Interview with Novelist Stephen Christiansen (Orbbelgguren Series, Lost Souls)

Born in Henderson, Nevada, Stephen Christiansen was born to a long line of military personnel.  His travels from base to base helped inspire a young and imaginative mind.  As he grew he continued his world travels and has visited ancient cultural ruins, rain forests, volcanos, and exotic locations.  With these in mind, he is able to weave epic stories of wondrous places and extraordinary people. Stephen now lives in Everett, Washington with his wife and daughter.  Today, he inspires to share with the rest of the world some of the fantastic real-life inspired places and events that have shaped his life.

Where to buy the novels:

orbell.jpgLulu (best price for paperback copies): http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Orbbelgguren

Ibookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/stephen-christiansen/id824374500?mt=11

Barns & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Stephen%20Christiansen%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Stephen-Christiansen/e/B00M6H1JNM/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1458775732&sr=1-2-ent

Interview with Stephen Christiansen:

Matthew Toffolo: What is the general theme and tone of your novels?

Stephen Christiansen: I have several different genera of novels.

The first is called the “Orbbelgguren Series.” This is a fantasy/fiction series that revolves around a set of dark elves. They are involved in a series of plots and schemes that have brought the world to war and have shaken the very heavens.

The second is a modern day thriller called “Lost Souls.” A family on vacation is haunted by ghosts but when their child goes missing the real nightmare begins. I’m also planning on another modern day thriller called “Monsters.” This one will deal with the monster hidden under the bed.

The third is a Sci-fi thriller called “Harbinger.” A set of eight scientists are sent to terraform an alien planet. Nothing was supposed to go wrong. Everything did. This may end up being a trilogy.

I’ve found that all of these different genera of novels still carry the same theme. This tone is usually dark and full of plot twists that keep the reader guessing until the last moment. I try to model the novels from the old “Twilight Zone” or even “Outer Limits” series with a bit of “Stephen King” tossed in for good measure.

But they also seem to have a traveling theme. Each book takes the reader on an epic voyage, a journey to places that they may have never been to or place that they could only dream about.

MT: Why should people buy your novels?  

SC: The novels are very descriptive and bring the reader into the world or event that it’s describing. They have very real people with complex emotions, distinct personalities and unique motives. The stories have incredible twists and turns and multiple plotlines that will keep the reader thinking and guessing. On top of this, the reader is taken on fantastic journeys of wonder. All of this is wrapped up in a one of a kind series of plots that is refreshing.

Every reader that has read these novels has all enjoyed them and has given them great praise. If a reader likes traveling, action, adventure, being thrilled, and being kept surprised with each twist and turn then these novels will be a good read.

MT: How would you describe your novels in just two words?  

SC: Epic Novels.

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life? 

SC:  I tend to not watch a movie more than once. Once I’ve seen it, it stays with me for a long time. However, there are a few that I’ll watch more than once and the first one that comes to mind is the old, classic Clint Eastwood movie “The good, the bad and the ugly.”

This movie has many different twists with three different views of the same goal. We follow our heroes on a long, arduous journey with many difficulties. The movie is also done with a lot of close up shots where the actors act with their eyes and expressions which seem to be a lost art in most modern movies.

MT: Was being a novel writer something you’ve always dreamed of doing?  

SC:  No. My first passion was to become an astronomer. I’ve loved the aspects of our universe since as far back as I can remember.

During my childhood, I’ve found that I could write short stories that were enjoyed by others. But it’s only been about five or six years ago that I’ve really thought about being an author. Now, I have 15 novels published and wished that I had started earlier.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel?  Have you read a novel more than once? 

SC: There is a book and a series that I would make sure that I would always keep in my library and collection of great reads.

The first book is the “Complete works of Edgar Allen Poe.” Poe is my favorite author and I love going back to this set of works and reading every short story and every poem that is offered, from front cover to back.

The series of books would be “War of the Spider Queen.” This was a series that followed a group of dark elves who are trying to figure out what is happening to their goddess (it’s more detailed than that, but … spoilers). This helped inspire my “Orbbelgguren Series” and I often go back and read all six books just to keep the feel of dark elves and their intricate plots.

MT: What motivates you to write? 

SC:  I guess it’s the same thing that motivates a climber to get to the top of a mountain or a runner to run. It’s a burning passion that is hard to explain but easily felt.

For me, it’s as if the characters are inside me, screaming with their own voice of wanting to be let out and have their story told. It’s as if the story itself wants to come alive.

Beyond these internal reasons, there is always the exterior reason of listening to readers and hearing how they have enjoyed reading the stories. This is a joy that I love to bring to others.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with? 

SC:  I would love to have dinner with Edgar Allen Poe (as a living person, not in his current state.) Poe was the first Sci-fi writer and first detective writer. He had a way of drawing me into his characters and the plots of his stories were always intriguing to me.

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about? 

I guess I’m the most passionate about being a good husband for my wife and a good father for my daughter. Beyond that, I love to garden, paint miniature figures, travel, hike, go camping and discovering new places that I’ve never been to before.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers? 

SC: I have three pieces of advice that I like to pass on to other writers:

Live. Go explore life, fall in love, watch a sunrise, visit some ancient ruins, or climb a mountain. Do something in life that broadens horizons, expands knowledge, and exposes emotion. An author writes best about things that have been experienced.

Read. Read good and bad books. Find out what works and what doesn’t work. Have an opinion on the great classics. Learn various styles. Find inspiration and learn what to avoid.

Write. Make a time to write every day. I’ve talked to so many writers that want to publish a book and when I ask how often they write they answer “I don’t.” Write good things, write bad things, editing will come later, but get the story out and get into a good writing habit.

____

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to http://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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