Katie: The premise for Hero is so original, the bored hero sent on a quest to learn true heroism. Where did you get the idea for this story?
Chris: There was a Batman comic book where he lost his utility belt and was weak from being sick. He was easy pickings for the bad guys. It clicked with me. What about taking a stuck-up Hero and reducing him to a wimp? He loses sword, armor, everything except his ego. Now put him in a world where everything wants to kill or eat him and see what he does.
Katie: This hero’s adventure follows some of the common tropes of a fantasy adventure, but also branches out. What fantasy works did you draw inspiration from?
Chris: Years ago I got into playing Dungeons and Dragons with some people who were less about the rules and all about the adventure. It opened the scale of my imagination. Every time we gamed, my mind would create interesting or mysterious lands with people and cultures. I'd think up an entire history of a place, but I wasn't really trying. I'd just watch it being created in my mind and my imagination did all the heavy lifting. Eventually I started writing it down and here we are today.
Katie: I love hearing author’s perspectives on the state of publishing today. What is your take on the future of publishing?
Chris: I think the printed book is going the way of the Dodo bird, which saddens me. I love the feel of a book in my hands. I also believe that traditional publishers will change in a major way, if not diminish to the point where most authors consider them secondary. Publishers are restricted by a budget like any business, so they are forced to be picky about who they take on. With self-publishing it takes the publisher out of the scene and lets the public decide who is going to be popular, or not. Writers and readers are realizing they don't need publishers.
Katie: I see you have a blog and are on Facebook and Twitter. What parts of social media do you find the most beneficial? Any tips for maximizing effort without getting bogged down in the cyber-muck?
Chris: Groan. Being active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and blogging takes time and energy. It's tough. Connecting with readers is very challenging because there is so much 'cyber-muck'.
Social sites are okay, but it's through hard-working people like you and sites like Underground Book Reviews that are the best way to find and be found by readers. It's like introducing a friend at a party filled with strangers. You break the ice and let readers know if they'll enjoy a book.
Chris: Yes. I'm working on a second Hero book. When I started the first, I already had two or three other stories ideas for Tilger in my mind. I'm really enjoying writing Tilger, but because he's not all brawn I have to think of how he survives in a world where the sword settles all disagreements.
Katie: If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be?
Chris: You need to be open to criticism and leave your pride in your pocket. Writing is a craft and you should always reach to improve your skills.
Don't let anyone tell you that you should give it up because you're not good enough. Maybe you aren't. Maybe your writing sucks. Okay, accept it, but don't give up. Get better at doing it. Never, ever give up on something you love doing.
Katie: On your Amazon page you list lots of hobbies. What do you do with your spare time?
Chris: There's lots of things I like doing. Topping the list is riding my motorcycle and target shooting. I'm a movie buff, so yeah, watching movies. Other things are avoiding washing the dishes, photography and fiddling with my iPhone. I'm kind of a gadget geek so I can be easily distracted by shiny objects.
Katie: Thank you, Chris. You can find Hero here.
You can find Chris Fritschi on Amazon, facebook, google+ or twitter.
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