My second Ninja Writer author interview for the giveaway blog hop is with Chris Ledbetter.
Chris Ledbetter grew up in Durham, NC before moving to Charlottesville, VA in 11th grade. After high school, he attended Hampton University where he promptly “walked-on” to the best drum line in the CIAA. And, without any prior percussion experience. He carried the bass drum for four years, something his back is not very happy about now.
After a change of heart and major, he enrolled in Old Dominion University and earned his degree in Business Administration. He’s worked in various managerial and marketing capacities throughout his life. While teaching high school for six years in Culpeper, VA, he taught business management, business law, marketing, and sports marketing, and also coached football.
He’s a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. As a self-described, young reluctant reader, he writes young adult stories specifically to reach other reluctant readers.
He now lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.
What is the one thing you can’t write without?
Actually I have two things I can’t write without, Soundfuel and Skittles. Sound fuel has an amazing collection of instrumental music for a variety of story situations and moods. And Skittles are just the best!
What is the first book that made you cry?
Admittedly, I get more emotional watching movies than reading books. But I will say that the first and only book that made me cry was a book (unpublished as yet) by Tracy Clark named Chalk Houses. Hopefully, this powerful book will make it to print soon.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing absolutely energizes me. Sometimes life just gets to be too much by half. Writing (and reading) allows me to sink into new worlds and gain new friends and escape the world around me.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Certainly, but I think it depends on the genre in which someone writes. If you write mysteries or thrillers, perhaps you may not need emotions as much, but you still need some because you have to create an emotional connection between the reader and the main character. I think romances probably require a deeper emotional well.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Before I begin a book, I typically sketch out all of the characters first. I do end up doing a tonne of research, but that usually comes during the writing and it could be about all sorts of things. On my latest book, The Sky Throne that is due in 2017, I researched everything from geography and topography of Greece and its islands, types of flowering plants on Crete, methods of bleaching one’s hair in ancient Greece, and Greek mythology family trees to quantum physics and the properties of cosmic dust.
Tell us about your book(s).
Drawn and Inked comprise a YA contemporary fantasy duology with a side order of romance. Set in my hometown of Wilmington, NC, they’re fast paced reads that entwine art, gaming, and southern social dynamics.
Drawn is available here, Inked is available here.
The Sky Throne is coming in April 2017. It’s X-Men meets Greek mythology. For updates come over to my website.
If you’d like to see the other authors in the blog hop you can find the master list here.