Instead of my typical weekly Wattpad post, I’m doing something a little different today. This is more of a self-interview by author Christopher L. Buono, or @ChrisBuono as I have come to know him on Wattpad. Chris is a fantastic storyteller with a very interesting background that you can read all about on his Wattpad profile page. Not only is he extremely talented, but he is supportive of everyone in our writing community. It’s such a treat when you discover a writer who’s not afraid to try different genres (he has both Romance and Horror posted at the moment), but one who doesn’t shy away from offering advice and is there to cheer on his fellow authors whenever they need him. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
A Novel Approach: Christopher L. Buono, a Self-Interview
Chris Buono had never heard of Wattpad.com until he entered Harlequin’s “So You Think You Can Write” competition in 2015 ( #SYTYCW15 ).
“I’m forever grateful to Harlequin for, indirectly, having turned me onto Wattpad,” Chris says. “I believe that the teaming of Harlequin and Wattpad was/is a wonderful pairing of the two writing ‘platforms.’ Joining Wattpad has opened doors for me and my writing—and it continues to do so.”
Chris had not been new to writing in 2015. He (Christopher L. Buono) had been both the Effective Screenwriting columnist for, and a contributing editor to, the now defunct quarterly periodical WRITERS’ Journal magazine. In 2000, he had brought to fruition WJ’s first writer’s anthology: The Writers’ Journal Guide to the Writing Life.
Christopher had also been the publisher and editor-in-chief of his own writing magazine: Writer’s Guidelines & News. Although WG&N had been a short-lived publication for him, he had worked with the late, great actress Ruth Warrick. She had been one of his columnists.
“The first time that I had met Ruth,” Christopher says, “had been at a New York City theatre reading of a lost work of Orson Welles’s—The Big Brass Ring. “I had written a full-length stage farce, and thought that Ruth could play the mother’s part well. Long story short, Ruth didn’t see herself in the role. Still, she’d given me her personal information that day. I had the pleasure of meeting with her several times in her NYC home, to discuss writing, and her column in the magazine. She was a very nice woman.”
Having stepped away from the writing magazine life, Chris is now concentrating on romance and horror writing.
“I find that it’s a good balance/mix for me,” he says. “Romance is universal and I feel that my ideas/storylines fit in well with that genre. Then, when things become ‘too sweet,’ so to speak, with romance writing, I can get a full dose of the darker side of things, by submerging myself in writing some horror.”
And Chris has been doing just that and more, at Wattpad.com. His romance novel Her Boss’s Surprise—a boss/employee crush romance—now has 65K reads and rising (check out his book trailer HERE). His #JustWriteIt novel @Wattpad The Midnight Visit—a veterinarian doctor romance—is at 11K reads, and that number continues to climb.
Still, Chris divides his time by writing short tales, too. His two anthology sweet romance stories (A Paper-Tree Christmas—in the November/December 2015 Mistletoe and Mischief Wattpad anthology (story trailer HERE) and Blue Sneakers, Red Heart—his Valentine’s Day sweet, in the February 2016 Hearts on Sleeves romance anthology (book trailer HERE) both now have 11K reads, and that number continues to go up.
His other material—aside from in anthologies that can be found on his Wattpad.com page—include his “five-minute romance” short stories: Sightseeing Love—a second-chance romance—and, In a Puff of Smoke—a magic-filled tale of love.
“I’ve always enjoyed the short-story format and what it affords its author, as well as its reader,” Chris informs. “If done correctly, a short story can present an author with a solid base for a fuller tale; it can also win the heart of a reader in an instant, whereas, with a novel read, it may take longer to gain a fan.”
But Chris hasn’t stopped with romance shorts. He’s also now trying his hand to write with the ever-popular Youtuber Grace Helbig—via her #FreakWeek #novella writing competition @Wattpad . As of this writing, Chris has entered four of his original chapters to that contest: Chapter Two (without title); Chapter Three: Dylan the Villain; Chapter Four: Grabbing for Gravity and Chapter Five: Here Come the Clones.
“I’m having a blast trying to capitalize on what a previous author of a winning Freak Week chapter had published in Grace’s virtual book,” says Chris. “I think it’s fab that Grace has teamed with @ATTHelloLab for this interesting/intriguing story competition. I’m glad that I can take part in it, and I wouldn’t be able to do so, if I were not a Wattpad member.”
While Chris’s romance and “freaky” work continues to entertain Wattpad readers, he’s also found time to pen some nonfiction material.
“During Harlequin’s SYTYCW15 competition,” Chris reveals, “The Pink Heart Society editor, Ali Williams, had asked me—via Twitter—if I’d be interested in writing a guest post for her blog, regarding my SYTYCW15 experience. That was something I had accepted to do without batting an eyelash, and my article posted on October 19, 2015. I have always been one for trying/wanting to help aspiring writers. Ali’s offer was going to enable me to do just that. For me, a bonus had been that I’d also be able to spread the word, with my article, about Harlequin’s SYTYCW competition. SYTYCW is a contest in which I wholeheartedly believe. It is a wonderful opportunity for aspiring romance writers.
“I’d also done a nonfiction piece—Ten Questions Aspiring Authors Frequently Ask Him—that I had included with my #WattpadBlockParty —Winter Edition II, February 2016 post.”
In addition, Chris had also done an author takeover (January 2016) for Limitless Publishing romance author Trinity Hanrahan, during her and Michelle Jo Quinn’s Harley Pivotal Moments release party.
“Trinity had contacted me on Twitter regarding that takeover and, the rest is history. Recently, Trinity had also asked me to do a guest post for her blog. Now another nonfiction work of mine—Five Tips on How to Avoid Writer’s Block (April 7, 2016)—appears in the virtual world, via Trinity’s platform.”
But wait, there’s more.
On April 17, 2016, Chris had his #AskBailee question answered via video reply on Twitter by @BaileeMadison , star of the hit magical show #GoodWitch on @hallmarkchannel : https://twitter.com/hallmarkchannel/status/721818799029129216
Chris also had his writing question answered by the mega-talented author @NicholasSparks , via an @Wattpad #AskNicholasSparks Twitter video response on January 22, 2016: https://twitter.com/CBuonoWritesU/status/690674869529382913
USA Today bestselling author Kelli Anne Blount had also answered Chris’s “writing collaboration” question, live, on The Corner Booth ( #tcbwatt ) episode 30 “Orange and Black and Read all Over” (October 25, 2015). Check out Kelli’s response to Chris’s question at the 35:52 video play point HERE.
Popular and featured Wattpad author Rosa Aimeé had also answered Chris’s “how can you best amp up horror” question, live, on that same The Corner Booth ( #tcbwatt ) broadcast (episode 30 “Orange and Black and Read All Over,” October 25, 2015). Check out Rosa’s response to Chris’s question at the 47:50 video play point HERE.
Speaking of horror, Christopher’s fear-filled material is also on his Wattpad.com page.
“I had great fun recently writing a #100WORDSCREAM horror one-shot tale for Wattpad’s paranormal community,” Christopher says. “It’s called, Things Are Never as They Seem. It’s, what I think, a chilling scene, where playing ball outside of an abandoned house, is my child character’s first mistake.
“To sweeten the horror pot, where my novel, The Lake is concerned, I recently penned an Imagine one-shot story. It’s titled Stephen King and the Birth of The Lake. I had a blast writing it, and great fun incorporating Wattpad’s new multimedia function within the text of that tale. The basic plot is: I’m suffering from writer’s block, as I write The Lake, when I meet, or, rather, come across, the master of horror—Stephen King—in a most unusual way.”
As we have learned, Christopher doesn’t only pen “short” tales of scary. His current horror WIP, The Lake, is a full-length, dark, disturbing, mature novel of evil that you can read at Wattpad.com.
The Lake story blurb:
The Lake just wanted life. When Amanda Colberg gave it a taste of love, it needed more.
Struggling to stop a painful death into nonexistence, The Lake holds out hope for Amanda to save it once again. But the sexually-abused eighteen-year-old girl is running for her life—from Hal, the town bully, and her stalking, drunkard father.
Having comforted each other in every crisis—in the twisted, backward town of Baskanville—Amanda and The Lake are the horror-romance of the century. But when Amanda does something inconceivable to The Lake, will all Baskanvillians pay the price…and, to Amanda’s demonic delight?
You can watch The Lake book trailer HERE.
You can find Chris on:
You can also read Chris’s nonfiction work here:
SYTYCW guest-blog post (click “older posts,” after clicking link/scrolling down)