Saturday, February 16, 2013

Interview with Author Steve Christie

Give us a quick introduction on yourself and your book. Originally from Aberdeen, I moved to Edinburgh quite a few years ago. Good Deed is my first novel. Hopefully it will be the first of many featuring a new Scottish Detective, DI Ronnie Buchanan. Here's a wee description from the publisher. The events crammed into Good Deed take Buchanan from his base in Aberdeen on a frantic journey around all the major Scottish cities as his increasingly deadly pursuit of a mysterious criminal master mind known only as Vince comes to a breath-taking climax back in Aberdeen.
How did you come up with the title? From the old adage " No good deed goes unpunished." Did you ever go out of your way to do something nice for someone only to have it bite you in the butt?
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Yes. Try not to get too obsessed by things. DI Buchanan does just that in the novel. He can't sleep, he,s downing copious amounts of caffeine and alcohol. He's washed out basically and those he holds dear are all affected by this.
How much of the book is realistic? Quite a lot actually. The Scottish locations I set it in are all real places they're quite recognizable, and many of the characters are partly based on real people I've met in the past. I'm not saying which ones mind. Lol as I still go back to my home town now and again.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Vaguely, I think most writers tend to draw from events and people round about them.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Although he's not an author as such, I would probably say Quentin Tarantino. I love the way that he uses clever dialogue to such great effect in large parts of his writing. Also, I really admire the way he adds crazy situations to his movies yet somehow, has the gift of making them seem totally believable. Take the scene in pulp fiction for instance, Bruce Willis comes home to collect his forgotten watch. The hit man just happens to have left his weapon lying on the kitchen counter when he goes to the loo. Hey! Even hit men need the loo. Not many people think like that. Thats the sort of insight I try to inject into my writing.
What book are you reading now? A dance with dragons by George R R Martin.
What are your current projects? I am currently on book two in my Buchanan series. Working title Cold Shot.
Do you see writing as a career? Eventually, yeah. As I mentioned earlier I'm looking at this as a series of books. I've had a great reaction to the first one and It's selling quite well. So here's hoping.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Not a thing.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I suppose It all started way back when my kids were younger. I used to write short stories for them, sometimes I would even take traditional kids story's and just put a weird slant on them. Once they had grown up a bit and I had more time on my hands, I decided to have a go at writing something more substantial.which I did.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? Sure. Cold shot takes place in Aberdeen in a typically harsh Scottish winter. It's very close to Christmas, extremely cold and there's a sniper on the loose. Hence....Cold Shot.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Not really, but Im not too fond of the editing side of things. I tend to run things by my wife and then I hand things over to the professionals.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? I have many but at the moment I particularly like the work of Lee Child. I love the way that Jack Reacher just seems to fall into a dangerous situation, usually through no fault of his own. I also love the way he portrays the action scenes. I actually read an interview with him lately where he mentions how he loves to write himself into corners, then spends hours trying to figure out how the hell he's going to get his character out of them. I do that myself sometimes. As I'm sure a lot of writers do.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? Not too much. Mainly around Scotland at the moment. I had a launch in Glasgow and Edinburgh at the tail end of last year and I'm trying to organize something up in Aberdeen, that should be happening quite soon.
Who designed the covers? I came across with the original idea my self for the front and the back. I sent off a few photos and the publisher went with it.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? Fitting in the time to write the thing basically. I work long hours with very little free time. I'd often find my self beavering away on the lap top in the wee small hours.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I had to learn to accept criticism. It comes with the territory. Not everybody is going to be your no1 fan.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Believe in yourself and keep your characters real.