Creating a graphic novel involved working with others, so we discuss working with collaborators. Many authors are looking into collaborating and this is great information.
[00:00:47] Stephen: Well, let’s talk some other. okay. When, when you first started writing at 19, what are some things that you’ve
[00:00:54] Chris: learned? I really wrote poetry at 19. I didn’t really start writing until I was probably like maybe 30. Okay.
[00:01:00] Stephen: So when, what are some things you’ve learned over the years that you’re doing different now than you di used to do?
[00:01:07] Chris: give up and keep writing.
[00:01:09] Stephen: Oh, did you give up at some point? Quit? Yes. Plenty of times. OK. All right. Um,
[00:01:15] Chris: and one of the two documentaries I’m working on, right? I haven’t, I haven’t done anything with it for a little while because I’m kind of waiting on interviews to be recorded. Cause I’m transcribing interviews to be written, you know, for the book, excuse me.
So that is just a matter of me getting a hold of some of the people to be like, all right, let’s sit down. Like we are with you and me and tell me your life story and I’ll write it out.
[00:01:38] Stephen: Got what’s the, what’s the documentary about,
[00:01:43] Chris: again, they’re not getting published yet, so I don’t wanna get into it too well, too much.
Okay. So no. Yeah, just the, uh, the publisher is like, Hey, we’re gonna be sending over some press material and an NDA. You need to sign coming up. So I was like, all right, maybe I’ll stop talking about this for
[00:01:56] Stephen: a little bit. Nice. Okay. So when you’re writing, what software and services do you use?
[00:02:03] Chris: Oh, just word, nothing special.
[00:02:06] Stephen: And since it’s a graphic novel, do you have any software between you and the artists that you use?
[00:02:12] Chris: No, that’s all on them. I just tell ’em what it is. I want it to look like and then make the changes before they go permanent to, to it. I mean, some people using computers, so it’s easy to erase and some they need to know before they go to in.
[00:02:24] Stephen: all right. And besides, and I’ve
[00:02:26] Chris: gotten into arguments, I’ve gotten into arguments with Ken hunt about like how I wanted to look and he had to explain to me why it can’t look the way it is, but it’s all fine. Okay.
[00:02:35] Stephen: So besides getting on podcasts and getting your book in some local stores, what else are you doing to market the book?
[00:02:42] Chris: That’s kind of it other than calling stores and like sending ’em in emails or going to, oh, ed conventions festivals. I have a convention I’m coming up that Saturday. I don’t remember the name of it, but it’s being put on by a zombie hideouts, a conflict store in Springfield. Nice. OK. But I don’t, I just don’t remember the name of it off the top of my head, but I’m gonna be there as a guest all day.
[00:03:04] Stephen: Good. Okay. Well, let’s talk a little bit about collaborators because doing a graphic novel, a comic book definitely is a multi person endeavor, and you have to work with artists, which is different. Whereas a lot of authors working with collaborators, it’s another author, so right. What’s that like to work with the artists?
What, what role do you do and how do you work together?
[00:03:27] Chris: It could be very difficult, but in the end, it’s just a matter of making sure that it gets drawn the way you want it and the way they think they can draw it.
[00:03:35] Stephen: Okay. What issues do you have in happen to come up with doing something that’s also graphic,
[00:03:43] Chris: trying to explain how it is in my head versus how they’re gonna draw it and explain to me that it’s just not, it’s just not gonna be able to be drawn that way, or that’s a little beyond the scope of their.
Ken, Hunt’s an amazing artist, but he’s explained to me a couple times about how a couple things don’t quite work the way I’m describing him. So he had to change it. And what he did was perfectly fine, so, okay. Just angles, body language angles, the way the body is, the way the body moves.
[00:04:09] Stephen: So when you’re writing for a graphic novel, it that’s different than writing a novel itself.
How do you do that? To get it to the, I mean, is it broken up like a screenplay or what do you do?
[00:04:23] Chris: Yeah. You have to describe every panel and then make sure that they caught your notes on what what’s happening in the panel. Before they move on to the next one, the woman walks into a bar. She puts the money down the bar’s got like people behind her X, Y, and Z person.
And this is how she’s dressed. And oh, this person’s looking at her suggestively, you know, close up on his eyes. then we have a shock moment of her getting, you know, inappropriately touched or whatever, and his arm being broken, you know, and then she’s leaving, you know, like fury lines above her, but he already knows what the main character will look like.
And I just kind of leave it up to his interpretation of like, what do the two barflies look like? Kind of draw it. However you think draw, like you think the looks. Okay.
[00:05:03] Stephen: And have you ever changed part of the story based on what’s being drawn?
[00:05:08] Chris: Yes. I’ve had to do that multiple times. It happens all the time.
[00:05:10] Stephen: Oh, okay. So how, what, what changed? What made you change something
[00:05:14] Chris: off the top of my head? I don’t remember, but there were, but that happens all the time in comics. Okay. Because the artist is gonna interpret it one way and it might not be the exact way you, you wanted it. So you might have to change the dialogue to reflect what’s going on.
[00:05:27] Stephen: And the, uh, short story collection coming out this fall. Is that also graphic or is it just stories?
[00:05:33] Chris: It’s a, it’s a short story collection with a bunch of pictures in it by various artists.
[00:05:37] Stephen: Okay. So not so much of a comic book feel as illustrated? No, unfortunately not. Okay. what, what other plans do you have for the next, do you have a whole different series plan at some point right now?
[00:05:52] Chris: that, just, just that short story collection. If I start thinking too far ahead of be honest. Then I’m not gonna have the ability to focus on just the one project right now. So, and the hard cover coming out, which is gonna be an in compilation of all the covers we’ve had. Plus an unprinted comic book that I did years ago.
That’s the same thing as the graphic novel. It’s 22 pages of a comic book. It’s the story. It never got printed. So it’s gonna be put into the hard cover. OK, great.
[00:06:21] Stephen: Well, Chris, we talked about the. If you talk to a reader, what you would tell them to buy your book? What, what advice would you have for other authors out there?
Especially somebody wanting to get into comic books,
[00:06:35] Chris: make sure you have money. Okay. Cause you’re not, unless you can draw it yourself. You gotta make damn sure you’ve got money.
[00:06:43] Stephen: What, what, what do they, what to be aware of? What do they need? The money for
[00:06:48] Chris: pay the artist. Okay.
[00:06:51] Stephen: Okay. All right. Yeah.
[00:06:53] Chris: That’s the biggest thing you gotta pay.
You gotta, unless you can draw, you need money to pay the artist. You’re not gonna find an artist. That’s gonna do it for free, right? Yep. At all. It just, it’s just not gonna happen. It’s blunt, but that’s just the truth. And people are like, oh, well, you know, I can draw. And I’ve seen people draw garbage, you know, I mean a few comical groups or whatever, and it’s like, people are trying and then they’re not.
And I’m like, it’s just really kind of. Anyone can make a comic book. You just gotta make sure, you know, what you’re, you know, getting yourself into when it comes to the art. You know, if you could draw it great, you know, draw it, write it yourself. Otherwise just know that you gotta pay an artist and it’s not gonna be cheap.
[00:07:34] Stephen: Right. Okay. Great. Well, Chris, I, uh, look forward to reading the book. Like I said, I love the Dracula and I love JD Barker’s prequel. So I look forward to seeing what your gender swapping switch on. The whole story is. I appreciate you getting on today, even though you didn’t feel good.
[00:07:53] Chris: Yeah. I don’t know what I have.
I think it’s just a cold, so hopefully it’ll pass. yeah. You
[00:07:57] Stephen: got a radio show tonight?
[00:07:59] Chris: No. Okay. I’m not doing anything when I get off with you, I’m pretty much gonna go eat and then probably go to bed. All right.
[00:08:03] Stephen: All right. Well, Chris, thank you for taking some time and talking with me. I appreciate it.
[00:08:07] Chris: Thank you so much, like your star wars poster in the background.
Oh, thank you. Yeah,
[00:08:11] Stephen: we hold. Yeah. I, I had a green screen up and I broke the tab holding it, so I gotta get it back up. Oh. But I can’t use green screen with Zencaster anyway, so,
[00:08:21] Chris: oh, gotcha. Oh, is that what this is? This is okay. I was, I’m not familiar with this program. Yeah.