Chris - Chris Lindberg was born and raised outside Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from Northern Illinois University in the mid-1990s, he headed out to the west coast for a couple of years, where he began writing as a casual pastime.
Some time after returning to Chicago he began attending writers workshops at StoryStudio Chicago, where he wrote two character studies, both of which have since been developed into key characters in Code of Darkness.
Chris now lives outside Chicago with his wife Jenny and their two children, Luke and Emma. You might catch him working away on his second novel while commuting on his morning train into the city.
K.S. Hello and welcome to the blog. I am very excited to have you here. Why don’t we start off with a small introduction? Tell us a little about yourself.
CL – I’m very excited to be here, thanks for having me! About me, why is that the hardest question, right? My name is Chris Lindberg and I’m a proud Indie Author. I recently published my first novel, a dark thriller titled Code of Darkness, in August. I live outside Chicago with my wife, son and daughter, and an ornery old cat.
K.S. Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?
CL – a strange writing quirk I have is that I write much better while in motion. I wrote much of Code of Darkness while commuting to downtown Chicago on a commuter train to work (the same train line Scott Turow wrote Presumed Innocent on, I’ve heard), so it’s kind of become a frame of mind, I guess. I’ve written some of my best stuff through turbulence on plane rides, pothole-filled streets on buses … but I haven’t tried it in a cab yet. I figure that’d be pushing my luck.
K.S. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?
CL – I’ve always had creative bones in my body. As a kid I wanted to be the next Charles M. Schultz. I started in college as a Graphic Arts major before realizing it wasn’t the right career path for me. Once I was out of the art world, I found I still needed a creative release. So when I began having to take long train rides every day, and had read a bunch of other people’s novels, I thought I’d try my own hand at writing one.
K.S. What genre do you write?
CL – Code of Darkness is a thriller, but it’s got elements of science fiction, intrigue, and horror, too. But in the end it’s more thriller than anything. I’ve got another thriller I’m working on, but I’ve also started a coming-of-age space opera that would probably be classified as science fiction. The one common theme is, everything I’ve worked on has had a supernatural element to it.
K.S. What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career? Or, who is your favorite author and why?
CL – I’m always curious about this question with other writers, too. Because I figure any source of inspiration is a good one, and you can always learn new things from other writers. I’d say what inspires me more than anything is just the stuff I see every day. Not everything obviously, but sometimes I’ll notice a random thing for which I have no idea how or why it caught my attention: a conversation on the street, the shape of a cloud, the sound of shoes on pavement, wind blowing through trees … anything, really. Sometimes witnessing those things sparks a stream of thought that turns into an idea for a storyline, character, or plot element. I can’t really explain how it happens, but it does.
K.S. What does your family think of your writing?
CL – they’re all very supportive of it. A few of them have read the book, even though the thriller genre isn’t quite their cup of tea. My wife and some of her family have even helped with a few of the promotional elements, which is really cool.
K.S. What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book/s?
CL – besides that I was actually able to do it? (Ha) Seriously, probably the fact that creating and studying character helps you understand people better. Putting your characters in different situations or challenges, creating their interactions with one another, gives you a chance to study and better understand human nature. I feel like in some cases that I understand people better as a result of writing. I didn’t expect that at all.
K.S. What inspires you?
CL – other good writing, but in a lot of different ways. The detail of some authors, the prose of others, efficient dialogue or different things that yet other authors do well. Great use of metaphor. It’s always inspiring to read an entire story, or even a chapter or passage when the writer just nails it. It makes you want to push your boundaries.
K.S. Can you tell us a little about any of your novels?
CL – so I’ll lead off with the fact that Code of Darkness is a dark thriller that includes elements of sci fi, intrigue, and horror, and then I’ll turn it over to what’s on the back cover:
When a routine bank robbery takes an unexpected turn, veteran Chicago police officer Larry Parker witnesses a heroic act by a mysterious intervener. But seconds later the Samaritan disappears, leaving Larry with only unanswered questions.
Suddenly, vigilante activity begins popping up all over the city – including several murders. Larry finds evidence the Samaritan might be tied to them, and learns the man’s identity – a loner known only by the name Rage.
But Rage has also drawn the attention of a covert Black Ops division within the Pentagon. Seen as knowing too much, Larry suddenly finds himself in the crosshairs. After a deadly standoff, Rage is captured, forcing Larry to search for answers while on the run.
The deadly chase leads cross-country to a top-secret military facility in Virginia, where Rage and Larry uncover the greatest danger of all -- and only they can stop the unthinkable from happening.
K.S. Where can we buy your novel?
CL – you can find it in e-book form on Amazon, BN.com, and the iTunes Bookstore by searching my name or “code of darkness” … it’s also in paperback on Lulu.com, but by the end of October it’ll also be on Amazon and BN.com in paperback as well.
K.S. Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?
CL – I sure do, thanks for asking! You can find me at www.codeofdarkness.com, and on Facebook by searching “code of darkness”. I also have a Twitter handle, Chrislindberg7. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to hear from you!
K.S. Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers?
CL – yes. Just keep writing. We’ve all heard the whole “your brain is a muscle” spiel, but that’s because it’s true. The more you do it the better you’ll get. And support other new writers. We’re not in competition with one another; we can learn a lot from each other, and you never know what kind of friends you might make along the way.