Monday, May 23, 2011

Inspired by a Teacher and The Simpsons

Working full time and writing is hard. A few weeks ago, I met someone who is so dedicated to his craft that even though he has a day job he spends six hours a day writing on weekdays and longer on weekends.
His day job: New Jersey middle school student. His age: 12. 

I met Chris P on his twelfth birthday. (I met his mom too, who confirmed the amount of hours he spends churning out stories). I was so inspired by Chris that I wanted you all to meet him. Plus when he becomes a famous author, I can say that I gave him his very first interview.  Fortunately he agreed to stop by Ramble Street and answer a few questions.

So please welcome 12-year-old writing prodigy, Chris P.

Hi Chris, so how’d you get started writing?

I love to write. I can throw my emotions into my stories, and just have fun with it. When I first decided to write a novel, I started at 8 pages a day. In language art classes, I hated to brainstorm. I always just started writing whatever came to mind on a subject.
My fifth grade teacher always made me write more than everyone else, because she knew I had potential. If she said one page for everyone, it was two pages for me. I would write and write, and if it wasn’t better than the last, I had to redo it. Then I wanted to write a novel. 

 How many hours do you write a day?  And tell me a little bit about your writing process.

I write at least six hours a day. If I write less than six in one day, I write more the next. I feel that if I break my routine, I’d be hurting myself, because I’d wind up with writing less and less each day. So I write on a strict schedule.

If my friends want to be in the novel, I pick the first three friends who ask. I wound up adding my friends Abby, Nick and Jess. They supported me the whole way. When I ask them, they give me ideas about what I should do.

Ha! I put the names of my friends into my stories too. 

Your mom mentioned that you’ve already sent in your first manuscript to some publishers. How’s your submission process going?

I’ve sent manuscripts to two large publishing companies. They both rejected me. It felt bad at first, but I know that some of the best authors get rejected plenty of times. Someone told JK Rowlings that she wouldn’t make money off of children’s books. Harry Potter is a best seller!

Where do you get your inspiration?

Two things inspired me to write a novel. One was an episode of The Simpsons where Marge decides to write a novel and it gets published.
The other was my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Mulrane. It was like she could see the futures of her students.

I’ve never seen that Simpsons episode, but I have been lucky enough to meet teachers like Mrs. Mulrane.

What authors inspire you?

One is Rick Riordan, who has written two book series in three years. The other is Eoin Colfer who has written lots of books and is still going. I can’t wait for Rich Riordan’s new book!

What type of stories do you write?

   I mostly like to write "Sword and Sorcery" stories, because fantasy and mythology have always fascinated me. I love the idea of magic, alchemy and armies storming castles. I love to read fantasy books because it’s like a movie of magic and warriors and castles right in your head. I think writing is the best of the arts.

 Thanks again for stopping by Ramble Street, Chris. Keep writing!