Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to host Christopher Irvin on this week’s Friday Spotlight blog! Chris is a long-time friend of our little “bigger on the inside” bookstore and, as an active member of New England Horror Writers, a supporter of many of our dark and authory friends!
Welcome, Chris! Thank you for stopping by the blog! Can you please tell our readers briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?
I live in Boston (Jamaica Plain) with my wife and son. My writing tends to veer in the direction of noir, or dark fiction. My two books, FEDERALES and BURN CARDS are both noir. I love to write short stories, and will have more to announce on that front later this year. I’m also working on two comic mini-series that I’m currently pitching to publishers.
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from your work?
My fiction tends to be pretty dark, minimalist, and character driven. I started out writing horror and naturally shifted into crime/noir as it just fit much better with where I found my voice/interests taking me. I’m a very visual person and I love to incorporate the setting into my fiction. BURN CARDS follows Mirna Fowler, a young woman doing her best to escape Reno, Nevada, while living with the burden of her father’s gambling addiction. When his debts are suddenly thrust upon her, what will she do?
What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?
I love underdogs and the way crime/noir forces such characters into playing with incredibly high stakes. I think that journey appeals to readers. We may know with some certainty that the protagonist isn’t going to come out on top or walk away in one piece, but we want to be there to witness their struggle, their heartbreak.
What is your favorite part of being a writer? Of the whole writing and publishing process? What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?
The community. I have the best times at conventions, and made such great friends that I know I’ll keep in touch with for life. It’s a tight knit group of very inspiring people.
What does your writing space look like? What do you need to have around you while writing or editing?
A desk in the back bedroom with as little clutter as possible. I’m easily distracted. I have to put my phone away and close the internet browser to avoid compulsive e-mail and social media checks. I’ve tried listening to music, but it can be very hit and miss (mostly miss), so I tend to keep things quiet.
Do you have any favorite foods or drinks that must be in the vicinity (or must be avoided) while you’re writing or editing a piece of work?
COFFEE. There is never enough.
What do you consider the most challenging part of the writing process? And how do you overcome that?
Currently it’s the third or fourth page. I’m good at getting started with an idea. I begin every project freehand for the first page or two before switching to my laptop. It helps me massage the sentences and get a solid start that I don’t obsess over later. This can lead to me running into some road blocks in the following pages – issues with transitions, etc. So I just keep my head down and try to bang away. Ask me a month from now and you’ll probably get a different answer.
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
You can find my books – BURN CARDS and FEDERALES – online at the usual suspects (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, etc.) You also can order from your local independent shop. Several of my short stories are free to read online.
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
Updates at Christopherirvin.net, twitter and Instagram @chrislirvin, or track me down on Facebook.
Thank you, again, for joining us, Chris! Readers of crime and noir, you definitely need to check out these books!