Interview: Chris Philbrook

Chris Philbrook is the creator and author of Tesser as well as Elmoryn and Adrian's Undead Diary. AUD is Chris' sprawling zombie epic currently available on the AUD website and via the Kindle. Tesser was inspired by decade old Role Playing sessions, and has been percolating ever since.

Adrian's Undead Diary, the story that got Chris on the literary map now has two titles available. Book One: Dark Recollections, Book Two: Alone No More, and Book Three: Midnight, are now available. Book Four: The Failed Coward, is slated for a February 2014 release.

Chris' first book in print was The Wrath of the Orphans, the initial book of the Kinless Trilogy, set in his Elmoryn fantasy world. You can get it here on Amazon in print and for the Kindle as well.

Both of Chris' primary book series' have been received by the public with overwhelming positivity. All of his titles are rated 4.90 or better, and there is no sign that'll change anytime soon. Dark Recollections as of this writing, is the #1 rated horror book on Amazon. There's a reason for that. Read the book to find out why.

Chris is the owner of Tier One Games LLC, his game development company. If you buy something from AUD, Elmoryn, or Tesser, you'll likely see the sale credited to Tier One Games.

Chris calls the wonderful state of New Hampshire his home. He is an avid reader, writer, role player, miniatures game player, video game player, and part time athlete as well.

Give us a quick bio. A little about yourself, your work and how you got into writing.

I'm overweight, underemployed, sarcastic and I like to make things up.  In other words, I'm a writer.  I started writing when I worked in game development working on the story for a miniatures game.  I loved making up characters and action, so here I am.  Not quitting at it.

What five words best describe you? 

Witty, loyal, creative, funny, talkative.

Do you have a most embarrassing moment?

During a floor hockey game in fifth grade my corduroy pants tore from the crotch to the ankle in front of the entire school population.  I was wearing tighty-whiteys, and I was horrified.

Are there any critiques in particular that you just can’t seem to shake?

I'm okay generally with people critiquing my work, but when folks tell me something needs to be looked at, and I tell them ok and they continue to push to look RIGHT THEN… I can get peevy.

If you were to create a writing soundtrack, what artists would be on it? 

Mostly stuff without lyrics or that has minimal lyrics.  I get easily distracted by people talking when I write, so electronic or classical stuff would be great.

How do you come up with the character names in your books?

I troll some baby name websites, and sometimes I search for names with specific meanings.

How many people have you killed off over your career as a writer? Ever offed someone off then kicked yourself for it?

More than I can recall.  Remember kids, it's story first, characters second.  Have I regretted killing a character?  I think I've regretted how or when someone died, not so much that I killed them.

Have you ever written yourself or people you know as a character in one of your books?

Yep, and they all know who they are.

Do you laugh at your own jokes as you write them? 

I usually laugh at myself when I write my jokes…

Do you write full time or do you keep a day job?

Hoping to be full time by the end of 2014.

What’s the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked in an interview?

What's your sexual orientation?  Not sure what bearing that has on me being a writer…

When did you decide to make a career of writing?

Mid 2011 when I realized I was paying off debt with money I earned writing part time.  I was all like, 'hey, I'm making money doing this…'

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Every day, and it's almost always love.  My readers are the best.

What was your favorite moment when writing your book?

When I posted AUD entries online, and within ten minutes after folks had read it, receiving instant feedback on it, good or bad.  Knowing there were thirty or forty people online at midnight waiting for me to hit submit was something else.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Depends entirely on the length of a book…  But I'd say at minimum three months.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I masturbate, watch movies, and play video games.  I also have a sweet girlfriend that stops the first, helps with the second and tolerates the third.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Tons of my writing is based on my own personal experience, training, and what I have gotten from friends and family.  It's the only way to be authentic.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

Never stop writing, even if all you're doing is writing a blog entry, or a movie review.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

See above.  That, and make sure you turn off the internet on your computer while you're writing so you can focus.

What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do?


Who are you reading right now?

I'm chewing through Joe Hill's books, and I just bought WOOL.

OK, so, what’s next, do you already have a new project in the works? 

I just wrapped A Dragon Among Us, I'm a little over halfway through book two of The Kinless Trilogy, and when all eight books of AUD are out… I'll be heading back into Adrian's world.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it

Nope.  I move on to different projects to keep things fresh, and I've only really been blanked a couple times when I'm stuck on a plot bunny.

Did any specific author(s) motivate you to begin writing?

George Romero, Stephen King, and so many more.

You are hosting a dinner party and must invite 3 famous people. Who would you choose and why?

Brad Pitt because he seems like a genuinely cool guy.  Stephen Hawking because he'd be able to make me understand the universe more and Christopher Walken because… well, Christopher Walken.

What kinds of challenges did you face when you were writing the series? What kind of research did you do when you were working on your novel?

Sticking to it was tough towards the end.  I wrote at such a feverish pace I was burning out, and I also had to deal with a divorce and the death of my mother.  Interestingly enough, those were HUGE in keeping me on task, despite how hard it was.  I knew I had to keep going because at the end of the day, no one was going to work as hard as me to make my goals happen.  As far as research is concerned… let's just say the NSA is aware of what I google.

In ten words or less

  • Are you a morning person or a night owl?
    • I believe mornings are fictional like unicorns.
  • Biggest fear
    • Deep water.
  • Favorite TV Show?
    • Firefly
  • First item on your bucket list?
    • Travel the world.
  • Happiest moment in your life to date?
    • No idea.
  • If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet, what would you want?
    • I'd want safety and security for everyone.
  • If you were a Star Trek® character, which one would it be? Why?
    • Commander Riker.  Because of the beard.
  • If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
    • I'd want to be able to freeze time temporarily.
  • If you could choose your last meal, what would it be?
    • Super hero pills.
  • If you could meet anybody in history, past or present, who would it be?
    • That's such a tough question.  Churchill?
  • If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    • My girlfriend's cauliflower cashew curry.
  • If you realized that you got a free item by accident after leaving a store, would you go back and pay for it?
    • I'd go back.  I've been a retailer.
  • How would your friends describe you in 3 words 
    • Obnoxious, smelly and stupid.  But they're my friends, so what do you expect?
  • Last thing you dressed up as for Halloween?
    • The tooth fairy.
  • Mac or PC?
    • PC
  • Oreo’s…Bite into the entire cookie or deconstruct it?
    • Dunk and devour.
  • Pie or cake?  
    • Yes.
  • Quirk that annoys your spouse/friend: 
    • I can be very rigid when I think I'm right.
  • The zombie apocalypse has begun. What zombie fighting badass would you want on your team? 
    • Superman.  But that's a cop out.  Adrian Ring ftw.
  • What is one thing that you can’t live without?
    • Writing.  Oddly enough, it's true.
  • What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
    • No comment.
  • What is your biggest pet peeve?
    • People who ask questions, then don't listen to the answer.
  • Who is the most famous person you have met?
    • I've met hundreds.
  • Who’s your favorite blogger? (cough)
    • Hmm…. I sense self promotion here.  
  • Worst job ever?
    • Customer service rep for an electronics firm.
  • Would you rather be homeless for a year or be in jail for a year?
    • Jail.  They get fed and get medical care there.

Where can readers stalk you?
Amazon Author page