All right, Chris, the mic is in your face, the camera lights are on, and you have one sentence to introduce yourself to an audience of gazillions. What’s the quick version of your story, man?
I ended up on the back of a milk carton at age 8. A year ago I developed an iPhone application that was used to scope Stephen Colbert’s ear. I’ve also published a novel called No Such Thing As Werewolves. You’re probably expecting me to say ‘one of these things is a lie’. Nope, all true. I’ve led a very interesting life.
If you became very rich, what would a typical day look like for you?
Very similar to what it looks like today. I wake up, work out and then write. When I’m finished I go to work at a startup called CellScope, developing the aforementioned app. Eventually CellScope will get acquired, after which my day will look largely the same. The locale might change though. There’s a lot of travel I want to do, from Cairo to Lima. I’m fortunate that both my passions can be done from anywhere in the world.
What’s been your greatest challenge in life?
Limiting beliefs. When I was a kid I decided I wasn’t a good athlete, and that I’d never be a good dancer. So I didn’t even try. A few years back I picked up a book called Talent is Overrated, which reversed my outlook overnight. I enrolled in a dance class and am a pretty good dancer now. I also became a power lifter, which never would have crossed my mind before. I was a self-avowed geek and just assumed I could never be good at those things. Imagine my surprise when I found out practice really does make perfect.
In 2010 I joined Toastmasters and became an accomplished speaker. I set the bar a little higher and taught myself iPhone development. At the time I was working in a dead end collections job, so that was quite a step up. Especially since I’m a JC dropout. My next challenge is writing and *crosses fingers* so far so good.
I just finished reading No Such Thing As Werewolves and was struck by how much of a fun cross it is between Tomb Raider, Stargate, and Predator. What was the inspiration behind it?
I’m totally going to cheat. I wrote this blog post about the inspiration. For those who want a shorter answer I wanted to re-invent werewolves. To do that I took a Sci-Fi approach, which is unusual as most werewolves are fantasy. It required me to explain things like how it’s possible genetically for them to change, why moonlight affects them and how the disease spreads.
Anthropology and Egyptology are also huge passions of mine, and I’ve long wondered if there were cultures that predated recorded history. What if they were far more advanced than we are? No Such Thing As Werewolves answers that question. It’s my attempt to make werewolves not just scary, but also logical and understandable.
How would you describe your book to a new reader in the genre?
It’s like Indiana Jones went through the Stargate and ended up in Aliens Versus Predator.
What type of person is NOT going to enjoy your book?
People who don’t enjoy intricate plots with multiple points of view. There are a fair number of characters, and more science than you’ll find in your average fantasy novel.
How much of you is in Ahiga, that bad-ass werewolf?
You might call him a reflection of me. He’s sacrificed everything to secure the future of our species, only to see it all wasted when he makes a single mistake. His name is from the Navajo language, and I spent a little time on a reservation as a child. I drew on those experiences as well.
What do you hate most about the publishing process?
Editing. I love the writing and sometimes the re-writing is fun, but the endless editing and proofing really wears on you after you’ve been working on a book for five months.
What do you love about indie publishing?
I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was six. My mother still has the first short story I wrote on that very day. As an adult I went the traditional publishing route and it took years to get my first short story out there. Once it was published I never even knew if anyone read it, much less liked it. With Indie publishing I put my own novel up with no gatekeeper to stop me. I’m able to see fan reviews, and even get the occasional fan mail. It’s surreal. So I guess the short answer is I love that indie publishing made it possible for anyone to become a novelist.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of publishing their book independently?
Read. Write. Publish. Repeat. Then sign up for the Rocking Self-Publishing podcast. Lastly, sign up for Kboards. Those three resources will give you a solid foundation in indie publishing, and you’ll be miles ahead of someone just tossing their book up and wondering why it isn’t selling.
What are you going to to do after you’ve won your second pulitzer?
Take Lisa on a cruise to Alaska while we still have glaciers.
Punchable face. Name one. Explanation optional.
Justin Bieber. No explanation needed.
As a Canadian, sorry. Our petitions to have him extradited failed. No one wanted him.
So What’s next for you?
I’ll be publishing Deathless Book 2: No Mere Zombie in late April. I still cannot believe I’ll have two novels and a novella out.
By day Chris Fox is an iPhone developer architecting the app used to scope Stephen Colbert’s ear. By night he is Batman. Ok maybe not. He can dream though, right? Chris has been writing since he was six years old and started inflicting his work on others at age 18. By age 24 people stopped running away when he approached them with a new story and shortly thereafter he published my first one in the Rifter. Check out his fiction at Chris Fox Writes.
No Such Thing As Werewolves on Amazon