Chris Philbrook is the creator and author of Tesser:A Dragon Among Us as well as Elmoryn and Adrian’s Undead Diary. AUD is Chris’ sprawling zombie epic currently available on the AUD website and via the Kindle. Tesser was inspired by decade old Role Playing sessions, and has been percolating ever since.
Adrian’s Undead Diary, the story that got Chris on the literary map now has five titles available. Book One: Dark Recollections, Book Two: Alone No More, Book Three: Midnight, Book Four: The Failed Coward, and Book Five: Wrath are all available. Book six is slated for a May release.
Chris’ first book in print was The Wrath of the Orphans, the initial book of the Kinless Trilogy, set in his Elmoryn fantasy world. You can get it here on Amazon in print and for the Kindle as well.
Tesser: A Dragon Among Us released to critical acclaim in April, and readers raving as well. His entrance into the urban fantasy genre was exciting for existing fans, as well as new readers to his writing.
For the 2014 calendar year, Chris has multiple releases planned. Roughly every 6-8 weeks another of the core AUD novels will be released until the full series of eight books is out, as well as book two of The Kinless Trilogy; The Motive for Massacre, and the third and final book of the trilogy.
Both of Chris’ primary book series’ have been received by the public with overwhelming positivity. All of his titles are rated 4.80 or better, and there is no sign that’ll change anytime soon. All of the AUD books are rated in the top 50 in horror and post apocalyptic on Amazon for a reason. They’re popular, and easy to read.
TDBW: When did you start writing?
Chris: Man, early. I remember writing silly stories in first grade and thinking they were insanely good. They weren’t, but hey, you gotta start somewhere. I started writing ‘professionally’ when I was working in the game development field. I wrote lots of short stories about in-game characters, and came up with the back stories for magic items, and neat sci fi tech. That was about, oh, 2002 or so?
TDBW: What was the first story you remember writing?
Chris: Remember the first grade story I mentioned? I wrote this ten page, twenty sentence gem called “The Field Mouse Army.” It was about the world being taken over by intelligent field mice, and the Army response to it. Spoiler alert: The mice lost the war.
TDBW: What genre is your most preferred?
Chris: I don’t even know what genre I write in. I love reading horror, sci fi, and fantasy, and I guess I like to write in those genres as well. What throws a lot of people off about my writing is the humor. My books have been described as hilarious several times by many reviews, and I really like compliment.
TDBW: What challenges you the most in your writing
Chris: Avoiding distractions. I frequently sit down to write, and find myself -SQUIRREL!-
TDBW: What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Chris: I get to make worlds and people up, and then get to share my crazy imagination with people. Seriously. People have loved the people places I’ve made up, and loathed some of the plots and villains I’ve created. Stirring the emotions of complete strangers is humbling, and incredibly rewarding for me.
TDBW: What do you like least about being an author?
Chris: It’s an uncertain thing. The publishing field is tough to break into, and the money is frankly sad unless you’re damn good. For me, so far so good, but we’ll see what time brings my way.
TDBW: How many books do you currently have available?
Chris: Right now I’ve got the first five books of my Adrian’s Undead Diary apocalyptic series available, as well as the first book in my dark fantasy series The Wrath of the Orphans in The Kinless Trilogy, and Tesser: A Dragon Among Us. But VERY SOON I’ll have book two of The Kinless Trilogy: The Motive for Massacre, as well as the sixth book of AUD: In the Arms of Family.
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Visit Chris Philbrook’s Amazon Authors page for a complete list of his books.
TDBW: What projects are you currently working on?
Chris: The list above pretty much sums it up. I just wrapped The Motive for Massacre and Tesser, and I’ve got the remaining three books of AUD to edit. After that, I’ll be returning to the AUD universe for a brand new trilogy, and I’ve got the third Kinless book to write, as well as more books set in Tesser’s universe. Oh, and I’ve got ideas for at least two more entirely new projects. Phew.
TDBW: I understand you just released two new books?
Chris: For the Two New Books section:
Tesser: A Dragon Among Us just released on April 18th. Super excited to get that out to the public because I do believe it’s my best work to date. I also just released a cheap/free promotional eBook so folks can test drive my writing out.
It’s called At Least He’s Not On Fire: A Tour of the Things That Escape My Head. Right now it’s free on Smashwords in ePub format, and it’s still 99 cents on Amazon for the Kindle Hopefully they’ll get it down to free soon, but if anyone wants a cheap taste of all of my writing, you can snag that promo book up.
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TDBW: Which book, or series, is your favorite?
Chris: I really don’t know. AUD is what I am best known for, and is by far and away my most successful property. However, Elmoryn is older, and I’ve loved it for a very long time. Tesser was also the most fun I had writing, so that has a soft spot in my heart too.
TDBW: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Chris: I love the dynamic duo from Maine. Stephen King and Joe Hill. Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are high on my list due to my adolescence, and I also love RA Salvatore.
TDBW: Which book(s) inspire you the most?
Chris: I think The Stand, IT, the entire Black Library collection, and pretty much every novel every written for Dungeons and Dragons.
TDBW: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what band(s) do you play?
Chris: I do listen to music, and my tastes vary wildly. I tend to listen to music that suits my subject matter for the session. Action scenes mean I listen to heavy rock, or thumping electronic stuff. Softer dialogue or plot development might see me listening to The Lumineers, Johnny Cash, or 2CELLOS. I’m all over the place. -SQUIRREL!-
TDBW: Any hobbies?
Chris: If you haven’t guessed by now, I am an old school gamer. I love tabletop RPGs, card games, board games, and miniatures games. I also love basketball, and travel.
TDBW: Tell us some more about yourself including your website and where we can find you on social media sites:
My website: http://thechrisphilbrook.com
TDBW: Care to share a bit of one of your books with us?
Chris: I’m excited to share the prologue of Tesser with you guys. Here it is.
I am flying.
I have done this before, many times, and it is joyous.
I feel the gusts buffet my body left and right, up and down. Though the wind is reckless, it isn’t violent. I feel the energy of the air lift me higher and higher, through the cool mist of a thick cloud that clings to my face and invigorates me. It is much like the first inhalation of the ocean’s air after a long journey to the coast.
Far below me, I see green grass, lush treetops, and grey pebbles poking through the skin of the world. There is a single brown line of disturbed earth winding forward that I know to be a human road. I have flown over it many times before, and I have walked it as well. It is familiar to me, but I cannot quite place where it has come from or where it is leading.
It doesn’t matter. I have eyes that see, ears that hear, and a nose that smells. In time, I will discover everything. When I flex my wings and dip below the clouds like a descending sparrow, I can see that miles ahead the road rises on a hillock and ends at a tall wooden gate. Fortified wooden walls spread in both directions. At the center, a majestic castle made of stone and timber sits in stark contrast with the surrounding hovels of mud.
I think it is my castle, but I don’t live there. It is mine in the same way that a King owns a dog. Or a Queen owns a King.
My dream is almost over. I feel it like a blue dawn rising on the edge of a long night. It has been a good dream for the most part, though in life, no matter how much the sun shines, storms always appear now and again. It is natural, unstoppable; it is the way of the world. It is the way of my kind.
I sense that I have been dreaming this dream a very long time. More than a night, or a week, or even a year. Centuries have passed, maybe a millennia since I last lay open eyes on the waking world. The castle I am soaring towards in my dream is certainly gone, buried underneath centuries of revolution and crumbled empires.
These thoughts do not cause me alarm. Nor do I fear what the world will be like when I open my eyes soon.
I am beyond mortal fears.
Those that wear two skins are but a nuisance to me.
My skin breaks the teeth of those that drink blood and stalk the night.
Were it not for the teachings and lineage of my kind, the magi would be ordinary, not the wielders of primordial might that they are.
Goblins, monsters, and fae are my kind and they pay me the respect that is my due.
I am the bringer of death from high above.
I am the giver and shaper of life in so many forms.
I am the bringer of light that illuminates all darkness.
I am the stone that cannot be broken and the blade that cannot dull.
I am the legend your grandfathers were told by their grandfathers.
My footsteps shake the ground like the war march of a hundred legions.
My heart beats as the thunder shakes the sky.
If this body does not suit me, I will change it and become whatever will thrive in the soil of the times in which I awake.
I am Tesser, and I am a Dragon.
And as I arc my wings once more to soar above the clouds, my mind elevates me away from my slumber; my fear finally makes itself known. A question, a single nagging lost memory, occurs to me.
Why did I allow myself to be pacified in sleep for so long?
Long slumbers are not my way.
Acquiescing is not my way.
I think I’ll find out why I have slept so long now that this dream, this long, long dream, is over. And those that have seen to my sleep had best have had good reason for my time lost.
Because I am Tesser, and I am Dragon.