Interview with Chris Morphew

Friday, October 16, 2009

Chris Morphew is the author of awesome action/adventure novel The Phoenix Files: Arrival which is the first book in what will hopefully be a really great series (the second book, Contact, is being released in January of next year). I reviewed Arrival here. Chris Morphew blogs on his website about funny stuff (Lost vs. FlashForward, haircuts and lawn bowls).

1. What inspires your writing?
A whole bunch of things: books I’ve read, people I’ve met, being a student, being a teacher… I think everything in my life feeds into my writing in some way or other. My faith is a big influence too. I believe that the universe is ultimately a place of hope and redemption, so anything I write is going to be a reflection of that worldview. Not that my writing won’t venture into dark places, but abject tragedy isn’t really my thing…

2. What three words would you use to describe yourself? And what three words would you use to describe your writing?
Same answer for both: Eclectic. Hopeful. Unfinished.

3. Complete this sentence: My teenage years were...
…awkward but necessary.

4. Have you always wanted to write for young people? Or did you set out to become a brain surgeon and wind up stumbling down this path? Was the road to publication rocky for you?
I’m still reeling from the high-speed ridiculousness of my getting-published story.
Being a writer had always seemed like a great idea, but I never thought I’d actually get to do it. My original plan was to finish my teaching degree, find a kindergarten classroom in a nice school somewhere... and then stay there until I retired.
But then one day, I was chatting about writing with a friend at church, and she told me that Hardie Grant Egmont were looking for new writers for this series called Zac Power. I spent the next week reading up on the series, and then had a crack at drafting a manuscript. I sent it off to HGE, not really expecting anything to come of it.

A week later they were calling me up to offer me a contract for the book, and to ask when I could have another one ready. Two years and twelve Zac Power books later, I’m in the amazing position of writing my own books under my own name.

5. Who are your favourite authors and which novels are your all-time favourites?
In primary school, I became completely obsessed with K.A. Applegate’s Animorphs series. Kids turning into animals to fight aliens – what more could an 11-year-old boy ask for?
At high school and uni, it was Harry Potter. I think the next 10-15 years are going to prove just how influential J.K. Rowling has been in shaping the next generation of writers.
C.S. Lewis is another favourite. (Apparently, I have a thing for double first initials…) The Narnia books are classics, obviously, but my all-time favourite of his is a novella called The Great Divorce.

6. Complete this sentence: My life outside of writing is...
Busy! I still do as much casual teaching as I have time for – partly because I just love doing it, but also because it’s a great way to keep my head in the real world. I also do a bunch of kids’ stuff at my church, spend too much time on Facebook, draw, cook, read, and come up with ideas for yet more stories that I will probably never have time to write.

7. If you were a superhero, what would be your name, power and costume?
I spent way, way too much time thinking about this question…


Many thanks to Chris Morphew & Jennifer at Hardie Grant Edmont for the interview.

Now, obviously Chris' superhero is super cool (I love it when people include visuals with their interviews! Awesome!), but I ask you:
If you could have any superhero ability, what would it be?
Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground