Quick, informative insight into the mind and work of author Chris Hill who is promoting his second novel: The Pick-Up Artist
Chris is a successful British author who has veered clear of the self-publishing route to follow the traditional path into readers hands. His second novel The Pick-Up Artist is a romantic comedy and a big step away from the literary flavour of his first published novel. From God to sex, what will his next novel be about? I caught up with him over the wires and picked his brain with a few questions. Here’s the output:
CH: My second novel The Pick-Up Artist was published just a few weeks ago by Magic Oxygen Publishing. That follows my first, Song of the Sea God, which came out with Skylight Press in 2012. I think the big aim for me when I was younger was to have a book published and I‘m pleased I‘ve managed that. I know it’s popular to self-publish these days any many people do that very successfully but since I’d started out looking for a publisher I just carried on until I found one, though it was hard work and took me a while. I’d written three novels and a short story collection before I found a publisher for my first book. Before I started writing novels I wrote a lot of stories and had some success with them including winning the Bridport Prize which is one of the bigger ones in the UK.
I’m pleased to be able to walk into a book shop and see my books on the shelves – that would have made the younger me very happy.
DJR: What are you currently promoting? What is it? Tell me about it.
CH: My latest book is called The Pick-Up Artist, it’s basically a romantic comedy, it’s about a young man’s attempts to find love with the help of a peculiar online community called the Pick-Up Artists who claim to be able to use psychological techniques to attract women. It’s not giving much away to say it doesn’t go as smoothly for him as he might have hoped. But it’s also about the women he meets who are my favourite characters in the book I would say, they’re rude and funny and don’t take any prisoners.
DJR: What are you planning to achieve next and long term? What’s in the pipeline.
CH: Next for me will be writing another book, but it’s early days with that yet, I’m enjoying this one coming out first. It takes me two years to write a novel so I like to be sure I have something worth working on before I get into it. My two published books so far have been very different from each other – a literary novel and a rom-com. Publishers and agents and so on encourage you to do the same thing each time, which I’m sure is sensible, but I write for myself first and do what I feel inspired to do. So far I’ve written a book about god and a book about sex – so maybe the next one should be about death, which should be jolly.
DJR: How do you intend to get there?
CH: I need to find an idea which grabs me enough to make me want to write it. I write books I would like to read – Toni Morrison said: ‘If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.’ and I’m a big believer in that.
DJR: What is driving you as a writer?
CH: I’ve always written fiction, since my early teens – scraps at first, then proper stories and later novels – I have a couple of other books in my bottom draw which haven‘t found a publisher yet. I’m not even sure I enjoy writing as such but I feel compelled to, it’s part of who I am.
DJR: Any tips or techniques you want to share?
CH: I’m a big believer in dogged determination. I think writing is a skill which you learn with practice. I’ve definitely got better as I’ve gone on. They say ten thousand hours of practice is what it takes to make you an expert in any skill and I think if new writers bear that in mind and don’t expect to be brilliant right out of the box then they will be on the right track. We don’t expect to be able to paint well or play a musical instrument without practice and writing fiction is the same.
DJR: Where can I buy your work?
CH: You can find it on Amazon here:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Hill’s new novel, The Pick-Up Artist, was published by Magic Oxygen publishing in February 2015. It’s described as a lad lit rom com for the digital age and follows a young man’s inept attempts to find love using the advice of an online community called the Pick Up Artists.
The Pick-Up Artist, which won a prize in the Luke Bitmead Bursary competition, is Chris’s second published novel.
His first, Song of the Sea God, is published by Skylight Press and has picked up excellent reviews on Amazon in the UK and USA.
Song of the Sea God was shortlisted for both the Daily Telegraph Novel in a Year competition and the Yeovil Literature Prize under it’s earlier name of The Longing.
Chris lives with his family in Gloucester in the UK. He works in communications and has a background in newspaper journalism as a reporter, news editor and editor. He has won a number of short story prizes including the Bridport Prize.
- Website: http://www.chrishillauthor.co.uk
- Twitter: @ChilledCh
- Facebook https://www.facebook.com/chris.hill.3726
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