Having survived The Nightmare Room, I chat with its author Chris Sorensen

Chris Sorensen spends many days and nights locked away inside his own nightmare room. He is the narrator of over 200 audiobooks (including the award-winning The Missing series by Margaret Peterson Haddix) and the recipient of three AudioFile Earphone Awards. Over the past fifteen years, the Butte Theater and Thin Air Theatre Company in Cripple Creek, Colorado have produced dozens of his plays including Dr. Jekyll’s Medicine Show, Werewolves of Poverty Gulch and The Vampire of Cripple Creek. He is the author of the middle grade book The Mad Scientists of New Jersey and has written numerous screenplay including Suckerville, Bee Tornado and The Roswell Project.

Chris’s latest novel is The Nightmare Room, a genuinely unsettling Haunted House novel that touches on many real horrors.

KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?

Of course. My name is Chris Sorensen, and I’m a writer and audiobook narrator based in New Jersey. I spend a good deal of my time in my home studio recording other people’s books, so it’s a pleasure to sit at the keyboard and pound out stories of my own. For the past decade, I’ve been the Resident Playwright for the Thin Air Theater Company of Colorado (17 shows, 600+ performances). I live on a lake with my wife and two dogs, and I love cooking Indian food.

KR: What do you like to do when not writing?

I love a good thrift shop. I like watching crappy horror movies. I like driving to Princeton and searching through used CDs at the Princeton Record Exchange. Did I mention cooking Indian food?

KR: What is your favourite childhood book?

Too many to count, but for the purposes of the Q&A: On the Track of Bigfoot by Marian T. Place. (Also Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.)

KR: What are you reading now?

No Exit by Taylor Adams. Great so far.

KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?

I grew up listening to soundtracks, and that hasn’t changed. I have certain albums for certain genres. Love Fernando Velazquez’s Mama, Danny Elfman’s Hitchcock and anything by Michael Giacchino.

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KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?

Ray Bradbury (met him in NYC and had a quick chat), Stephen King (embarrassed myself with a dumb question at an author event) and Roald Dahl.

KR: I’m aware of the question Chris asked Stephen King. Of all the things to ask the greatest living horror author!

KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?

Having spent a number of years as a script analyst, I strongly prefer to outline. I love reading books on structure, love scribbling out visual representations of character dynamics, subplots, the works.

KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

As my latest book, The Nightmare Room, is semi-autobiographical (main character is an audiobook narrator), most of my research had already been done. For my kids book, The Mad Scientists of New Jersey, I spent hours at Thomas Edison’s Labs in West Orange, New Jersey. That place is fascinating (I bought a one-year pass!).

KR: Describe your usual writing day?

My usual writing day is a writing night. I have to record during the day while my wife is a work (silence is golden), so I get cracking around 7 or 8 at night. And I go until my eyes close.

KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?

I wrote a screenplay called Suckerville a few years ago that was inches (and I do mean inches) from being picked up by a pretty major studio. I love that script. It’s a horror/comedy about leech people. I have a feeling I’ll be adapting it as book or two.

KR: Do you read your book reviews?

Every single one.

KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?

Fledging author? No, I wouldn’t presume (I’ve been writing for decades but an author for just a couple years). But my advice for myself? Read as much as you can in your genre, write even when you don’t want to and proof-proof-proof.

KR: What scares you?

Hospitals (spend a month in one after a bus accident and spent the next year learning how to walk again), nursing homes and things with big teeth.

KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?

Paperback will always be number one. It’s the format of my youth. Portable, you know? E-book is a close second. Hardback? Now, that’s commitment (especially when traveling).

KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?

Sure. The Nightmare Room is about a New York audiobook narrator who returns to his hometown to care for his elderly parents and finds himself haunted both by a dark entity and his past.

KR: The Nightmare Room has been receiving universally positive reviews. You can read my thoughts on it here.

KR: What are you working on now?

I’m writing the follow-up book to The Nightmare Room called The Hungry Ones as well as doing rewrites of horror screenplay for a production company in New York.

KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?

My wife (she can truly solve just about any problem), my best friends Mark and Steve (I’ve known them both since we were in third grade) and someone who knows how to cook island critters and brew island beer.

KR: Thank you very much Chris.

You can find out more about Chris via his official website www.casorensenwrite.com/

You can follow Chris on Twitter @casorensen

New York audiobook narrator Peter Larson and his wife Hannah head to his hometown of Maple City to help Peter’s ailing father and to put a recent tragedy behind them. Though the small, Midwestern town seems the idyllic place to start afresh, Peter and Hannah will soon learn that evil currents flow beneath its surface.

They move into an old farmhouse on the outskirts of town–a house purchased by Peter’s father at auction and kept secret until now–and start to settle into their new life.

But as Peter sets up his recording studio in a small basement room, disturbing things begin to occur–mysterious voices haunt audio tracks, malevolent shadows creep about the house. And when an insidious presence emerges from the woodwork, Peter must face old demons in order to save his family and himself.

You can buy a copy of The Nightmare Room from Amazon UK & Amazon US

Eddie Edison is the last of the Mad Scientists of New Jersey. After his father is abducted, Eddie is left foundering with no knowledge of his birthright. But when a mysterious stranger takes him under his wing, Eddie learns that not only is he the only hope of retrieving his father, but that he is the only person left to stand against the evil genius who brought about extinction of the Mad Scientists. With the imagination of Rick Riordan and the zaniness of Roald Dahl, this time traveling tale is sure to please.

You can buy a copy of The Mad Scientists Of New Jersey from Amazon UK & Amazon US

 

 

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