Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?
My name is Christian Brown. I live in Hawaii, where I was born and raised. I’m an avid beach-goer. I surf, skim, body board, body surf, dive, and basically spend all my free time in or near water. I read pretty much everything, but I write YA/Paranormal Romance. My sisters and wife are young adult paranormal/supernatural romance fans. I started reading what they were reading because what they were talking about seemed so interesting. When I began writing Beyond Heights and Depths, I wanted to write something that would fit into the genre, but also be considered different from the norm.
What inspired you to write this book?
I started writing Beyond Heights and Depths because the story kept playing in my head. I felt like I had to start writing the story to get it out of my head. It was consuming me. What triggered it was running into someone I had not seen in a long time. I guess you could say she was the inspiration for Ash. The story kept playing on from that point. New ideas would develop and the story would flow over time, but it’s funny to think everything started from me casually running into someone.
Please tell us about your latest release.
Beyond Heights and Depths is the first book of the Beyond Heights and Depths Trilogy. The book follows the journey of Emmett and Ash. Emmett moves to a better neighborhood with the hope of leaving his troubled past behind and doing everything he can to reconnect with his lost love, Ash, who is dealing some personal demons of her own. An accident brings them together, but before they can enjoy their new relationship they find themselves at the center of a battle between good and evil that has existed since the beginning of humanity. They are forced on a nightmarish journey through this world and beyond to stay together.
Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?
I start writing, and then I try to go with a name that fits the character. Most of the time I have a vision of the character in my head as I am writing, or even before I start writing. The character starts to take shape, and then I add a name.
Do you have a formula for developing characters? Like do you create a character sketch or list of attributes before you start writing or do you just let the character develop as you write?
I like to let the characters develop as I write. I start with the basic traits I have envisioned in my head. Every character has to start somewhere. However, I find that the characters begin to take on a life of their own as I write. As they do, their traits begin to make their way to the surface. They grow and change without a lot of external influence from me. They begin to feel very real.
What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?
It’s hard to choose, but I do really love one particular scene in chapter 5. I love the scene where Em and Ash are sitting in Ash’s living room eating tacos. It’s late; they are eating junk food. The scene is something that is familiar and comforting for them – after all kinds of craziness, but also a scene that readers can easily relate to. The quiet moments are always nice. You get to see the way they interact together in a more candid way.
What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?
In book two, Emmett decides to take his chances riding enormous waves. I’m a water person, but I wanted to describe the feeling of riding an enormous wave in detail, because not everyone is going to experience that. I decided to take my chances during a massive swell to get the details right. Unlike the character, I got drilled and nearly drowned. I felt slightly embarrassed, but I did get the details I was looking for.
Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?
A huge chunk of the world Emmett and Ash live in is real. I describe real places, particularly in Hawaii, that people can visit and see for themselves right now. The other part of the world is supernatural. It’s interesting because I describe some supernatural places existing in coexistence with our own world, but I also built worlds beyond ours. I wanted to build a heavenly realm that readers could easily envision. I also describe a fiery hell.
With the book being part of a series, are there any character or story arcs, that readers jumping in somewhere other than the first book, need to be aware of? Can these books be read as stand alones?
They can be read as stand alones. Personally, I don’t like when books have cliffhangers in the middle of the series. It’s even worse if I have to wait a long time to find out what happened next.
Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?
Yes, Beyond Heights and Depths is my first novel. As such, I had to start with what I knew: places, people, things. Some of the characters and events are loosely based on people and events from my own life, sure, but eventually the characters took on a life of their own. Specifically, Emmett’s past and some of his memories are based on real events from my own past. Initially, his way of thinking and acting is very much the way I was when I was that age.
Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?
Yes, I have a routine. I usually wait until late at night to write. I have a specific desk and chair I sit at. I have the television playing somewhere in the background barely loud enough to hear, usually on some random cooking show. I also play different types of music from time to time for inspiration or setting the mood.
When did you consider yourself a writer?
Honestly, I don’t know. I really didn’t feel like a writer until I was working on book two of the series. A lot of people call me a writer, but I’m not sure I’ll ever consider myself a writer. I just enjoy writing. It’s nice that other people like my works too.
What are your guilty pleasures in life?
Beach, chocolate, ice cream, and doughnuts. On rare occasions I like a good craft beer. On extra special occasions I like single malt scotch.
What can readers expect next from you?
My latest project is another young adult novel, but it is much darker than Beyond Heights and Depths. It is inspired by a true story. At it’s core, the book is about a boy and girl who meet again in a psychiatric facility and their journey from that point. They are both deeply troubled, so it is a rough journey for them both.
Beyond Height and Depths Trilogy
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Young Adult
Publisher: C. Brown Publisher
Date of Publication: January 22, 2013
Number of pages: 200
Word Count: 67,170
Cover Artist: Charli Infante
Cover Artist: Charli Infante
As I awaken in the dark warmth of this terrifying place, laid out on the strangely uneven ground, I open my eyes to see the true horrors this place was built upon…She is supposed to be near where I landed. If I don’t reach her soon, we will be doomed to remain in eternal fire and pain forever.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Are soul mates real, or just a fairy tale? What if you found your soul mate, but you had to fight your way through heaven and hell to stay together. Could you sacrifice everything, even your own soul, for the one you love?
Emmett Goode moves to a more affluent neighborhood with the hope of leaving his troubled past behind, starting fresh at a new school, and more importantly, reconnecting with his lost love, Ash, who is dealing some personal demons of her own. A tragic accident brings them together; unfortunately, before they can enjoy their new relationship they find themselves at the center of a battle between good and evil that has existed since the beginning of humanity, and forced on a harrowing journey through this world and beyond to stay together. Their bond, and the supernatural power it creates, could mean the difference between saving the world, or its destruction.
Is love enough to overcome seemingly impossible odds?
As I awaken in the dark warmth of this terrifying place, laid out on the strangely uneven ground, I open my eyes to see the true horrors this place was built upon. The hills and valleys are not made of dirt at all but rather the bodies and remains of various humans and unidentifiable creatures. The uncomfortable warmth quickly turns to searing heat; with each second that passes my skin slowly burns away from my body, literally turning to ash and dispersing into the fiery air. The pain is excruciating. I want to scream in pain, but I quickly realize that all I can hear are the tortured screams and moans that seem to be coming from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I try to move and the skin on my legs tears away in large grotesque chunks. What am I doing here? I think to myself, and I remember that I am here for a very specific reason. Where is she? She is supposed to be near where I landed. If I don’t reach her soon, we will be doomed to remain in eternal fire and pain forever.
I turn franticly, looking everywhere, all the while hoping the pain that feels like burning needles in my eyes doesn’t mean that my eyes are about to fall out of my head. I feel a sharp jolt in my chest as I peer into the noxious haze that seems to be growing right before my burning eyes. There, there she is, she can’t be more than fifty feet away. I can make it to her, just as I thought. This plan has to work; I only have a minute or two to make this work. Just then, I realize just how difficult this is going to be. To my left are the shadows I had seen before, on my right I see the disfigured faces of what I can only imagine were once human beings descending upon me, and right in front of Ash is the menacing figure of a twenty foot tall man-beast. Suddenly the screams and moans stop, only to be replaced by something more sinister. All I can hear is the malevolent laughter of the creatures that have come to make sure that we never leave this unholy place. Wake up, Ash, please; I can’t do this without you.
About the Author:
Christian Brown is a Pastor at Reunion Hawaii. He has been working with youth and young adults for most of the last 10 years. His passion is in helping others. He is the author of the Beyond Heights and Depths Trilogy and has other projects in the works. He currently lives in Honolulu, Hawaii with his wife and two young sons.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/CBrownHI