Author Interview: Chris Bedell
1. What inspired you to become a writer?
My love of my reading inspired me to become a writer. I thought it'd be fun if people read my stories/books, and so that began my interest in writing. 2. What's your favourite book of all time?
Running With Lions by Julian Winters (Interlude Press, 2018). It's about sports (soccer) in LGBTQ fiction, and is a good example of how small press books can be successful/have an impact on readers. And that's an important fact because small presses are doing great work in making literature more diverse. 3. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read books in the genre you want to write. Doing so is an easy lesson in craft in addition to how it can help a writer see what the current competition is/what is sellable in that genre.
4. What is the most frustrating thing about being an author?
That you'll never be able to please everyone all the time, and that mantra applies to the published version of a book. No matter how much editing and revising is done, there will always be someone who doesn't like your book. But that's okay. No book is for everyone. 5. What's your favourite movie?
The 2015 coming of age LGBTQ Brazilian film Beira-Mar (Seashore). It's an example of a slow-paced, character-driven Indie film that manages to have a payoff. And that fact is great. Payoff is important for storytelling. 6. What's better, dogs or cats?
Definitely dogs. 7. If money was no object, how would you spend your life?
I would love to travel more if money wasn't an object. I recently went to Aruba, and it was amazing. And now I've caught the travel bug.
8. Do you draw from personal experiences when you write?
Not really. I prefer to keep fiction and reality separate. However, sometimes I can draw from an emotional truth when writing an emotional scene. That means an event is different from what the character is experiencing, yet I can still understand the emotion in a general sense. For example, disappointment is a common emotion, and I might not have experienced the same disappointment as my character. However, I can still understand what disappointment feels like. 9. What is more important? Strong characters or a strong storyline?
I prefer a strong storyline over strong characters. I say that because too often characterization/having strong characters is used to justify a bad plot/bad ending. Characters can be flexible and molded to the needs of the story. Strong storylines does not mean you should have two-dimensional characters, though. Characters can still have depth even when the work is plot-driven. Example: If the main character knows who the villain is early on, then the villain should be doing everything they can not to seem evil. That way, the villain wouldn't just appear to be cartoon-like.
10. What advice would you give to first time writers when submitting their work to publishers or literary agents?
Have specific goals for revision. A novel will never be perfect, yet having specific goals will help a writer have a more sellable version of a book. Specific goals could include: More imagery, adding emotion, making characters more sympathetic, tightening the writing, etc. Also, as long as your professional, literary agents and publishers understand it might take you several different books before writing the one that sells.
For more information on Chris Bedell or to view his latest title, Burning Bridges, click here.