Q&A

Sunday Times - - Review - CHRIS CARTER

If you could re­quire our world lead­ers to read one book, what would it be?

Any book that could teach them to be hum­ble, tol­er­ant and un­der­stand­ing. It seems that most of the world has been lack­ing in those ba­sic hu­man at­tributes of late.

Which book changed your life?

To be hon­est, no book has re­ally changed my life. I never read very much — as a child or as an adult. Writ­ing be­came part of my life more by chance than by choice.

What mu­sic helps you write?

I can lis­ten to just about any­thing, but if I have a choice then def­i­nitely rock mu­sic.

What is the strangest thing you’ve done when re­search­ing a book?

I have done a lot of strange things while re­search­ing for a book. Mind you, I’ve done a lot of strange things while not re­search­ing for a book as well, but maybe ly­ing in­side a cof­fin to see how it feels would be top of the list. That was a lit­tle odd.

You’re host­ing a lit­er­ary din­ner with three writ­ers. Who’s in­vited?

Can it be mu­si­cians? They are much more in­ter­est­ing than writ­ers. In that case I would have Mar­i­lyn Man­son, Rob Zom­bie and Nikki Sixx. Can you imag­ine the party af­ter­wards?

What’s the best book you’ve re­ceived as a gift?

I would have to say I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. Great story.

What is the last thing that you read that made you laugh out loud?

An ar­ti­cle about Brexit in the UK. All of it is a joke.

What are you most proud of writ­ing?

Ev­ery sin­gle one of my nov­els. For some­one who never even con­sid­ered writ­ing a short story, writ­ing nine nov­els so far is quite an achieve­ment. I am very proud of that.

What keeps you awake at night?

My cat. He keeps jump­ing on and off the bed.

If you could tell your younger writ­ing self any­thing, what would it be?

I would tell my­self to start ear­lier. I started writ­ing when I was 42 years old.

What did you edit out of this book?

A lot. My edit­ing process is very thor­ough. With ev­ery book I write, I end up edit­ing a hell of a lot out of it. I can’t re­mem­ber ex­actly what I cut, but it amounted to about 15 000 words.

How do you se­lect the names of your char­ac­ters?

At com­plete ran­dom, but I do use a rule. I only use names that are easy to pro­nounce no mat­ter in which coun­try the reader is. I once stopped read­ing a book be­cause I could not pro­nounce many of the char­ac­ters’ names. It was an­noy­ing. All my char­ac­ters have easy names no mat­ter which coun­try you’re in — Mark, John, Jen­nifer, Car­los, Bar­bara, etc.

Gallery of the Dead by Chris Carter is pub­lished by Simon & Schus­ter, R285

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