Christopher Keene

‘I started young when my imagination seemed more interesting than reality ‘

Buy the books!

In the beginning…tell me what made you decide to start writing?

I started young when my imagination seemed more interesting than reality and I wanted to see if anyone agreed. Writing seemed the most thorough way of asking.

Are there any authors or artists who influence(d) you?

From classic fantasy to commentary sci-fi: J.V. Jones, Philip Pullman, Ken Catran, Orson Scott Card, George Orwell. I would say some of the more popular, modern authors like Brandon Sanderson but I wrote most of my books before I read those.

Tell me about your book / series.

After a car accident paralyzes seventeen-year-old Noah, he is hooked up to an online fantasy game.

Noah encounters a mysterious avatar who suggests that his girlfriend’s consciousness, whose brain was also damaged in the crash, is being held prisoner in the most dangerous part of the game. Noah takes it upon himself to rescue her.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Two published (LitRPG), two under contract (Epic Fantasy), and one being negotiated (Contemporary).

What’s your opinion on the practice of ‘banning’ books?

It ends up giving a lot of average books more attention than they deserve, causing the opposite effect of the point of having them banned.

Tell me about a principal character in your book(s). What makes them memorable?

In my LitRPG books, what makes Noah memorable is his inner conflict between being pragmatic towards his goals and being swept up in emotion.

In my epic fantasy books, Faulk’s lack of beliefs rather than his beliefs acts as his motive for being on the adventure.

Indie, or traditionally published – and why?

Traditional – Why? I’m poor.

It’s said that to write well, you need to read a lot. What do you think?

Sure, but for lessons in narrative rather than getting ideas.

Tell me what you feel the worst, and the best, aspects of being an author are, and why.

Best: Creative freedom as it’s an easy way to communicate ideas.

Worst: Ego, whether your successful or not it will separate you from what you really are.

Are you a plotter, or a pantser? What do you think of the opposite approach?

I’m a pantser as I’m less excited about a story where I know everything that’s going to happen. I respect plotters as it’s never something I’ve been able to do well.

Tell me about one favourite hobby or pastime that isn’t writing or reading.

I enjoy passive education, mostly watching youtube videos on everything from philosophy to movie trivia.

What are you writing at the moment?

At the moment I’m writing a collection of experimental short stories inspired by intense feelings and social frustrations.

What’s your opinion on the belief that indie books are badly edited and lower quality than traditionally published?

It’s a generalization that is grounded in a deeper question of whether or not books that have more at stake than the author’s money will have more variety of attention put into their development. Because this can differ in individual cases, I believe each book should still be judged on an individual basis.

What is your favourite genre to write, and why?

Loose fantasy, anything that gives me the most creative freedom.

If you could go back to the start of your writing career, what is the one piece of advice you’d give yourself?

The starting dates of every popular subgenre since 2005.

Do you listen to music when you write, and if so, what do you like?

Generally old RPG or visual novel soundtracks, mostly Nobuo Uematsu.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I learned that using game mechanics in stories can solve pacing problems.

Tell me three unique things about you.

1) I wrote my first published work on a dare.

2) I didn’t use my Facebook before my first book was published.

3) I have vitiligo so the white streaks in my hair aren’t from old age, dress or dying.

Christopher, thank you for participating in Galaxy of Authors!