Born in New York City, Christopher knew he wanted to be a writer from a young age, although his career took many detours in between — detours that included jobs such as cashier, actor, toy store shelf-stocker and copywriter.
Starting with one small video game review, Christopher's writing career gradually developed as he penned articles for numerous magazines, newspapers, and websites — stories about everything from new video gaming gadgets to the costumes worn by characters in video games.
When his children were born, Christopher began writing about them. He wrote about their behavior, their taste in room décor, the books they read, the movies they watched, and more. He did so in the pages of Cookie magazine for years, as well as online at ParentDish.com. He even wrote a whole book about being a new dad (titled Pop Culture — get it, Pop Culture). Eventually, Christopher decided he wanted to write a something for his children, writing his first fiction novel, The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, and The League of Princes series was born!
Christopher now writes full-time. Apart from his novels, he still enjoys writing about kid stuff which you can read on his entertainment reviews blog called, KidPop…and Beyond. [Source]
Q. What fiction most influenced your childhood, and what effect did those stories have on your writing?
Even though it’s a total cliché, I’d have to say The Lord of the Rings, which I first read when I was nine. It not only defined fantasy adventure for me, but it also honed my ability to keep large casts of characters organized in my head (something I hope Hero’s Guide’s readers can do as well).
Q. Why middle grade? What are some of the challenges of writing for this age group? How does middle grade differ from young adult? And have you always written middle grade?
I didn’t sit down to write with “middle grade” in mind; I mostly just wrote with my daughter in mind — and she happens to be comfortably within that middle-grade age range. Writing middle-grade, as opposed to YA, basically means you watch your language (easy for me, because I tend to say things like “Oh, crud” and “Criminy Pete!” in real life) and limit the romance to smooching.
Q. This is your first book of the Hero's Guide. Where’d you get the idea to do a collection of Princes?
I’d wanted to write about Prince Charming for a long time. In all those classic fairy tales, you learn so little about the princes. I felt like those characters were ripe for the plucking...[they] are generic, nameless, personality-free hero types, no one benefits. [Source]