Welcome to the six hundred and thirty-second of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with historical suspense thriller / mystery novelist Chris Angus. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Chris. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Chris: Writing is in my blood, I’m afraid, or perhaps my DNA. I come from a large family of writers and I suspect because of that, I resisted taking it up as a career. But apparently the dye was cast. I began as an outdoor writer. I live just north of the Adirondack Park of New York State. My first real writing “gig” was a weekly outdoor column called Canoe Country, in which I wrote about all sorts of environmental issues. In a bit of writer serendipity, just two months after I submitted my first column, I sent a piece on a legal issue regarding canoeing in the Adirondacks to the New York Times. It appeared, with illustration, on the Op-Ed page on my birthday, no less. That seemed propitious, and I haven’t stopped writing in the twenty odd years since.
Morgen: No apology necessary. Writing’s in my blood too – I can’t shake it off even if I wanted to. 🙂 What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Chris: I began writing fiction almost thirty-five years ago after my mother, the author of a series of murder mysteries, became too ill to continue. With her blessing, I attempted to take over the series and wrote three more using her character, Mrs. Wagstaff. None were published, but it got me interested in fiction and I moved on to write thrillers and young adult adventure novels. During the years in which I could not find publishers for my fiction, I wrote non-fiction, publishing over four hundred essays, articles, book introductions, columns and reviews, as well as two collections of essays about the out-of-doors and a biography of iconic Adirondack conservationist Clarence Petty, entitled: The Extraordinary Adirondack Journey of Clarence Petty, Wilderness Guide, Pilot and Conservationist, published by Syracuse University Press.
Morgen: Wow. A great grounding for when your fiction was picked up. Do you write under a pseudonym?
Chris: My non-fiction is published under Christopher Angus, my fiction under Chris Angus.
Morgen: Are your books available as eBooks? How involved were you in that process? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Chris: My fiction books are available in print and as eBooks. I was quite involved in the process in terms of editing and also, to some extent, designing the covers. I still do not own an eBook reader myself and prefer print but more and more people are calling me a Troglodyte, so the day may be coming…
Morgen: 🙂 I grew up with an older brother so am a techie, yet I only bought a Kindle early last year. I’ve since sold it to a friend as I now read via the Kindle app on my iPad but I still have hundreds of paper books at home so I do read both. Do you have a favourite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
Chris: My thriller London Underground, just released by Iguana Books, is being considered by Hollywood. I just read an interview with John Grisham in the NYT Book Review in which he says he tries not to be involved in his films, because he knows nothing about them. That seemed about right to me. However, I always liked the idea of having Viggo Mortensen, a fellow alum at St. Lawrence University, play a U-boat captain in another of my books, The Last Titanic Story.
Morgen: He’s a great choice. You mentioned John Grisham, which author/s would you compare your writing to?