Chris Keane is the author of Loot and The Girl from the Woods; here is a link to his Twitter account:
Q: What is Loot about?
A: Loot is about three 12-year-old boys in 1977 who skip trick-or-treating to search for cash left behind by one of their deceased aunts so they can buy an Atari game system.
Q: What inspired you to write it?
A: Loot was inspired by fond memories of Halloween and the endless hours I spent with my friends exploring the woods and farmland around our neighborhood.
Q: How did you go about promoting it on Kindle?
A: I promoted Loot on Kindle by signing it up for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and also registing the e-book on Goodreads. On KDP, I set up giveaways to help get into more readers’ hands and generate reviews.
Q: What is your new book The Girl from the Woods about?
A: The Girl from the Woods is paranormal romance novel about a 19-year old guy who gets dumped at his elderly grandmothers in a rural upstate New York for the summer. Without a car, cell service, or even basic television, there is nothing to do but wander around the nearby woods just as he had as a small child. During a hike, he meets sexy—and slightly older—Angie. On the surface, she’s a devoted daughter content to be single while she manages her father’s medical practice. Yet deep down, Angie is bored and heartbroken…and is harboring some special gifts that she keeps secret from her father and their backwoods community. As Dante’s grandmother’s health declines, he reaches out to Angie’s father for help, only to uncover the good doctor’s dark side. When Dante confides in Angie, it drives a spike into their budding relationship. He’s left to wonder if he’s all alone in his quest to save his grandmother from grave danger.
Q: What is your creative process?
A: Sometimes story ideas come to me randomly. Most of the time, I’ll sit down and brainstorm and write down topics until one looks promising. If they are worth pursuing, I’ll sketch out a brief outline. Usually, they are not enough to go on for a full story. But once I settle on a solid premise, things move rather quickly. First, I complete a detailed outline, and then I just start knocking off chapters one by one. I try to get through the entire story before doing much editing. Once I’m done I’ll go back and read what I have and see if it works. If so, I’ll give it an edit myself, before sending it to a professional copy editor prior to publication.
Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your writing?
A: I’m an engineer by day. While I don’t write about the field at all in my work, I think it has given me organizational skills which I use to structure to my stories, and also some analytic skills to “de-bug” problems when stories don’t work. It also has probably given me some patience and perseverance as some problems are not easily solved.
Q: Who are some of your writing influences?
A: I have been influenced many authors along the way. Some writers I try to emulate are: Elmore Leonard (for his great dialog and plots), Steven King (for his imaginative storytelling), and also more recently both Alice Sebold and Khaled Hosseni (for their haunting prose).
Q: What makes a character worth reading about?
A: I appreciate characters who are passionate and also somewhat flawed. Its always interesting to watch someone take journey and overcome their shortcomings along the way. In the end, they end up learning something about life, and hopefully some of that is transferred to the readers. Of course, it’s got to be a really fascinating journey to keep readers turning pages!
Q: What trends in literature annoy you?
A: I really dislike how flooded the book market is with dystopian works as a result of the success of The Hunger Games. Yes, I found it very entertaining myself, but the whole premise loses its luster the next trilogy around.
Q: What scares you?
A: I’m scared of the unknown! As soon as there’s a problem, I race to my smartphone and start to Google everything I can about the topic. Knowledge may not be a panacea but it makes me feel more in control.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.