I remember growing up and watching cartoons as superheroes and getting really excited as the action unfolds. After the movie was over, I would allow my imagination run wild to create my own continuations to the movie. It’s easily to put all those action scenes together in your mind, but putting such scenes down in words can be a much more arduous task that you might think. Taking on the this difficult task, Christian Green put together an action packed superhero book series called, The League of Protectors.
Michael: Christian, can you please tell us a little big about your background?
Christian: I am from Aurora, Illinois. I teach special education, currently grades k-2 and am a huge fan of all things fantasy related. I especially love Marvel comics, which prompted me to write two superhero novels. So far I have published three novels, the other is a vampire novel. The first one I published with little knowledge or understanding of how the writing business worked. I did so just to see if there was any interest in what I was writing, and to see if I had any talent in the field. I learned that there was an interest, that I had the talent, but there was a lot of room left for improvement! So everyday I am constantly reading and learning more about how to be a good writer and how to write stories that will truly engage an audience. Since that first novel, I have seen a strong improvement in my writing and I am truly enjoying watching the transformation take place.
Michael: The thing that I really love about reading is that when I’m reading, the writing draws me into the world the novel is set in. You’ve created two different worlds so far in your writing. One world that is filled with superheroes and another with supernatural vampires. So how did your colorful writing journey begin?
Christian: It wasn’t until my early twenties that I became fascinated with books. I remember in the summer I would spend a few hours each day reading some of my favorite novels. I always felt like the novels offered a much better experience than television and movies could offer. I started writing at a young age. I won young authors a few times growing up. The thing about young authors was that I wrote my stories about my friends. I wrote about things I understood and thoughts that I had. So in second grade when I wrote “My Buddy Bennie,” it was all about my relationship with my best friend in second grade. When I turned around and wrote “Four Brothers and a Sister,” it was all about my three best guy friends and my favorite girl at the time. So writing these stories had meaning for me, they were things I understood, and things I was passionate about. That’s how I continue to write nowadays. It wasn’t until the summer of 2012 that I actually wrote my first full novel, and it wasn’t until 2014 that I decided to write stories to be published. I work on numerous projects simultaneously from my home.
Michael: I think that is impressive who you started having that passion to write at such a young age. It’s important for writers to draw upon their own experiences in their writing and you had that onsite since you were in the second grade! So as you developed your writing as you were growing up, who were your favorite authors and how have they influenced you.
Christian: Laurell K. Hamilton and Brian Keene are two of my favorite authors. I have read all of their stories and I hope to build a following like they have. With Laurell, I hope to create a character that has many stories to tell. I think she’s written at least twenty-four stories that features Anita Blake, that’s incredibly impressive. With Brian Keene, I want to create a world that is dangerous and takes a unique approach to a genre that is very popular. My favorite genre to read is fantasy and suspense. Any story that allows me to really fantasize about is a story that I want to read. I want to get lost in a world that is different from reality. A world where heroes make a difference, a world where there is danger all around. I draw inspiration from everything around me. I create characters I believe the readers will find intriguing and can relate to. Some are serious, some are goof balls, and others are in between. It’s all about finding a balance. Sometimes I like to take characters and imagine them as the best possible version of me. The version that I can’t really be, but would be if I could. Sometimes I create characters that are the worst possible version of me, or a version of someone that isn’t bothered by society’s rules.
Michael: To me, the character development in a story is paramount so I think your focus is the right place. Finding that right balance of developing the character at the right place is usually pretty difficult and time consuming. How does your typical day look like and how do you fit your writing routine into your busy day?
Christian: A typical day with me during the school year begins at around four in the morning. I wake up and write for a solid hour. After that hour has passed, I workout for about an hour and then shower, followed by a light breakfast. I get dressed and head to work. I work from 8:15-3:25. When I get home, I take care of whatever things need to be taken care of. I do some book promoting, socialize online, watch a show or two, eat, and whatever else the day has for me. Usually around 11:00 I do another hour of writing and then I head to bed. On the weekends I tend to do a lot of writing during the day, and then hang out with my friends in the evening. In the summer, I do a lot of reading and writing!
Michael: Wow, that gives you like four hours to sleep a night! I’m not sure I can function let along have great inspiration for writing. Talking about inspiration, how did you come up with the idea the League of Protectors book series?
Christian: I read a lot of comic books and watch all the television shows and movies. I would always say to myself if I wrote a superhero story it would include this, this, and this. So one day I sat behind my computer and decided to just start writing. The first League of Protectors story is actually the only story I’ve ever written without an outline. I did it in the summer of 2012 and just wrote. It was about 30k total in words. I had no intentions on publishing it. The following summer, I went back and added another 50k to the story. I then started, moving chapters around, adding different parts to tighten the story up. I wanted to create a world that was massive and had all these extraordinary characters in it. I didn’t want it to be cartoonish, I wanted it to have a “if superheroes really existed, this is how it would be,” feel too it. I wanted to create a large roster, because at the time, I wasn’t confident I could create a compelling story with just one main character. So I created multiples heroes and gave them all unique abilities to face threats that I knew they couldn’t handle on their own.
Michael: Fascinating! Given that you didn’t create a outline prior to starting the project, did you have the preference for it being a series over being a stand alone novel?
Christian: I wouldn’t say that I prefer series or stand alones. I believe there is value in both. For me, just about anything I write, I can see think of more to add. So a lot of times what originally started off as just a stand alone, turns into a series. It requires more effort and attention to detail I think to do a series, but there are benefits to both.
Michael: Some reviewers of your book series compare it to the NBC show Heroes and Marvel Comics X-Men and Avengers. What are your thoughts on that?
Christian: I’m okay with the comparisons as long as people aren’t saying, “Oh this is a complete rip off,” and so far no one has said that. Even those who did not necessarily like the story mentioned that my story was unique and offered a new world of superheroes. So I’m definitely proud that people would compare my work to that of such accomplished television shows, movies and comics in the same genre.
Michael: That’s a great way to look at it. So as you mentioned that there are quite a few accomplished shows, movies, and comics about superheroes, what sets your book series apart from the rest?
Christian: It’s massive and it’s diverse. One of the things that I make sure of is that every story stands alone but connects to the previous stories. In the League of Protectors series it’s all about telling a story, but setting up other concepts as well. Obviously the Marvel Cinematic Universe plays a huge role in that line of thinking. In the first League of Protectors novel, I mentioned certain characters or other elements that were meant to be visited down the line. So for example you might get a story from me one day that’s all about vampires or aliens, or maybe even ghosts. What’s special about it is that these characters are that they originated from the League of Protectors series. They will have their own story, with their own characters, but readers will know, this was all possible because of the League of Protectors. To have a story world that’s connected like mine, I think is unique and offers the readers a unique experience. In regards to the actual members of the League of Protectors, it’s the dialogue and their interactions that really offer readers something different. In League of Protectors: Fire and Ice,” reviewers have mentioned the strong friendship with the two main characters. The League of Protectors stories is all about complex relationships and tons of action!
Michael: With all the different superheroes you created in the series, who is your favorite character and how much of yourself is reflected in this character?
Christian: I have two favorite characters and that would be Shayne Tucker and Jackson Prescott. I like those two characters so much that I made Fire and Ice exclusively about just those two characters. I like how different they are from one another and yet they have the strongest bond of any of the characters. I think I have qualities of both characters. For me, Shayne has a lot of qualities that I admire. His personality leaves a lot of room for me to work with as does Jackson’s. There is so much room for growth from both characters and that’s a lot of fun to play around with. None of my characters reflect me much personally. When I created these characters, I wanted to create characters that were different from one another and had personalities that people could immediately identify with.
Michael: Sounds like you had a lot of fun writing about these two characters. What scene in the book series did you have the most fun writing?
Christian: A lot of the action scenes were fun to write. If I was alone, I would act the scenes out picturing the character doing the moves. If I had a friend with me, I would practice the moves on them to get an idea of exactly how the body parts reacted. On a more serious level, the small bits of dialogue that touches on something that’s true. Things that are happening in the media, the little small lessons that makes you think, those are the most fun to write. Anytime you can write something significant that is real, something that is current and meaningful that flows smoothly within your story, that’s a great feeling!
Michael: Wow, so in this universe of superheroes you created that is packed with action, what do you hope for your readers to take away after reading the book series?
Christian: I hope that the readers are entertained. I hope that when they finish reading the story they see the diverse characters and world that’s being created. I want the readers to say this isn’t just a good superhero story; it’s a good story. I want the readers to love the characters; hate the characters. I want them to have some sort of reaction one way or another about the characters.
Michael: What do you have in store next for your readers?
Christian: I have an awesome vampire series out called “The Blood in Their Veins,” one of the characters mentioned in that story was also mentioned in the superhero story as well. So it’s really cool to get those small bits of dialogue that reminds people that even though it’s a completely different story, it takes place in the same story world. For readers of the League of Protectors, things get even bigger. Those that have read Fire and Ice know about the new threat that is going to occupy a lot of the League members’ time. Even more so, the personal lives of these characters will be touched on more, while introducing new characters to the scene. It’s a big world, filled with lots of big ideas, but I’m up to the challenge and looking forward to it!
Michael: That is really exciting. I absolutely love the fact that you’re writing a new book series with the potential of crossovers! I think your readers are really going to enjoy your book series. Thank you so much for sharing with us your story and your insight into your book series.
Although Christian mentioned that the novels could all be stand-alone, please also check out book one in the series on Amazon.