Some Thoughts with … Christer Lende
Christer Lende began writing in a library, which sounds fitting, only he was supposed to be there working on his engineering degree. He is a professional screenwriter, working with the Norwegian movie producer behind “One Love”, “Who Killed Birgitte” and “All about my Father” Bjørn Eivind Aarskog, together they are eveloping the manuscript for a Norwegian thriller. Bjørn hired Christer after reading The Beast Hunters, trusting Christer could bring his vision to life.
Christer lives in what Norwegians call a city, but people from actual cities would call a town. Of proud Viking blood, he honours his ancestors by heroically sitting in front of a computer writing Fantasy and Science Fiction books. He believes in writing a little bit every day, through weekends, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and even his own birthday. When he’s not writing, he takes care of his two dogs and tries to broker peace with his girlfriend. He’s often found at a gym, trying to compensate for his height issues, or lazily playing video games.
Christer did get that master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, despite procrastinating by writing fiction in the library, and works for a large IT firm, but writing and storytelling are his passions
1.- What made you decide to choose self-publishing?
Before self-publishing, I was published by a smaller publisher in the UK, but I had all books in the series ready to go and wanted a rapid release-schedule. They also had other books to tend to and it didn’t move as fast as I wanted. We also had some creative differences over how the second book should be, which is fine and happens a lot. This led to us splitting and I love having control again.
2.- When did you start writing?
I started writing in 2014, but it wasn’t serious back then. I sat in the library with two other friends studying for our electrical engineering degree and got the idea that we should all write Game of Thrones-like stories, but about ourselves and screw with it each. I was the only one who did, and it ended up being really good. My friends would start asking «when is my next chapter?» and I loved it. Then in 2017 I started writing The Beast Hunters while studying for my masters, and wrote all three books from 2017 to mid-2019.
3.- Which elements of the real world inspired you to write the Beast Hunters?
I think the rainy forests of Norway inspired some of the setting for the village, but mostly the things in the book comes out of my head – crazily enough.
4.- From the start, we see this is not going to be a novel for weak people, being really dark. Did you intend this result or was it something that was just happening while writing?
Heh, yeah, there’s some truth to it. I always intended for it to be both serious and fun at the same time. The prologue shows that this book isn’t ready to get down and dirty, and I think it brings a certain realism to the story, but then in the first chapter we get some levity to show that despite darkness looming, light shines through as well. I think and hope this duality does something special for the story and characters. I think it shows you that the characters aren’t always safe and there is real danger out there to get them. If I wanted to write a story about a world of all-new monsters, I couldn’t make it not dangerous, and I think a lot of readers would find it boring if it felt like no new creature really posed a threat.
5.- As you are a screenwriter, which actors would you cast for your main trio on the Beast Hunters?
Ooooh, what a cool question. Idris Elba is a bit too old to play Khendric, but I would like someone that could portray his light-heartedness while also showing authority when needed. Michael B. Jordan would have been great too.For Ara, I think Krysten Ritter from Breaking Bad could’ve been great, but you might need someone younger than her.Haha, I don’t know how to answer this for Topper, and I don’t think I will for obvious reasons, since it would spoil too much.
6.- Which one of the characters would you say was more difficult to write? And who would be your favourite one?
Topper was the hardest to write in the first book, as I never planned him out enough, he just sort of happened. I rewrote him some years later and changed some things up and I think it rounded out his personality well, but he cause me the most trouble for sure! My favorite character in book one is Khendric, but it’s close between Ara and him. When I wrote him, he was a lot of what I secretly wished I was. He’s capable, knowledgeable, and courageous, but also has a soft side. He’s confident in himself and dares question authority. There are all qualities I hold high, but it can’t all be sunshine either, and he has some issues he’s refusing to deal with (which becomes apparent in the later books). For the later books, I have another favorite character, but that’s for another interview in the future I hope.
7.- I really liked this cover, who is the artist?
The artist is named Andrei Bat and he’s AMAZING! Not only that, but he’s great to work with and so so sooo patient. If he was ever annoyed by my questions and corrections, I never felt any of it. Highly recommend him!
8.- What can we expect from Christer Lende in the future?
A lot. First, you can expect the whole beast hunter trilogy out before March, and then I’ve written 2,5 books in a new Sci-fi/fantasy series that’s just INSANELY good (though I am biased). That will be released at some point. I’m also working on a Norwegian movie which I hope I can bring to life, and also a game called Ethyrial Echoes of Yore, where I am developing the storyline and quests.
By my side, that’s all! I encourage you to follow Christer in his different socials, as his next book, the second in the Beast Hunters saga will be released this 15th of November. In case you want to check: