Christopher C. Starr is the author of The Road to Hell: The Book of Lucifer, the first novel in the Heaven Falls series. These stories examine the God’s relationship with Heaven and Earth, told through the eyes of the angels. The next book in the series, Come Hell or Highwater, is scheduled for late 2012 / early 2013.
Chris makes it a point to look at the dark side of his characters, both heroes and villains, and his work explores the “grey”—that place where good and evil come together in all of us.
When he’s not being chased out of churches, Chris enjoys comic books and movies, staying away from cemeteries, and poorly participating in P90X. He lives in Seattle with his wife, two kids (The Boy and the Honey Badger), and his husky, Rocky the WonderDog.
And now from the author himself:
I think honesty is the best policy as a writer. I know, I know, you’re saying, “Dude, you write fiction. About angels. Honesty? Come on.” Yeah, I know. But there’s a point to this: you have to say what you have to say.
As writers, we tend to err on the side of what sounds good, what looks good on paper, what we think will sell. We write for that ever elusive “reader” who inhabits our unconscious, the one telling us, “Oooh, don’t write that. What will Mom or Dad or Uncle Chuck or Rev. Wiggins think?” or “That’s not how King or Rowling or Collins or Grisham does it. I wonder if that will sell.” But that line of thinking does a disservice to you and to your real readers. If they want Rowling or King or Grisham, they’ll buy them. Those authors are not hard to find. Your readers want you. The real you. Honest to goodness you.
I wrote a book whose genre I honestly can’t place. Whether you are Christian or Muslim or Buddhist or Jewish, we all have these “fall from grace” stories. They are innately human, extremely basic stories. I chose to write about God and angels and about Lucifer specifically because it is the most prevalent “fall from grace” story I know. And I wanted to explore Lucifer’s fall from his angle, through his eyes, to better understand this intrinsically human idea.
Selling it wasn’t the reason I wrote it. I felt like writing it was my responsibility.
I think our mission as writers is to find that universal piece of us—whatever it is that unites us, makes us similar despite vast differences, that makes us human—and explore it, twist it, turn it, place it in unique and difficult situations. I write to explore good and evil, to explore the “why” of it all. I don’t think anyone is completely good or completely evil. I think we’re more complicated than that. I think it’s part of what makes us human. I write—we write—to use our stories to teach us about us. And you cannot do that if you aren’t honest.
Morgen: I agree about people not being good or evil – we are all capable of both, depending on our motivation and struggles… and our characters are too.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with crime novelist, journalist and spotlightee Quentin Bates – the three hundred and twenty-third of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can read / download my eBooks from Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore and Kobo. And I have a new forum at http://morgenbailey.freeforums.org.