Can you give aspiring authors any advice?

As soon as you know the overall plot of the story, ask yourself (and answer!) three questions: What does the main character want? What must he or she do to get it? What happens if he or she fails? Build your story around these questions. So what if the boy doesn’t get the girl in the end? So what if she can’t solve the Riddle of the Talisman? Know these answers and make us care! Now go write your book.

How about some "fun" personal stuff!
What book have they read that touched you deeply? and why? (yours or someone elses)

War and Peace is probably my favorite book because I like to play off contrasts and balance. War versus Peace. Andrew versus Peter. France versus Russia. I like to incorporate parallelisms into my works as a way to illustrate perspective. As well, Frankenstein is a very spiritual book to me. Have not my demands on my creator been similar to those of the Monster on Dr. Frankenstein? The Monster thinks the doctor has a responsibility to him, what then do I think my creator’s responsibility is to me? And would my creator think my demands so burdensome that he regrets my creation? What’s my responsibility to my creator and his to me?

Favorite past time activity?

Bicycling. I currently live near Lake Victoria in Uganda, and there are hundreds of miles of village roads and paths and perfect weather all year long. The bicycle is the perfect incubator for story ideas.

a favorite book or author you can recommend (not your own)?and WHY?

Dave Eggers, Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Perrotta, Douglas Coupland, John Updike. I think these writers capture the character of modern life (or life at that time) in a way that can make me homesick for a place I am. I like to read, and write, about people I might know living a life I might lead.

Favorite place to travel to?

England. I’ve been interested in England since I read The Once and Future King as a teenager, then a couple years ago I invited myself as a friend’s date to a mutual friend’s wedding in Coventry. I was hooked! Things just make sense there, even the roundabouts and driving on the left. Once they get free refills on Diet Coke figured out, the place will be about perfect. I’m a history nut, and one thing that struck me about England was the immediacy of the history. You walk around London, turn a corner and “Oh my, what’s this big, old thing?” When a friend of mine and I visited York Cathedral, there was one of those crypts with the statue of the dead guy on top. I read the date and my mouth dropped. “Wow! From the 1200s! Can you believe it?” She just nodded and said “Yes, I can.”

What kind of music do you listen to?

All genres contain at least something I like, but I gravitate toward progressive rock and indie rock. I’m also a fan of what some people call “alternative country” or “Americana,” which is essentially modern folk or top-40 country without the millionaires pretending to be hicks.

And finally where can we find your books?(please include any links you want including buy links)

Links to Paper Thin:

My blog, Write On, Brother! With links to short stories:

Well I know I learned a lot and have added to our TBR list. I hope you all have had fun as well. 
Thanks you again Chris for coming and talking with me here on JBR.  I hope to see you again. Good Luck and wishing you lots of success!
Julie Ramsey ADM JBR

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