Author Interview: Christopher Tilford
Your Name (as it appears on your books): Christopher Tilford
Your Twitter (if applicable): https://twitter.com/christilford
Your Facebook (if applicable): https://www.facebook.com/ShatteredHeaven
How would you describe yourself?
Stubborn? Yes, that’s a good word. I’m rather simple and easy going, but I like to explore my creativity. I like to expand what I create to various avenues, and if it’s something I’m not comfortable with, I’ll just get used to it and move forward anyway. I like telling stories and entertaining people, that’s just what it boils down to for me.
How would you describe what you write?
Dramatic, I suppose. I can write anything as long as it’s character driven and deals with emotions. Detailed when it needs to be. When it comes to action sequences I like to make sure the reader can envision everything in their head. I write sci-fi and mecha for my main series, but I put more emphasis on the characters and how they grow.
What inspired you to start writing your first book?
A video game. Haha. I was writing long before, but I was introduced to the video
game Armored Core early on and I just got drawn into the idea of making a story for it. It didn’t take long for me to realize what I was writing was much more original so I changed the setting and made the book completely original in terminology. Went through many rewrites but the game was what inspired me to actually write the first book.
Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla?
Both? But if I had to really choose, then chocolate.
What authors influence your writing?
William Faulkner, I just loved his stream of consciousness and it was something that I tried to emulate from time to time. It’s funny because he has nothing to do with the genre I write in. But he had the ability to captivate me as a reader and that was what struck me the most.
What one writing tip do you have for new authors?
Expect to not please everyone. What you write will not appeal to everyone, but that has nothing to do with your ability. Hearing your work isn’t good or enjoyable can be a tough pill to swallow, and some can’t make it back from that. Just be prepared for it and push through. Focus on the group of people that do enjoy what you write, they’ll mean more to you than anything else. I suppose that’s not really a “Writing tip”, but I feel it’s just as important.
Did you self or traditionally publish, and why did you choose that route?
I initially prepared to go traditionally. I had some agents interested, but they weren’t sure because what I wrote wasn’t big market appeal at the time. I chose to go self/indie because I’m a control freak. I like controlling everything that I can for my own creation. Because of this I’ve been able to expand my novel series to animation and audio and use those to help promote it. I’ve published another book traditionally with a publisher that came to me, but I prefer the self/indie route due to the control of the property.
Do you have a blog, and how has it helped with your promotional efforts?
I do have a blog, but I haven’t really used it to its full potential. It’s more of a developmental blog for my indie studio that does audio dramas, books and animation. I post some reviews on there and some behind the scenes work but I haven’t really pushed it as much as I should. My promotion efforts have mainly been through word of mouth, some advertising at conventions, audio shorts and animation clips on Youtube. Overall it’s been decent, but I plan to do full marketing in 2013 since 2012 was a really tight year for me financially.
What one thing are you OCD about, in general?
Productivity. I have to be productive. If I’m not at work, I have to be working on something, whether it’s editing a new chapter, mixing audio or animating, I have to be doing something. I feel like if I’m not, I’ve just wasted a day.
What is the most creative way you have promoted any of your books?
Audio clips and animation. We’re working on an animated movie sequel to the first book, so a lot of the animated clips are used to promote the series as a whole. Definitely mixing scenes from the novel in audio format has been one of the most creative ways I’ve promoted.
What would you do differently if you had to start over?
I would have held off until I had a bunch of clips done and more money saved to a bigger scale marketing promotion. Life gets in the way and you can’t always put away money for something like this, but I would have waited to save up more money over the year so I could do a better viral campaign for it. But I’ll be doing this for the second novel.
Where do you hope to see yourself in the next five years?
In LA with friends and with at least 2 animated movies out and the first three or four novels published.
What are the first three rules you would make if you took over the world?
Oh wow, only three? That’s tough. Definitely enforce English education and ban shorthand on professional emails. People butcher the language, it’s one thing to use shorthand to make word limits, but it’s getting to the point where it’s just being abused. Stop reality television, while it’s fun, I feel like it’s sort of hurting the worth of creative storytelling. Finally, umm, no one can self publish unless their book is reviewed and edited. No one will be perfect, but there are just some books that show how little the author knows about grammar and writing. Sadly, those authors hurt the rest of us who try to promote ourselves as Indie authors.
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