20 Questions, 7 Answers is an interview series for writers of genre fiction. Each author receives the same batch of 20 questions, but they may only answer 7.
This week's guest is Christopher Lesko.
My latest book is Victim 666. It’s straight up Horror compared to my previous work, which is hard to define by genre other than General Fiction or what some would call Bizarro. But it still has my crazy sense of humor throughout.
Do you have any creative endeavors other than writing fiction (art, music, knitting)?
Other creative endeavors randomly cycle through me as the ideas spark, and that helps relieve burnout. Photography is one I picked up when I lived near Wrightsville Beach, NC. I use it mostly to explore nature and cherish a little quiet time. Abstract paintings using acrylics on canvas I enjoy making as well. Four pieces currently decorate the walls of my home. I design my covers, edit, format, and publish my books as well. I get a thrill out of it all and plan to keep going as long as I can. Video Production is what I have a degree in from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I made a few short experimental films and have them up on YouTube, but haven’t done much recently other than make a book trailer for Victim 666. Watch here.
Have you traveled outside your home country, and if so, where? Where would you like to go that you haven't been yet?
Been to Australia for my younger brother’s wedding. We visited Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and Esk—a little country town where I saw something odd that gave me the title for my next book: The Locals Are Watching You. This fall, I’m planning to visit again to see where my brother and his family now live in the Sunshine Coast. As far as where I’d like to go that I haven’t been yet, that would be the Bermuda Triangle. As a kid, I read all about it in books from the school library along with ones about UFOs, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster. I’m pretty sure there’s a legendary party going on out there right now.
Currently, my writing environment is on a laptop at my kitchen table or on my sofa with some incense burning in the background. In silence. Used to be I had to get in the mood to write by smearing white Halloween makeup all over my face and drawing fake tattoos on myself. I’ve chilled out with that. Only because it’s a pain to wash off. After that, I went through a phase of drinking big ass Monster energy drinks while killing a pack of sunflower seeds. That got expensive quick. Now, a small pot of coffee simply does the trick.
Twilight Zone or Outer Limits?
Twilight Zone for sure. Actually, I don’t think I’ve seen any Outer Limits episodes. Anyway, I still love watching the black and white episodes on TV with my dad and hearing him tell about his favorite one: “Time Enough at Last” (S01E08). It’s about a guy with super thick glasses who likes reading. The shit that happens to him at the end cracks us up.
If you could share a beverage with any fictional character, who would it be, and what would you drink?
I’d get all full of Fanta with Ashley Schaffer (Will Farrell) from Eastbound & Down. Of course, I’d want the illustrious Cherry Blossom to dance for us too after we eat Mammy’s dumplings.
What’s your secret?
For me, the secret is complete and total sobriety (11 years). My creativity exploded after I quit trying to escape reality and became a master of reality. I don’t regret anything from my past, though, and believe everything happens for a reason. Just have to stay positive and be grateful for the good and bad; have a great day no matter what. Ya dig?
Christopher Lesko is a weirdo writer dude from Ohio.