Friday, July 27, 2012
Interview with Christopher Highland
Here is Robert's third interview with Wolf Pack member Christopher Highland...
Interview with Christopher Highland
By Robert "Horror Bob" MastersFor Horror Bob's Blog
For my first interview for my Eric Morse Project Month I have the pleasure of talking to a talented young author and internet radio personality, Mr. Christopher Highland.
Christopher Highland: Thanks for interviewing me. This is my first interview ever.
Horror Bob: So how long have you been writing fiction?
Christopher Highland: I have been pursuing my writing craft for sixteen years. At the beginning, I was terrible, and I knew it, but I was determined to make something of myself, and to be as original as possible, as a writer. I earned my B. A. in Fiction Writing, and am proud of that, and have people from all walks of life, tell me how great a writer I am, and that they wish more writers were like me.
Horror Bob: Do you write in any other genre other than horror?
Christopher Highland: I have written in other genres in the past. I first started out writing crime/action novella, followed by science-fiction-type action stories and an unfinished novel of the same nature. All this was practice, and though the writing would be considered forgettable, I learned a lot as a writer regarding what to do and what not to do with how to write, and to gauge the readers. I followed with "magical-realist" fiction, or fantasy stories that I wrote in college, but I also wrote a suspense story in the midst of that time that I wanted to for years, and on the basis of that story, I later thought of writing the "Tommy Jarvis" novel. So, I do a little of everything.
Horror Bob: What authors are your inspirations?
Christopher Highland: The writer that's been the biggest inspiration has been Stephen King. He does overwrite frequently, but that's his style. As for individual writers inspiring my writing as a whole, I can't really say. My life has been the biggest inspiration for my writing,and my imagination. Nobody inspired me to write, or encouraged me. Ever. I had to do this all on my own.
Horror Bob: You are currently finishing a novel that you are distributing as an episodic series, Friday the Thirteenth: Tommy Jarvis. What inspired you to create this work?’
Christopher Highland: As I said before, I wrote a suspense story in college that I wanted to write for many years, but was not a strong enough writer. Once I was, and getting the right reaction out of my audience, I thought on that for months. During that time, I went on various Friday the 13th website forums and read how some people would write, wishing that Tommy Jarvis became the killer after "A New Beginning". I was just finishing my first novel, and was eager to work on a new project soon after it was finished.
Horror Bob: I have heard that one of your inspirations for doing this book was Eric Morse’s Camp Crystal Lake novel series. Is this correct?
Christopher Highland: Yes, it is. I wanted my novel to have as much exposure as possible, so after shopping around for the right web site, and having it serialized, I was ready to begin writing.
Horror Bob: In your novel you’ve decided to ignore the film Friday the Thirteenth: Jason Lives and have Tommy Jarvis take over as the killer in the story. Would you explain this.
Christopher Highland: Tommy seems to come into the story purely by chance. He acts as a hero, at first, but as the story goes on, he goes from hero, to observer, to bully killer, to full-fledged killer. I wanted Tommy to have a transformation with his character, not being just some non-descript killer from beginning to end. We meet Tommy in the woods of St. Louis, after he made his way out of the hospital he was at. Living like a nomad, wanting to be left alone, he stumbles upon something, that wakes up the killer instinct in him. Given this, I find that this being a very realistic type of story, I feel I lend as much terror, suspense, depth, and respect to the series, as possible.
Horror Bob: How have fans reacted to your story? I know Eric Morse got some strong reactions with his novels.
Christopher Highland: Of the new comments I have received, they have been positive. I wish more people, especially people from the series, or other horror writers, would read and comment.
Horror Bob: What is your next writing project? Are you planning to publish it or web publish?
Christopher Highland: I'm currently taking time off from writing, since writing "Tommy Jarvis" took two years to write. I'm reading and listening to as many books and audio books as I can, to experience as many writing styles as I can for my next novel. My next novel will be a fictional memoir, with fantasy mixed in. It will be my first novel I plan on outlining, so this will be my most ambitious novel to date, and maybe most personal. It will most likely be web published.
Horror Bob: How did you meet Eric Morse and start as a co-host on his internet radio show?
Christopher Highland: I stumbled across an ad for an online chat that Eric put up in the fall of 2008, and having read all his Friday the 13th books in the previous three years, I wanted to meet him and discuss the books. I told him all the ideas I had for my "Tommy Jarvis" novel, including the plot, kills, characters. He liked my ideas, and encouraged me to write the novel. Later on, he told me of his plans of having his own internet radio show, and thoughts of including me. At first, I said no, because I don't talk much, I'm not much of a conversationalist, and barely passed my college speech class. I later agreed, still with trepidation, but curious, and with a sense of adventure.
Horror Bob: How is Eric Morse as a co-host? How is he as a person?
Christopher Highland: He's very lively as a co-host, and as a person. I can't imagine anyone else agreeing to take me on as a co-host for a radio show, given I have no radio experience, and that I've had to learn on the air, and that I'm still learning, with radio, and the horror genre. In my time being part of the crew, I have learned so much, and grown as a person. Despite what people may think, I can tell he has a good heart.
Horror Bob: Eric has had some controversy recently. Would you like to comment on this?’
Christopher Highland: No.
Horror Bob: How is it working on the radio show? How are your co-hosts, Count6String and Derek Young?
Christopher Highland: I feel I work well with my co-hosts. We each have something to bring to the show, and we are each an essential part of our crew. Count and Derek are very talented, and can do things I can't do, and am grateful that they are along for the ride.
Horror Bob: I have noticed you are a soft spoken person. Has this been a difficulty on the radio show?
Christopher Highland:At first it has been. I was very nervous my first time on the air, and my first few times on the air, I was not using a good phone, but as time went on, I've become more sure of myself with being on the air, and being on a better phone. My heart still pounds, but not as much, but since I do my best to prepare, and prepare so much, I feel I can deliver a sure, steady show, without having the need to shout.
Horror Bob: You are the horror history expert on The Eric Morse Project. What are your qualifications? Since it is obvious you couldn’t have watched every horror film ever made, how do you make up for these blank spaces in your knowledge?
Christopher Highland: I grew up on horror, starting from the age of seven watching horror films. I frequently read and listen to horror novels and audio books, horror comics, and my college degree shows that I have years of experience in research. That's one of my many talents: I find things. In the past, I have studied film, art, and criminal justice, and those fields demand heavy research, with having a strong attention to detail. I fill the spaces by watching and reading whatever I can, with how much time I have.
Horror Bob: I’ve heard that you are hosting the new show on The Eric Morse Project, Xtreme Horror. Tell us about your show.
Christopher Highland: It's similar to "Horror Chat", but it will focus more on extreme topics within the horror genre and the horror community. Not just with discussions on horror films with extreme natures, but aspects that can be polarizing, offensive, and things that people may not have thought about. Whatever happens, it will be very interesting, and very lively.
Horror Bob: What can we expect from a show hosted by Christopher Highland that is different from Count6String or Derek Young?
Christopher Highland: One that is thoroughly researched, detailed, and a bit more opinionated.
Horror Bob: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Christopher Highland: I'm not really aware I have fans. I do have some, few they may be, and they are friends. But, I do want to thank them, and any future ones, for reading my work, and listening to the shows I'm involved in. I put so much into whatever I do, especially my writing, so if my fans read anything of mine, they should not be disappointed.
I would like to thank Mr. Christopher Highland for his participation. Please remember to listen to the new season of The Eric Morse Project.
Be ready for more interview this month by members of Eric Morse’s Wolf Pack.
Until then, keep on Creepin’