I present you with the latest victim of my random questions author Neil Christiansen.
‘Neil Christiansen has a way with words and imagery that pulls you into the gritty underworld of Chicago, in his modern noir thriller Dark White. Dynamic characters finding their way through the gray landscape of morality. Hold on it’s quiet the ride.’ -My Review of Dark White
Why do you write?
Everyone asks this question and I don’t really understand it. I don’t think people ask singers why they sing or bricklayers why they lay bricks. I write because I’m compelled to. I have stories in my head and they belong on paper. I hope people read them and like them, but even if they don’t I still have to write them.
What do you get out of it?
At the moment I get pride and my own satisfaction. I also get grief from my family for “hiding” in my office to work on things that “aren’t important”, but I hope to someday get money out of it.
Where do you see it going?
I think I’ll be able to make a career out of it eventually, but I have to figure out what that career looks like. Is it completely self published and working my ass off at self promotion. Does it spin off to other creative endeavors as well (I kinda hope so). I have no idea where it will all end up but I look forward to the journey.
Is writing what you thought it would be?
I’m lazy and I procrastinate. I also like instant gratification. So, yes, writing itself is what I expect it to be; it’s the other half that is surprisingly difficult and unpleasant. I HATE editing and I HATE promotion. I hate putting in the time.
What have you found beneficial in writing?
It’s the one thing that makes me feel good about myself. It’s the only thing that I think I’m really good at (always with room to improve). When I write a story and I read it back and say, “Yeah, I like this, I would read this” it gives me a sense of pride that I don’t find anywhere else. I also really enjoy the social interaction with other writers on Twitter. I’m an introvert and really truly don’t have any close friends in real life, but there are lots of great relationships I’ve developed with other writers on twitter that are more like real friendships than anything I have out in the world.
What has been a deterrent in your writing experience?
My biggest deterrent is time. Writing, especially trying to write as a career, takes a lot of time and I have to fit it in between my commitments to my family and a job that pays the bills. If I can get to the point that writing pays enough for me to feed and house my family then it will be easier because I can move the time that I work to be the time that I write.
Do you think writing as a career will continue to grow?
Yes. Physical books may go away, but we have a society obsessed with media and stories and someone has to write those stories. Ever since TV was invented the demand for books has gone down, but the demand for writers and stories has just grown. I think writing is one of the few jobs that will be around forever.
What was an unexpected surprise or experience you had while writing?
It’s shoking to me that writing doesn’t make me more attractive to the opposite sex. I see these movies and shows where writers are seen as so sexy. Oh, wait, those shows are written by writers. Ah, now I see. Okay then.
What was a disappointment or struggle during your writing career?
I was disappointed in my book sales for Dark White. I thought that I had a pretty good follower base and that that would translate into some early sales and then word of mouth would drive continued sales. Turns out that’s not how it works and there’s a reason that companies spend real money on advertising. I’m not defeated by it, but it was disappointing.
What are you looking forward to going into the upcoming year?
Work on my next novel bishopCHURCH is going well and I hope to query it in the spring or summer. If that doesn’t fly then I’ll do the self publish thing again. Also I’ve been publishing the final draft of Malcolm Karma: Cold Turkey on Medium as a serial novel. I’m looking forward to both those projects wrapping up. I’ve also started designing a line of apparel for writers that’s being sold through https://teespring.com/stores/noir-novels and I’m looking forward to that gaining momentum as well.
Do you have any closing thoughts?
It’s been a rough year out in the world, but for those of us who like to hide in a dark hole with a computer and create things it’s been really nice. I’ve had a good year and I’m looking forward to the world opening up and getting some projects out there for everyone to enjoy.