Q n A
The bestselling author is now taking your questions.
Ever have a question you wish you could ask Christopher Pike? This is your chance to ask the man who has sold millions of books around the world the burning questions you’ve been dying to know.
Below you’ll find many answers from the man himself – but if you have a question you don’t see here, don’t worry! You can still submit new questions by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Thirst” has now spent 21 weeks on The New York Times Bestsellers List and is currently sitting at #2. Will there ever be any new The Last Vampire/Thirst stories? Will we ever see Sita again?I am writing new ones. There is a huge demand for them with the success of “Thirst” on the New York Times Bestsellers list. The new ones are better than the first six.
What does Christopher Pike do for fun? What are your hobbies?Meditating, walking, hiking. I like movies. The last film I saw was Brothers. I like reading books. I can read for weeks on end. I like Flash Forward, Dexter, True Blood. I love the old Angel series.
Any advice for young writers?Don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t do it. Write to publish, to make money. That will push you. 90% is having the fire, 10% is the talent. I see tons of talented writers who do nothing.
What ever happened to The Cold One 2: Seedling?Well, I spoke to Tor (at the time) about The Cold One continuing. I did not know they would write it down. It was probably half my fault, half theirs. Maybe I would have written it if I had had time.
Other than the US, where else in the world would you live to live?Swtizerland, in warm months. New Zealand.
Do you ever see yourself stopping writing?No. Even after death I will haunt someone to write my books.
Will any of your books be turned into movies?Whisper Of Death will probably come out first. FilmNation bought The Last Vampire to shoot. Wetta, who did the special effects for Lord Of The Rings, is doing them for Alosha. They loved the script. The ending is far more intense, more complex.
Have you ever considered teaming up and co-authoring a book?
I work best alone.
It was not selling well and Tor decided not to continue the series, but I believe the movie will give it a second chance.
What is Christopher Pikeʼs favourite Christopher Pike book?The Secret Of Ka and Witch World. The Secret Of Ka is my best book to date. Authors always like the news ones. The Sixth Door is also a favorite. It is new, very dark. I also like The Season Of Passage a lot.
Do you have anything to do with the Chain Letter movie thatʼs coming out?No.
Do you remember any of your past lives..and if you do, could that perhaps be a reason that you were put here, to write these amazing books?I remember many things I probably shouldn’t. I think we all have a special purpose in being here.
The internet. Good or evil?That’s an interesting question… The internet has driven the sales of “Thirst” so itʼs handy in that way. I do think it gives some writers a chance to be heard that otherwise would be lost. I am all for helping new writers.
How do you avoid writers block?I think meditating has allowed me to avoid writers block. I can always write, but I do procrastinate, which is something else. I seldom start writinguntil ten at night. Ten till six, those are my best hours to work.
Any books you wish you could rewrite?
The Grave. I never cared for The Star Group. It was done too fast. Deadline. Execution of Innocence, same thing. Magic Fire, I liked, but it needed more time at the end.
Any sequels youʼve always wished to write?
Well, I am doing it with Alisa. Finally. I do want to continue with Alosha, The Secret of Ka, and Witch World. These series could easily stretch over ten books each.
Do you find it difficult writing from a female perspective in many of your books?
I prefer it. Women are much more mysterious to me. And cuter.
With Thirst 1 & 2 doing so well — appealing to a new audience — and Thirst 3 on the horizon, do you have a certain number of books planned for the Thirst series?
Simon & Schuster bought Thirst 3&4, that is all, The Eternal Dawn, which is all one story, it is just spread over two books. I have another Alisa/Sita story in mind that I would like to write when I am done with it. Since the books are selling well, I assume S&S would want to bring the new story out. I see it as longer than the Eternal Dawn, it might take three or four books to cover it all. It might be Sita’s last great adventure but I’m not 100% sure. I love writing from her point of view.
What is your impression of the newer covers on your books that have been re-released?
On the whole I like them. I am curious to see what Tor does when they release Sati and The Season of Passage in the Spring. I heard it was the cover that pushed back the release of Season. They didn’t come up with one they liked. I have little or no say in the matter, although Hartcourt let me give input on The Secret of Ka. I love that cover. It’s dark but I think it is magical.
Do you have a day set in stone for your release of “The Sixth Door”?
I am working on that. So far, no firm date.
How does it make you feel knowing that your most popular book among the fans is “The Season of Passage?”
It is a little weird since it was second book I ever wrote. It makes me wonder if I have progressed as a writer. Hahahaha. I did rewrite it when I sold it to Tor, twelve years after my original draft. I was only 22 when I first wrote it. At that time, I didn’t know what I was getting into, which is probably a good thing. Today I would be scared to write such a complex story. But the truth be told, it may be my favorite PIke book.
Would you like for a movie to be made in the future for that book and could it do the book justice?
A movie would be tough. I think it might take a mini-series to do it justice. If Alsoha and Last Vampire do well on the screen, it will probably be made.
Is there any older stories you have written that were never published that you would like to have released?
I have a big book called The Hive which I wrote five or six years ago. It is a very odd book but I love it. I will probably need to keep selling well to have a publisher take it on. It starts as a normal murder mystery, except the victim’s head is twisted all the way around. It takes some strange turns.
What has been your favorite subject matter to write about?
Death. God. Romance. Sex. Murder. Love. The usual fun things.
When and why did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
I was 21 when I started writing. I hated getting up in the morning and going to work or school, and there was nothing I enjoyed more than reading. So I thought, I should become a writer! For years I had been thinking up complex stories, in my head. But like most beginning writers I thought it would be next to impossible to get published. It is one field that is very difficult to break into.
Why did you decide to stop writing “Young Adult” novels for the most part after ruling the genre for almost 15 years?
I was in a major accident, that slowed me down for a few years. Then my editor and publisher at Simon and Schuster left the company. Pat MacDonald actually retired. She was the one who made me big at Pocket Books. When it came to publishing, she was like my Mommy. I assumed the new people would want to work with me but I think they saw me as yesterday’s news. It’s strange to say but I couldn’t get anyone to publish my books, except for Tor. It made no sense to me because I could have easily returned to selling tons of YA. To this day I can’t really explain how I lost my position as a popular YA novelist.
Was there a preferred character from your books you had a hard time letting go and closing the book on?
Sita. Sita. Sita. One day, I suppose, I will have to let her go, but I love her as much as Seymour does. Then again, maybe I am Seymour.
How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?
I love to read. I would read all day if I didn’t have to write for a living. I read almost as much nonfiction as novels, which seems to surprise people. I enjoy science and history books. I like biographies. Still, my favorite is a great novel; the genre does not matter so much. The last novels I read were The Help by Kathryn Stockett and The Passage by Justin Cronin. It’s hard to imagine two books more different, but I loved them both.
What advice do you have for budding authors?
Write every day, even if it’s only for half an hour. Don’t outline too much, don’t think too much. Just start writing and keep writing. Eventually, if you have talent, your own voice will emerge.
Writing involves hard work more than genius. Writing is rewriting. Of course, it’s true: we all read these articles about a person who sits and writes their first book and it sells ten million copies. But in the real world that doesn’t happen too often. And usually those authors who succeed too soon never learn to write. My books were rejected for seven years before I got published, and I consider myself lucky.
Do you have any writing rituals or special practices? Where do you write? When do you write?
I usually meditate before I write. I’m not dogmatic when it comes to the subject. I can’t prescribe a specific system. But I can say it helps to sit quietly for half an hour with my eyes closed before I work. For me, my best inspiration seems to emerge in silence.
I seldom write before ten at night. I’m an extraordinary procrastinator. I spend the bulk of each day avoiding my computer. Every day I invent a new excuse why I cannot start writing early in the day. The strange thing is, when I finally do sit to write, I’m fine. But it’s difficult for me to get in the chair.
I usually write until dawn. Then I sleep till noon.
What a life.
You have a long and illustrious backlist. What makes The Secret of Ka special?
I had more fun writing The Secret of Ka than any novel I’ve ever worked on. It was the one novel that swept away my procrastination phobia. Each afternoon that I woke up, I would dive right in. Ka’s one of the few stories I’ve written where I didn’t have a clue what was going to happen next. Usually I know the ending before I write a word. With Ka, I didn’t know what was going to happen on the next page.
The main male character in the book, Amesh, he’s missing his right hand. My girlfriend kept asking, “What’s the deal with his hand? Your female fans won’t fall in love with him if he can’t hug Sara.” I kept telling her, “I don’t know, I have to see. I only know Amesh lost his hand somewhere along the road.”
I felt like Sara did when she discovered the flying carpet. How cool it would be to jump on it and fly away to a magical island. It probably seems obvious to my readers that my characters would encounter djinn on the island, but I didn’t know that when Sara first got there. Up until then the story had been kind of lighthearted. I had no idea it would get so intense.
I loved the first time Sara went head to head against the evil djinn, how it tricked her into almost killing herself. The Secret of Ka was one of those rare books that felt like it was dictated to me. I can’t really take credit for it. For example, when it came to the Three Laws of the Djinn, I didn’t have a clue what they were. I felt like the carpet spelled out the answer to Sara’s question and I simply wrote it down.
My favorite books that I’ve written have been like that. The Last Vampire and Remember Me just came to me. I felt like little more than a typist when I wrote those novels. As I said earlier, thinking is overrated when it comes to writing.
What was your favorite book as a kid?
Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke. I remember I was in seventh grade and I ordered it at school from one of those book club forms they handed out every few months. But before the book could come, I found it in the school library. Only I didn’t want to read it because I had just paid thirty-five cents to buy it. Still, I kept sneaking into the library to read a few pages each day because I was enthralled. I had to know what happened next. I did this for about a week and then broke down and checked the book out and read it all the way through. Then, when the book club delivered it, I read it all over again.
I must have read Childhood’s End twenty times. I read all of Clarke’s novels. The City and the Stars was another favorite. Then I discovered Robert Heinlein, Issac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Clifford Simak, and James Blish. Asimov’s Foundation trilogy blew me away. I remember thinking at the time that if I could write one book in my life that touched someone else, like The Foundation, then my time on this planet would have been well spent.
If you had a whole day free with nothing to do, how would you fill it?
Pike: I would read. There’s an old Beach Boys song called “Disney Girls.” It has this line that says, “Reality, it’s not for me, and it makes me laugh.” That sums up my life. I read to escape. I write to help other people escape. The world is a hard place. It’s good to get away from it now and then.