Christopher Ledbetter

Inside the Author’s Cranium: Christopher Ledbetter

Happy 2015, and what better way to kick off a new year than an Inside the Author’s Cranium interview with author, Christopher Ledbetter. Chris grew up in Durham, NC before moving to Charlottesville, VA in 11th grade. After graduating high school, he attended Hampton University where he promptly joined the best marching band on the east coast, without having one shred of experience! Chris taught high school and coached football for six years in Culpeper, VA. He enjoys the occasional Spartan Race, and is working toward a triathlon.

“Drawn” is his debut full length YA novel.

As a self-described, young reluctant reader, Chris writes young adult stories specifically to reach other reluctant readers. As a participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program, he was blessed to be mentored by Suzanne Morgan Williams, 2012 SCBWI member of the year. Chris now lives in Wilmington NC. with his family, including three cats. For more information visit:





And now here is Chris in his own words:

1. What’s your favorite word? Orenda

2. What’s your least favorite word? Closed

3. Describe your style of writing: I suppose I like to think of my new/ contemporary writing style as conversational. My historical writing style has been described as lyrical and sort of like it’s being told by an old sage telling stories around a campfire.

4. Describe your work ethic: Sometimes I push myself too hard or too far. I’ve been on writing binges where I get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to continue working on a project. And I’ve certainly stayed up way past my bedtime. I am quite driven.

5. What is your main writing fault/flaw? I don’t read as much as I would like to. Reading is really important to being a good writer.

6. Any tips on how to flesh out a character? I have a worksheet that I really love that I got from Martina Boone. It helps me think about the character from a lot of angles. When fleshing out a character, it’s important to give them quirks and flaws and really think about the small details that make them unique and the particular ways that the character would view their world.

7. Any tips on developing plot? Plot is nothing more than how your character reacts to the stimuli placed before them. I try to develop my plot with an eye to ever increasingly dangerous stimuli. One can never go wrong by asking, “What’s the worst that can happen to my character?” And then keep pushing the envelope.

8. Who are your favorite prose authors? Laini Taylor, Suzanne Collins, JK Rowling, James Dashner, Kristin Cashore, Jennifer Donnelley.

9. Who are your favorite poets? Rudyard Kipling, William Ernest Henley, Pablo Neruda.

10. Who are your favorite heroes/heroines in fiction? I don’t know that I have favorite characters, per se. I do have characters that I’m not fond of. But no favorites.

11. Who are your favorite painters and composers? Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Picasso, Van Gogh, Botticelli, Bach, Mozart, Handel, Thaichovsky

12. Who are your real life heroes? Every first responder to tragedies. Teachers. Anyone who thinks of others before themselves.

13. What intrigues you? Human psychology

14. What annoys you? Closed-minded people

15. What profession other than writing would you like to learn? Professional ski-boarding or sky-diving.

16. What profession could you never handle? Accounting.

17. What natural talents have you been gifted with? I’m not sure that I have any natural talents. Any talent I have has been developed over years of effort and anguish.

18. Assuming there’s will be an afterlife, whom would you like to meet and why? That’s difficult. I’m a history nut. There are legions of people I’d love to meet. I can’t really choose one because they’re all equally important in their own rights. Pharaohs and kings and queens and explorers and philosophers and artists and authors and warriors and leaders in politics and business other arenas… too many to name.

19. What is your favorite writing motto/mantra? You can’t revise an empty page. Get the words down.

20. What motivates you? Applause. Just kidding. I guess I’m motivated to write because in between those pages is a type of alive that I don’t feel most of the day.

About Linda Boyden

Teacher. Author. Artist. Storyteller. Poet. I write a poem a day. A picture book each month. I write novels for kids. I color in and out of the lines. I help young children love words and stories. I believe laughter comes straight from the Creator who put us on this fine Earth so we can help one another do our best.

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17 responses to “Inside the Author’s Cranium: Christopher Ledbetter”

  1. Thank you so much for this! I love it!

  2. I hate the word “closed” too. And I agree that first responders are real heroes and heroines! Applause? I’m clapping for you now.

  3. Meet a Pharaoh and report back. I always wanted to know about those guys.

    Love the antonym to closed. Seems like there are more possibilities, right?

  4. SD Wasley says:

    Nice interview … lol’ed at ‘applause’! And accounting? I’m full of admiration but yeah, I agree … not for me!

  5. Loved the questions–and the answers. Congratulations, Chris, on your debut novel.

  6. Sophie Riggsby says:

    Awesome inteview! Loved the questions and answers.

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