Interview with Christopher Hopper

(Fifth in a series of interviews with the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour authors.)


Christopher Hopper ( is an international speaker, recording artist, and ordained minister who has also written two books in a trilogy that will be completed in late 2009. He travels internationally to speak at schools, churches, and conferences. Recently, Mr. Hopper did an e-mail interview with Incredibooks.

Incredibooks: Have you always liked writing, or was it an acquired taste?

Christopher Hopper: I was always a highly imaginative boy, so when I took creative writing in 7th grade, it was something I excelled at. Not for the grammatical reasons of some of my brighter friends, but for the content and thought flow of my story lines. All through high school my teachers encouraged me in my writing. Despite the “slow reader” label I received in elementary school-something I struggled with for many years-I know that those encouraging words were jewels that have enabled me to this day. Words of a teacher are powerful things, to be sure. 

IB: What were some of your favorite books growing up?

CH: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and Tales of The Kingdom by David & Karen Mains. I loved having stories read to me as a youth, something my parents always did as well as certain teachers in school-something my wife and I try to do for our children today. 

IB: When you were younger, did you ever imagine that you would become an author?

CH: Not really. I loved creating things, however. My parents said, “Christopher had a new project everyday.” I was always constructing, drawing, taping, building, planning. I’m a producer, in the most fundamental sense of the word. I began recording music in my father’s recording studio a very young age, as well as printing my first comic books. I actually “thought” of writing a book one day, knowing it would be a big project, but I knew I could handle it. 

IB: What inspired you to become a writer?

CH: After the world of reading was really introduced to me at age 18 through Stephen Lawhead’s Song of Albion Trilogy, I told myself that if I ever wrote a book, I wanted to write one like that. I couldn’t believe how real he made everything feel. I really connected with that work, and with reading in general. The curse of being called a “slow reader” was broken and the fire for writing had been rekindled. 

IB: Why did you choose fantasy to work with instead of some other genre?

CH: Because I love stories-parables, the Old Testament, things that paint pictures in the mind-those kind of things are what capture me. I live in such a fast paced reality, I don’t want to read more about reality (meaning non-fiction), I want something to escape into. And more importantly, something to convey a truth or principle that people will consider in a way they wouldn’t if it was just blatantly told to them. When I read Lawhead, I realized that I could communicate to people on a whole new playing field. 

IB: How do you make your characters seem like real people instead of just figures who move the plot along?

CH: I suppose I put parts of myself and other people that I know into my characters. Being a Pastor, I deal with peoples’ real life issues and problems everyday, especially those of young people. More often than not, it’s overwhelming. I believe it’s not our perfections that make us “human,” it’s our imperfections. How we deal with stress, conflict, the concept of failure. And then our response to divine grace. The success of my characters is in finding the universal truths that all humans share and exploiting those within the vehicle of a story. 

IB: Where do you get your characters’ names?

CH: Ha! Great question. Everywhere and anywhere! I keep a file on my iPhone just for character name ideas. Highway signs are a big inspiration. And you know those little security images you have to type into a dialog box on a web page when logging in? Yeah, I’ve gotten lots of ideas from the random words they make. But most of the time I just make them up, starting with consonants and piecing vowels with them; if you were to hear me writing in my house, you’d hear my speaking loads of gibberish. I’m just listening to how names sound. (I have a very patient wife!). 

IB: Who is your favorite character from all of your books so far, and why?

CH: Probably Li-Saide of Ot. He just conjures up such a unique image in my mind. Quirky. Stoic and wise, but playful when the time is right. Something about his beard and hat just make me laugh. You can’t take him seriously because of his appearance, yet he is a force to be reckoned with and the longest living soul in Dionia. 

IB: Have you ever incorporated yourself or anyone you know into one of your books?

CH: As mentioned above, yes. Many of my friends and family members find their way into certain portions of characters. I’m not quite sure how an author couldn’t do that. The reverse is also true: I named my son after Luik! 

IB: How do you work allegory or Christian themes into your books without it being blatantly obvious or sounding preachy or clichéd?

CH: I don’t think true Christian themes are ever preachy or cliché, at least if you are doing them justice. Nothing could be more relevant then they, in my opinion. Everything else is preachy and cliché. Creating believable characters who confront the universal truths of God’s Word is the most “real” story of life. However, I do think the context and the target audience of the work will influence the message’s subtly. For instance, my first trilogy is blatantly Christian, yet the next book I’m working on are all mean to find their way into the public school systems and open doors for me to speak there; the messages of integrity and righteous living are clear, yet it is devoid of “religious” content. That’s because Biblical truth can stand on its own, regardless of content. 

IB: Do you ever write something that you love, only to look at it later and discover it’s not as good as you thought?

CH: Sure. But that’s because we’re always maturing as people—as writers. My learning curve over the past five years had been straight up. The more you read, the better your writing becomes. The better your writing becomes, the more you want to read. I believe we should always be in a cycle of “betterment.”  

IB: What is a typical writing day like for you? For example, where do you write? Do you always write at the same time of day? Do you listen to music when writing? If so, what?

CH: I prefer writing early in the mornings. That’s when I think best. When I’m working on a book under a deadline, I normally write from 6:00 am to about 11:00 am, or until I breach 3,000 words, whichever comes first. I’m currently co-authoring book with a friend, but he’s a night owl like my wife. So when we need to write together and be on AIM at the same time, I adjust my schedule and stay up until midnight with him. It’s hard, but it’s what works best for him as my schedule is more flexible. I tend not to write to music, only because I’m a musician and I can’t turn off the “musical critique” mode of my brain. 

IB: What are you currently working on?

CH: I’m currently working on a new YA title for Thomas Nelson which I’m not really allowed to discuss yet. ;)

IB: In round numbers, how many books do you think you’ll sign during the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour?

CH: I guess that all depends on how many great kids and their folks come out to meet us! Hopefully at least one for someone that was touched by my writing…that would be a joy. 

IB: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer curious fans! We are looking forward to the tour!

CH: You’re very welcome. Thanks for the great questions. See you on the road!

Next time, we’ll be interviewing Donita K. Paul, so stick around!

One Response to “Interview with Christopher Hopper”

  1. Thanks for hosting the interview, IB! And appreciate you, Jordan!

    See you all on tour!


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