Chris Stocking is the author of London Darkness: Infernal Inventions, his third novel. Here is where you can find an excerpt of this novel.    He is working on a steampunk series, whilst trying to get married to his fiancee, Casey.  Good luck with that, Chris!!

Here is the interview:

What genre would you like to write a book in (that you haven’t yet)?

I’d like to dive into some historical fiction. Take a real life, past event and give my own take on it. Perhaps what I would have liked to see happen. Or what might have happened if a particular event hadn’t occurred, or had occurred differently or at a different time. I hope that makes sense.

Where do your ideas come from?  Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole construct?

I’ve heard the term “pantser” thrown around be several authors, and I certainly am one. Essentially, I write by the seat of my pants. I make up just about everything as I write. The only planned parts of my story are the main characters, the setting, and the conflict. Other than that, whatever I think up as I write is what happens, including secondary characters and plot twists. Of course, I do keep a notebook with me at all times in case a plot idea jumps into my head when I’m not writing.

When you start a new story, do you have a title for it?  Does that trigger the story?

Sometimes yes, most of the time, no. I’d like to say that I’m good with coming up with titles, but I’m certainly not. I’m bad with names in general, actually. Often times I’ll come up with a few different names and let my social media friends vote on which title they like the best.

Do you see the future of fantasy as bright?  If so, which authors are driving it?

Cassandra Claire seems to be one of the bigger driving fantasy authors. She has put out a lot of books in a short period of time, which makes her a good author for the modern times. Fans like authors who write a lot of good books, very quickly. They want to know what happens next as soon as they can.

What themes are being overused?

Vampire love stories. Vampires need to be returned to their roots of bloodsucking beats who can’t enter the sunlight. The times of Anne Rice’s Lestat were probably one of the best times for Vampire fiction.

Are movies of books ruining the book?

Certainly not. Movies based on books may suck sometimes, but most readers have either already read the book before the movie comes out, or read the book when they hear the movie is coming out. So, I think they get the best of both worlds. Movies help us to actually see the characters with our own eyes, while books can create things that movies could never portray, especially thoughts.

Do you prefer to read established authors or debut authors? How do you choose which ones to read?

While it somewhat pains me to say this, because I’m not self-published author, I generally follow the New York Times Best Sellers. I really should, and need to start buying more Indie and Self-pubbed books to show my support. When it comes to selection, first I look at the cover, if I like it, I read the description, and then I flip open to the first chapter and read a few sentences. If it seems like it’s something I like, then I usually buy it.

What is it about fantasy that appeals to you?

Since I started reading fantasy as a child, I’ve always loved knights, dragons, magic, and the sort. I’m not entirely sure why I enjoy it so much. It’s just cool to be able to come up with, and read about such powerful creatures and characters.

Can I get an autographed book? (lol)

I’m sure that can certainly be arranged, haha.

Do you have a group of people that you show a new story to? How much impact can they have on the whole story?

When it comes to my novels, the only people who see it before it’s finished are myself, my editor, and any beta readers. Other than that it stays locked up on my computer until I think it’s ready to be sent out to these individuals. These individuals usually are experienced readers and writers who can catch subtle story flaws and changes that can turn a good book into a great book.

When it comes to my short stories for my blog, I write them, give them a read over a few times, consider the impact and the storyline, and then publish it for the world to see.

Do you set yourself a word limit for each book?

Yes. For novellas I aim for 30,000 words. And for novels I aim for 100,000 words.

Do you have a target each day?

I try to. But with my upcoming wedding I’ve been majorly slacking. I used to pound out 3,000 to 5,000 words a day. But lately I’ve only been getting a few hundred words a day. When things slow down again I’d like to work my way back up to the thousands.

Do you write constantly or have breaks between books?

I try to write constantly. I’m terrified of the idea of falling out of practice. Usually, while I’m waiting to get edits back for one book, I’m working on another one.

Do you have characters running around your head?  Do they dictate events and their histories to you?

I try to focus on the characters of my current WIP. I try to think of what past events make and shape who they are. I also try to work these past events into plot twists later on in the stories.

What is your biggest (self-imposed) time waster?

Social media for sure. I always find myself alt + tabbing away from my WIP to check my Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Goodreads, Linkedin, Pinterest, and WANATribe. I’m trying to cut back.  (Ed:  Chris, have a look at Freedom, the software.  It cuts your connection to the internet for a specified amount of time.)

Do you read other people’s writing?

I try to offer feedback when people are looking for it. Generally I don’t write reviews of books I read because, honestly, I’m not very good at writing them. However, people often post a chapter or two on their blog and I don’t mind giving some feedback.

Would you read mine?

I absolutely would.

Let’s all wish Chris a great day for his up-coming wedding by leaving comments on this post.  I will pass them on to him a week or so after it is published.

Here are the usual links to the wonderful Chris:

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London Darkness: Infernal Inventions book links: