As you all know by now, I’m a massive crime fiction fan. One of my absolute favourite series of recent times is the Robert Hunter series by Chris Carter. The books, in order, are as follows:
Chris, lovely man that he is, agreed to do a Q&A for my little blog 🙂
1- When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
The truth is, I never really had any ambitions to become a writer. I never spent time dreaming up stories. I never imagined characters, and before writing my first novel, I had never even written a short story. What happened was, (and this is the short version) I woke up one day with a story in my head and decided to put it to paper. That was – The Crucifix Killer – my first novel.
2- How long does it take you to write a book?
Usually around seven to nine months, but my last novel – I Am Death – took me a lot longer. I started with an idea, but five months into writing it I decided that the plot wasn’t strong enough. So I threw everything away and started again from scratch.
3- What is your writing process like?
My whole writing process is pretty organic. Basically I start every day reading what I wrote the day before. Most of the time I end up editing almost everything, and then I move on from there. I don’t have a specific target in mind – no number of words I have to write every day – no number of pages – nothing. I just write until I think I’ve done enough for the day.
4- How did you create Robert Hunter?
Well, since I was writing a crime thriller, it was obvious that I needed a detective, so I just created one out of the blue. At first, there wasn’t much thought put into his character. I just created a detective that I thought would work. A detective that I would’ve enjoyed reading about if I had picked up a crime thriller novel.
5- Do you get ideas from your previous job as a criminal psychologist when writing?
Yes, I do. Due to my old profession, the cases I worked on, the things I saw, etc. it’s impossible for my brain to start thinking of a crime story, or for me to imagine a crime scene, without a ton of images exploding inside my head. I use them quite a lot in my novels.
6- Do you find it easy to write Robert once you start or does he go off on his own way?
For me it’s a lot easier once I start. As I’ve said, my writing process is pretty organic. Things only really start to roll once I start writing, never before.
7- Is there another book in the series in the works?
Yes. Because I was so late delivering “I Am Death”, I started writing the next novel just a couple of weeks after handing in the manuscript.
8- How much research do you do for your books? Do some books require more research than others?
I do a hell of a lot of research for my novels, and yes, some books will require a lot more research than others, depending on what the main plot is based on.
9- How do you go from Glam Rock bands to writing?
Well, the transition wasn’t straight out of glam rock bands into writing. I went through a ton of odd jobs first, until the day I woke up with that idea in my head. J
10- Do you get writers block? If so, how do you break through the wall?
I haven’t yet. I guess that at the moment my mind is too twisted for that. There’s always some crazy idea swimming around in there.
11- What is the hardest thing about writing a series?
To be honest, I’m not really sure. I love the entire process of writing. I love developing the plot. I love coming up with the characters that will make the story. I love creating the villain. I love the research – everything. Maybe, after seven novels, I could say that the hardest thing about writing a series is trying to keep it from becoming boring. I feel very lucky that readers still want to read Hunter stories.
12- What is your favourite thing about Hunter?
I would have to say – how calm he is. It takes a lot to make him lose his cool, which is something that is hard to see nowadays, specially for someone in such a stressful profession such as being a detective in a city like Los Angeles.
13- When it comes to publishing, do you proofread your book or do you ask someone else to do it?
Once I have finished writing the manuscript, I do proof read it, but because I have been dealing with the MS for many months, it’s very easy to lose perspective. But that’s one of the perks of being signed to a publishing house. They have editors, proofreaders, copy editors, a whole team of professionals that will go over my work and shape it, ready for publishing.
14- Do you have proofs done up for reviews before the final book goes to print?
My publishing house does, but I don’t usually get them. They send the books out to reviewers themselves.
15- Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? How do you feel about positive/negative reviews and feedback?
As I’ve said, all of that is done by my publishing house. I’m sure that they have a large list of reviewers that they contact.
The truth is that I try my best never to read reviews, good or bad, simply because I know of the psychological effect they can have. The only reviews I tend to read are the ones that are sent to me either by my agent of by my publisher.
16- How do you relax?
I love clubbing. I’m out dancing or going to gigs almost every weekend.
17- Do you read much? If so, what do you like to read?
To be very honest – no, I don’t. I read about two to three books a year, seriously. When I do, I love crime thrillers.
18- What is your favourite book/band/movie?
Favourite book – I don’t have one. Favourite band – it changes every so often. Right now I’m really into a few like Killswitch Engage, Combichrist and a few others. Favourite movie – again, too hard to pick.
19- If your books were to be made into movies, who would play the leads?
I get asked that question a lot, and my answer is always the same – no idea. I would be so happy that a movie studio would want to make any of my novels into a movie that I probably wouldn’t mind that much.
20- If you could have been the original author of any book, what book would it be and why?
None. If I were the author of somebody else’s book, the book wouldn’t have been the same. Books become well known because it’s the brainchild of its author. It’s his/her vision of a story. Change the author, the vision changes and so does the story.
21- How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Blood sacrifice. Contact me for details.
22- Is there anything you would like to add?
I would just like to say a huge thank you to all the readers out there for all the amazing support they have shown me and all my novels from the start. If it weren’t for you guys, I wouldn’t be writing.
So there you have it! Hope you enjoyed reading! Some insightful answers and also, NEW BOOK IN THE WORKS!!!!! 🙂
Massive thanks again to Chris Carter for taking the time to answer my questions! I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to ask them!
Let me know what you think in the comments!
Happy reading 😊📖