Interview with Christopher Kokoski

Christopher Kokoski

Interview Date: 8/23/2012


Christopher was born in Kansas, the son of an Army Ranger and Black Hawk pilot. He grew up in Kentucky and Germany, and graduated from Murray State University in 2002 with a degree in Organizational Communication. He spent the next three years laboring over his first book, Past Lives, while getting married to his college sweetheart, having a beautiful daughter, and more or less finding his stride in life.
He currently lives in Southern Indiana and works in Louisville, Kentucky as a national trainer. He has presented at local and national conferences on a wide spectrum of topics including communication, body language, cultural sensitivity and influence. Other notable activities include writing articles, short stories, novels and training materials for national and international audiences. Christopher continues his passion and dedication to writing by working on additional novels, including a sequel to the Past Lives series. His most recent book is the standalone paranormal thriller, Dark Halo.

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

Like many adolescents, my transition from middle school to high school was fraught with angst, and out of this dark summer I started writing as a way to cope. Looking back, I can clearly see how storytelling allowed me to vent my thoughts and feelings through characters and conflicts on the page. I've been writing ever since. While I think this personal journey is threaded through all my stories, my main goal has always been to entertain.

If you could have one superpower, what would it? (Assuming said power would be reasonably powerful.)

Mind-control. The ability to instantly persuade the masses. I'm not saying I would use my power for selfish purposes - buy my novel, buy my novel, buy my novel - but there could be certain helpful uses. :)
Actually, I'd choose the power of redemption. Cheesy, I know. But if you read Dark Halo or my Past Lives series, you'll see overcoming the past and second chances highlighted in a million different forms. I think imperfection is part of the human condition and I'd love the power to help people transcend their past mistakes and make positive movement toward wholeness. Tremendous trauma seems to be a huge part of most superhero's backstory, and the power of redemption seems like it could come in real handy.

Kev's response: >:) Your book is helpful, right? Helping people get past their problems, hmm, that's a different power.

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

Growing up, I read a lot of Superman Comics. I also like Batman (who is actually referenced in Dark Halo), and Wolverine.

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

Ever since I tapped into the healing power of storytelling, I've been hooked. I love the potential of stories to move us, to provide escape, relaxation, entertainment, and sometimes, even transformation. I'm motivated to entertain, to create stories full of short chapters and near-constant action, like the novels I love to read. I'm also a Christian, so I'd be remiss if I didn't credit God for my talent and motivation.

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

I fall somewhere in the middle. When I wrote the first book in the Past Lives series, I outlined it in detail. I knew almost exactly what I was going to say and do in each scene of the book. Over several revisions, many of the details have changed, but it still was well thought-out in advance.
Dark Halo, my second novel, happened almost entirely by accident. I sat down one morning to practice writing interesting first lines of stories and one of the lines really intrigued me. I wrote a few more sentences, then a few paragraphs. After a couple pages, I knew this was a story I wanted to tell. I just had no clue what the story was going to be! I kept writing, thinking, exploring and creating until the story came together.

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

Only when inspired...although I tend to get inspired every morning about 5 am as I sit down with my laptop and a steaming cup of coffee.

Kev's response: Morning seems my best time as well. I commonly write while jogging on the elliptical during my workout.

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

So far, my first two novels are both in what I call the paranormal thriller category. I do love to read suspense or thriller novels with a supernatural or paranormal twist. That's probably why Dean Koontz is one of my favorite authors. I also really dig a good international thriller, like the Bourne series. My goal is to read widely, to enjoy as many types of books as I can, as long as the writing and storytelling are both good. I have lots of ideas for books in a wide array of different genres, so we'll see how it all comes out in the end.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

The language and emotion. Ok, so that's two things I like most, but I think they are very intertwined. I love it when a sentence or metaphor sings, when an image or scene really comes together. Whenever a reader takes time to say one of my stories made them laugh or cry or tremble with fear, I am so grateful and honored.

Kev's response: I've had some people comment on how they hate X character. I know then that my writing came through and provoked a response. :)

Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

Yes, the part when the writing doesn't come easy, when each word choice is like grinding bullets between your teeth. That's when I buckle down, push through the challenge and eventually the writing flows more naturally again.

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

I can't blow a bubble with bubble gum. When I try (and oh have I tried) I end up spitting the whole piece of gum out. It's embarrassing, and sadly also true. Scratch my earlier answer to the superpower question. I want the power to blow the biggest bubble the world's ever seen to silence all those people who have laughed at me.

Kev's response: Huh, and here I thought that was an innate power of our species.

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

One at a time, although I sometimes get interrupted by new, more urgent projects along the way. Mostly, I focus on one book at a time and try to make it the best experience possible for the reader.

In my evil plot to take over the world, do you advise I use highly intelligent, self-motivated minions, or simple ones, and why?

From my vast experience overthrowing planets, I'd say use hordes of the simple ones to take out anyone who threatens your total domination of earth. The intelligent ones might demand insane things like good reasons or co-owernership of the world.

Kev's response: Sounds reasonably ... and like a death warrant for my intelligent minions!

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

As an avid reader, I can't imagine a future without paper books. At the same time, e-books do seem to be here to stay, and personally, I love both for different reasons. I hope both are around for a long, long time.

What are your current projects?

I'm finishing up the sequel in the Past Lives novel series. Then, it's on to another paranormal thriller, probably a standalone like Dark Halo.

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

Yes. My advice is to keep at it, keep improving, keep writing stories that fascinate and move you, keep putting out products you are proud of, keep working, keep focus, keep living, keep your priorities in mind and never, ever give up. It only takes one moment to change your life forever.

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

Yes, here they are:
Amazon Author's Page:
Facebook Profile (Author):
Twitter: @eric_shooter

Kev's response: Christopher, thank you for joinng me, and I hope the thrillers keep rolling for you!

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