When I came across ‘Alexandr’, a graphic novel series by Chris DeBrie, I was amazed by its tagline: “Sick of all the vampire love? SO IS HE.”
I found it brilliant and I wanted to know more about the book and the author.
Chris DeBrie is an American publisher, cartoonist, and musician… but I think we’d better let him introduce himself:
– Who exactly is Chris DeBrie?
“Chris DeBrie is a born again, hellfire-believin’, question-asking, greatly thankful boy from North Carolina, U.S.A.
– How did you decide to pursue a writing career?
“I don’t remember not writing. Even if there was no pen and paper, I could tell a story off the top of my dome, as we used to say. There really is no “career”… I will write until I physically can’t or I die, whichever comes first.”
– Was getting published hard?
“Getting published is as hard as going to your job every morning. It takes persistence and long-term thinking. You have a goal? Pray about it, make a plan, and get after it. When I was self-publishing as a young man, I got humbled by lots of people who didn’t think much of independently publishing a book, because “any idiot can do it these days.” Then I had an epiphany: None of the people who say this have written anything.”
– Are your characters based on people you know?
“I can’t write real people as characters, because the story is different than life. This leads to the writer propping a “real person” that he must now create new reactions and words for… which leads to the character not being “real” anymore.”
– What genre are your books?
“Mystery, coming of age, comedy, fantasy, and sci fi. I am always searching for new ways to see the world. Whatever is in your heart will come out.
– Which of your books is your most favourite?
“My favorite of my own books, though probably not the best, is the graphic novel series Alexandr. That comic book grew out of a conversation with a co-worker back in 2009. We were wondering, when did the vampire of popular culture become a love interest? Not that long ago, people in films were quick to call out a lynch mob to cut vampire heads off. By the next day I had conceived the Russian-born, vampire-hunting Alexandr, a kind of cross between Blade and the Punisher. I showed my co-worker the sketches I’d done on a napkin. He was a true comic book convention type of fanatic, and when he burst out laughing, clearly pleased, I knew I was on to something.”
– Do you have a specific writing routine?
“I stay busy, so writing gets squeezed into spare moments. Set times and atmospheres are too much to ask. We make time for things we want to do.”
– What are your current projects?
“Alexandr is a continuing project, because there are a lot of directions he could go, and it should be interesting to toss him about a bit in a comic book setting. In his world, superhumans exist openly and are mostly feared and misunderstood. “The Bean Ricochets” is the title of an upcoming novel chronicling that world. Got a couple of mysteries in the oven as well.”
– What’s next for you?
“I’ll be playing with music ministries at area churches, spreading the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ. Other than that, I will play with the cat…”