Christopher D. Schmitz: creator of fantasy worlds!
Today, please welcome Christopher D. Schmitz
featured reader at Books & Brews LIVE! August 2018
I’ve lived mostly across the upper mid-west, though my wife would claim I live mostly on other planets (I dream vividly and sometimes need reminding of my name, home planet, and species when I wake up.) I was born and raised in Minnesota, however, and I moved back here seven years ago and put down some roots. Brief shout out to my daughter who is an aspiring novelist and currently in her third draft of her first completed novel at age 14.
My story telling began as a child. I wrote some short fiction and even wrote and drew a comic book series through grammar school. Really, I’ve always loved a good story and appreciate all things 1980s when intense, thematic stories really began to take off and reach the mainstream (Star Wars, Alien, Terminator.) Action, danger, and suspense are recurring themes in my books. I also run with themes of redemption and often borrow themes from faith (background is in religious and youth work it’s almost impossible to separate a worldview from a storyteller). Between RPG gaming with friends and writing short and long fiction, I’ve been creating unsafe worlds since I was in High School. It really is something I feel compelled to do. I can’t not create and remain happy.
I’d always written for myself and then one day (while reading Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Duology) I thought, I’d love to write in a shared universe like this… This was still in the infancy of the internet and I somehow contacted somebody at Lucasfilm and discussed it, learning that they offer story contracts to establish authors. She told me, “The best way to be invited to do this is to create your own world and stories and become a successful writer; we would then contact you.”
That seems like common sense, now, but 19 year old Christopher was not so bright. He did, however, immediately fill up two composition books with notes, details, and maps for a fantasy series which I am still working on. The first book came out with a small publisher. I got the rights back when it was purchased by a different entity in order to be shuttered. There are currently three books in that series (and I’ve known all along where it is going and how it ends.) I got to share with Zahn how he had inspired my journey. I may have been overly animated. He did have to tell me to calm down.
Frequently I am invited to share about certain topics related to writing (I wrote a book with all the lessons and nuts and bolts of being an independent author in The Indie Author’s Bible). Especially given that I write so much that is beyond the veils of normalcy I’ve gotten pretty good at world building and cohosted a few panels at different events alongside Steven Brust (a fellow Minnesotan and NY Times bestselling fantasy author with Tor) on the topic of worldbuilding and making imaginary realms seem realistic.
I recently shared about the second book in my Wolves of the Tesseract series, Through the Darque Gates of Koth, how I discovered a handy Google Maps feature. One of the haunted locations in the story (and a portal to an alternate dimension) was on something called the Island of the Dolls, a real haunted island filled with creepy dolls in Mexico City. Roads don’t go there, but boats do and just like they have Google Maps cars, they also have the same for trajineras and they mapped the waterways so you can take a virtual boat tour to the location! Part of the fun of writing is doing research on the fly and letting the resources swallow you down the rabbit hole for a time… the trick is in being able to come back and then use some of those nuggets in a story without dumping an info bomb that obliterates your narrative.
Wolves of the Tesseract starts with Wolf of the Tesseract, which was originally a traditionally published book. (There is an amazing comic book prequel that readers can get here) Claire Jones is a normal Minnesotan girl about to start her sophomore year in college, except she’s engaged to a Hollywood celebrity. Ever curious, she suspects that Bigfoot is murdering people in the state parks. She and her friends explore the matter and she is kidnapped by a werewolf and whisked away through different dimensions—all the while, her assailant tells her that it’s for her own good—the werewolf ought to know what she wants… in at least one alternate reality they are lovers. If they stop, an evil sorcerer will capture and sacrifice her to his dark god and annihilate all of reality that refuses to bend to his wishes. There is power in Claire’s blood. Even a drop could spell doom for the universe.
Book two just came out in 2018.
I really do love everything about creating stories. Even editing… usually. Writing is the only time creative people are allowed to explore the depths of our imaginations and not be carted off to an asylum. I’ve had great opportunities to meet amazing people through writing, but my favorite thing is the validation that it brings to see that I’m not alone with my creative bent. The world is so much more than the crude, the black and white, or the loudest voice in the room. There are whole worlds in existence that I alone am the gate keeper of. That kind of responsibility demands that sit at my keyboard and open the gates.
Wolf of the Tesseract
While investigating a series of strange murders in her neighborhood, college student Claire Jones is kidnapped by a ferocious creature who claims he’s rescuing her from the clutches of an evil sorcerer.
But she can’t run forever and if Claire and her companion can’t reclaim an arcane artifact to end the warlock’s reign of terror, he will unleash the dark god Sh’logath’s cataclysmic power upon the universe, shattering dimensional barriers, and devouring all reality.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher D. Schmitz is an author of both fiction and nonfiction and possesses a useless Master’s degree. In addition to a human day-job where he works with teens, he also writes for a local newspaper and produces huge amounts of fiction. He's often seen at comic-cons and other festivals in the upper midwest. He lives in rural Minnesota with his family and drinks unsafe amounts of coffee; the caffeine shakes keeps the cold from killing him.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CHRISTOPHER D. SCHMITZ AT:
& Hear A Reading from Wolf of the Tesseract
While Enjoying a Flight of Craft Brews
Presented by Michael Agnew, Minnesota's First Beer Cicerone:
Barnes & Noble, Edina, Galleria
Monday, August 6, 7 pm
The Battle is O'er is now available!
Start from the beginning: Prelude One
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Tempo Rubato by Brendan Carrol
Beethoven in Love by Howard Jay Smith
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