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Inside the Noir Imagination of Neil Christiansen

1) What is your Author name; use your Pen name if you have one.

Neil Christiansen

2) What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always liked writing and telling stories. When I started writing I wanted to write for film, but after reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil my perspective changed and from then on I wanted to write novels.

3) Do you prefer writing dialogue, action or other scenes?

I love writing dialogue. I think it comes from my Theatre background. A script is basically just dialogue with a few stage directions and that is what captures my imagination the most. I do love writing environments too though. I write Noir, so the atmosphere of the place is very important. But dialogue is definitely my favorite.

4) What is the most important bit of information you would want to tell a person interested in publishing a book?

Decide WHY you want to write and publish. This has a huge effect on the kind of writing you should be doing and your style. If your goal is to get on a best seller list, if it’s to be famous or make a lot of money, then you should follow allllllllll those “writing tips” you see everywhere. Pay attention to pacing. Make every scene move the story forward. Limit the cast of characters. Write at a 5th or 6th grade reading level. This is what makes a book commercially successful because you need to attract casual readers. But, if your WHY is that you have a story to tell. A deep connection to your characters. A specific feeling or emotion or style that you want to put forward. If your writing is deeply personal and you want to connect with readers who connect with your writing, then all of those rules go out the window. Write the book you want to read and forget about your readers. Make the art you want to make and don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong.

5) What is your favorite character from any book you have ever read?

Perry Mason is probably my favorite character. I don’t know that I would say that the Perry Mason books are my favorite books (although I do like them), but he’s probably my favorite character.

6) Where is your favorite place to read?

I have an oversized arm chair in my living room that I like to read in. I also make a lot of TikTok videos there.

7) What book protagonist would you love to talk to if he/she/they were real?

Ya know, it’s funny. I don’t really hold onto characters and books in my head like that. I’ve been sitting here trying to think of someone and I realized it’s hard to even come up with character names from books I’ve read. I think I would probably have to say Roland from The Dark Tower series. I love those books and he is such a deep character with such an expansive back story. I’m sure I’ll think of someone else by the time this comes out, but for now that’s my answer.

8) If you had to write in any other genre, what would that be and why?

Sci-Fi. No doubt. I’d love to be able to write science fiction. I read a lot of sci-fi and love it, but I don’t have the patience for the research. I’d also like to write haunted house stories. I have a few ideas but I have a hard time breaking away from my Noir voice to do it.

9) Name one of your favorite authors.

I love Stephen King. I love Poe. I love Lee Child too. The Jack Reacher books are amazing. Formulaic, but amazing.

10) If you could live in any “book world” what would that be?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It would be terrifying but funny.

11) What is your best book memory?

Writing “The End” at the end of Dark White. It took so long to finish and felt like such a relief when it finally happened. My worst book memory is ten minutes later when I realized I had to re-write, edit, re-write, edit and edit it.

12) What is the name of your book/series? Tell me a little bit about them.

My first novel is Dark White. It is a Noir Thriller about a young man who goes to prison unjustly and the world of corruption and murder that follows. It is available now on Kindle, but I’m working on a new second edition with some small fixes and a new cover. That should be available widely in 2023.

My second novel is Malcolm Karma: Cold Turkey. It is a spiritual sequel to Dark White. Mostly different characters. A different protagonist, but set in the same “Universe” as Dark White. I’m serializing it on Kindle Vella.

13) Do you have a website? If so, what is it?

14) Where can we find and follow you? (Name your social media platforms.)

I dumped my twitter accounts last week and I don’t check on my Facebook Author page like, ever. I’m really just on TikTok now and I’m very happy about it. I’m @authorneilchristiansen

15) If there anything important that you would want my readers to know about you?

I’m super accessible and nothing would make me happier than to interact with my readers. Let me know what you think of my work (even if you don’t like it).


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