Christopher Grant, a Stony Brook University graduate, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. An insatiable reader, his influences range from Tom Clancy to Junot Diaz. Currently a professional equities trader, he lives in Harlem, New York and spends his free time traveling the world with his family. For more info, check out his website.
Let the conversation begin!
Can you share a nugget of writing wisdom?
I don’t recall exactly where I read this, but an author was asked what bit of advice she would give aspiring novelists. She said, “You may not be published if you do write, but you’ll never be published if you don’t.” That bit of advice helped me to stop creating bull$h!t excuses that kept me from writing.
What advice would you give a younger you?
I would tell a younger me to focus on writing earlier. I always loved telling stories, but did very little to cultivate it. I took one writing class in college, and that is something that I regret to this day. I would have beaten the crap out of myself, and forced myself to take more writing classes. Now that I think about it, I was 15lbs heavier and MUCH stronger back then. Maybe the butt whoopin’ wouldn’t be the best approach.
What is the worst part about writing? Best part?
One thing I enjoy about writing is seeing the finished product, a copy of my book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble. Nothing can top that experience, except when someone tells you how much they enjoyed reading your book.
On the flipside, I can’t tell you how many times someone has come up to me and said, “I have this great idea for a book,” as if me working my backside off has somehow cleared the way for their story to be told.
What is your favorite quote?
“I know a thing or two about a thing or two.” –Robert Deniro, This Boy’s Life
What is your biggest pet peeve?
It’s a toss-up between having to listen to ignorant people (like the genius that ran for Congress that coined the term “legitimate rape”, or folks that think global warming is a myth) and dealing with cab drivers that either won’t stop for me, or say, “Where are you going?” while their door is locked. Mind you, in NYC, that is completely illegal, and totally discriminatory. In retaliation I have sat on the hoods of taxis blocking up traffic. “Now no one goes ANYWHERE!!!”
Name a turning point in your life that makes you smile.
I signed my contract with Random House on November 4th 2008, while I watched Barack Obama win the election. I will never forget that moment as long as I live.
What is your worst personality characteristic?
I do my best writing on the subway or in the middle of the night, when my distractions are at a minimum. I have very little discipline when it comes to carving out my writing time, so I need to put myself in environments where I am isolated from the world.