We're the ones your mother warned your about...No, seriously. We are.


Here we go. Also, meet Sam. He's my Web-Fu minon. Since I know you have a ..... passing interest in the comic book industry, I asked Sam to sit in for a bit. Also, he's a big geek too, so I figured he'd fit right in. *g*
CG:Hi Sam!!
Claris: See Sam, & you were afraid to e-mail him......He's wicked friendly until you get to know him. Then it's all heckling from the crowd, porn, & you end up dead in books. (Or an earthwitch. Depends on what your stipulations for being killed are.)

Okay, welcome to a NoDignity.com interview. We're going to start with the basics, & go from there. We allow you to opt out of one (and only one) question should you so choose. Now, most people will ask for name, age, birthplace, but we're a bit different, so we give our interviews a little space. You can answer all of them, but you're not required to. If you do, you get a prize! However, since we haven't actually decided what the prize is - at this point, it's entirely possible the prize might be us saying thank you and handing over a cookie. (If you want, you can let us know your favorite kind of cookie.)

Thanks for playing!

Tell us about..

The job you took because you really needed the money. (And no, you're not allowed to make porn jokes unless you can show a W-2 for it. )
CG: Well, if you're talking about in general, I was a bouncer for a summer and a Xmas break at Houlihan's during college. I also did telephone fundraising because it was part of my work/study scholarship. But the worst has to be the six weeks I spent delivering pizzas for Domino's. I was all sexy in that multicolored shirt and cap. As a writer, there are a couple of things I did just for the money. Early on in my career I wrote a "Fear Street." And no, I'm not going to tell you which one.
Claris: So the part where I"m TOTALLY going to go look that up - you understand that, right? Because it's right up there with the Battlestar Gallactica. Either that, or I'll just ask Connie(Chris' wife) the next time I' m back East, since all of those freakin' books are under R.L. Stine's name & all.

The job you turned down because nobody needs the money that bad.
CG: Okay, hmm, no gigolo jokes. There was a job as a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman. Yes, I'm serious. Didn't do that one. As a writer, well, I like the TV show JAG, but am I the guy to write novels based on that show? No. I mean, I COULD do it, do the research, all of that . . . but they just weren't paying enough for me to work that hard on somebody else's baby.

The one thing you did as a child that your family has never let you live down. (And in your case, I've met members of your family, so don't say there isn't anything.)
CG: When I was fifteen, in the middle of a snowstorm, I decided to take my mother's car out and drive my friend Steve Crain home*. And, of course, I had to do donuts and such in the snow. I put the car through a fence and onto this woman's front lawn. She was very nice, said she was planning to remove it anyway, and if I would promise to come back in spring to remove the pieces, she wouldn't bother me about it. But the trick was, how to get the thing out of the snowbank and home without my mother finding out. See, there was no damage to the car, miraculously enough. I ended up borrowing money from a friend up the street and getting a tow truck. Everything was going perfectly . . . up until I heard this strange creaking noise. See, I had just missed this CRIME WATCH sign going INTO the snow bank. But now the rearview mirror was caught on the sign as the tow truck pulled the car out. I looked over at the sign JUST in time to see the mirror shatter completely. Steve laughed his ass off. The sad part is, I made up this absolute bullshit lie to explain the mirror being broken and my mother believed me. I felt so guilty about it that I told her the truth the following year.
(*note from Claris - the legal driving age in the state of Massachusetts is 16. At fifteen, you can get a permit, but you have to have a lisenced driver over the age of 21 in the car with you...so before anything else, there's the fact that he was driving illegally in the first place. Right then. Okay, you can go read the rest of the story now...)

That moment where you sat back and went, "You know, I thought I was kind of cool, but it would seem I have been so very, very wrong."
CG: Oh, shit, just ONE? I'm always saying the wrong thing. In general, though, I think I have a good grasp of my insect-like place in the universe. The most common reminder is at signings when people think I've either created Buffy or written for the show, and their reaction when I have to painstakingly correct them. "You did what, then, exactly, that has caused these other people here to have some interest in hearing what you have to say?" To which my response is usually a blank stare.
Sam: Next time, tell them you wrote "Micronauts".
What, like they're gonna check?

Are the internet fans still scary? Or do you think you'll miss us when we're gone?
CG: Well, you're pretty scary, Claris, but that has nothing to do with the Internet. Also, are the fans going somewhere?
Claris: I am not (as) scary (now that I'm 3,000 miles away from you)!
Sam: Not scary. Sez you.
Claris:As for going away, well, someday I'll send you SarahNicole's treatise on the sociological impact of internet communities. It's this whole big thing, trust me.

So, I'm going to say this, and then you tell me what comes to mind : Scariest. Fan. Ever. Go.
CG: See, you THINK you know the answer to that question 'cause you were there for a certain incident that still causes shudders when I think of it. But you'd be wrong. The scariest fan ever was the woman who wrote me a letter after Of Saints & Shadows came out to tell me how courageous I was to put into print all the dark secrets I knew about the Catholic church and the nature of evil.
Sam: Wait. You mean there's something crazy about that? I thought everyone knew about the Catholic Church's secret plans to found a New World Order and turn us all into papal slaves. ... Why's everyone looking at me like that?
Claris: Oh my god! The other day, some odd lady stopped Zoey & I on the street when we were running, and handed me this rawhide bone, saying that it was for my dog! All I could think of was the scary girl that pushed the chocolate Frosty from Wendy's on you! I finished the last mile & a half going, "So this is what it's like to be Chris at a signing....but where are the Bronzers to heckle me?"

How do you approach writing? Are you one of the responsible people that goes ahead, and does a certain amount each day, finishing a day before it's due, or are you a procrastinator that turns in your manuscript a day late because you were up until three in the morning getting it done and made everyone's life hell in the meantime? (oh yes, I know the answer to this one, but I"m going to make you say it, & then I want you to forward it to Lisa (his editor) to see HER answer. ;p)
CG: I work from a schedule, but always overestimate what I can do. Fortunately, I become aware very early how screwed I am on deadlines and can talk to my editors in advance. Once upon a time, not so long ago, I could claim never to have missed a deadline. As of 2003, that's no longer true. What I DON'T do, though, is cram things at the last minute. That never works. I often work nights and weekends, whatever it takes, but I've never stayed up working past one a.m. These days, I rarely work later than nine or ten, and that's when I'm backed up.

Reality television - is it the wave of the future, or should we burn the film, salt the earth, and kill the celebrity host(esses)?
CG: I like American Idol. The rest of it is crap. Give it its own network and let the others get back to making entertainment that doesn't rely on humiliation.
Claris: well, then, just because I know I'll have readers that want to know - Was Clay robbed?
And since I seem to be the only damned person that didn't know about it - any planned screenings for you of To Kelly from Justin? (They made a movie. It boggles me that there was a movie.)

CG: Clay would be a great Broadway star, and Ruben was tired the last few episodes . . . but Ruben's the man. As for From Justin to Kelly . . . no. I adore Kelly, but whose idea was this? Time to get new representation sweetheart.

What's the one book (or series) that everyone should read, and why?
CG: Illusions by Richard Bach. Not my favorite book, but one that changes the way you view the world, at least for a few hours.

Which CD do you always seem to end up listening to? If there isn't any, the CD that's in your car right now.
CG: I like a lot of different kinds of music. Right now the thing I'm listening to constantly is Big Fear by Common Rotation. They're just fantastic.

Are your children allowed to watch Buffy? If not, how old will they have to when they're allowed to watch all seven seasons without you there to hit fast forward during certain segments such as, oh, say all of the Spike/Buffy interaction in Season 6?
CG: My kids are 9, 7 and 9 months. I'd probably let the oldest watch season one Buffy now, but they'd have to be eleven to watch the rest, I think. Or thereabouts. It differs for everyone, but believe it or not, my kids are pretty innocent.

Oh, that's right....you have that whole book thing going on.
CG: Um, yeah.

Okay, The Gathering Dark. Outline it for those who haven't read The Shadow Saga.
(I figure we should probably actually talk about, ya know...the new book & all.)

CG: You don't need to have read the rest of the series to jump on board with this. It's a whole new spin. Basically, Peter Octavian is powerful with the mojo, but all the shit he's had to deal with in the past has left a bad taste in his mouth. Thing is, there's this big evil that's decided it wants to just STEAL a whole bunch of cities from all over the world, and it's got these hideous demons working for it. It involves the church, the U.N., vampires, vampire-hunters, samurai, ex-girlfriends, lesbian earthwitches, and rock and roll. Sugar and spice and everything nice.

So, because Sam mentioned in the past that he likes your work, I thought we'd let him play too.
Several e-mails later, here's what he has for you.

CG: Hi Sam!

Sam: Dude. He wrote Hellboy? *Google search* Well, close enough. Co-wrote BRPD(Bureau for Paranormal Research & Defense) with Mike Mignola. I want to be this man when I grow up.
CG: Um, in addition to BPRD, I wrote the two Hellboy novels that are out there, THE LOST ARMY and BONES OF GIANTS.

*warning - entering comic book geeker zone. You are warned*

What do you think of the state of the industry? For several years prominant industry commentators have foretold the doom of sequential art as we know it. Just doomsaying, or do you think the industry does need to evolve or die?
CG: I think the industry needs to stop sniping at one another and work together to get up a marketing campaign. Kindergarten kids could do it. As for the state of the industry, I grew up a Marvel kid but I love DC now. I think Marvel's doing some good stuff, mostly by Bendis and JM Stryczinksi (I know I spelled that wrong), but by and large I'm horrified at least once a week by their decisions. Firing Mark Waid off of Fantastic Four to make it something ELSE, just when Waid had really given it back what it had been missing for years . . . somebody should be ashamed of themselves. And if the rumored concept that's replacing Mark is what people are saying, that's just fucking absurd. I pray they do Ultimate Fantastic Four soon so I can just read that INSTEAD, just as I've been doing with Ultimate X-Men since Marvel ruined that entire franchise. I'm down to only a handful of Marvel titles now and it really saddens me.
Sam: Yeah. It's obvious that somebody *cough*Bill Jemas*cough* at Marvel needs to be sat down and explained what makes their books work, and what ensures readers will take their business elsewhere.

What with a (totally sweet looking) Hellboy movie in production, and the fact that you worked with Mike Mignola on BPRD.....
What can you tell us about the movie, if anything? Is any of your material being used in it?

CG: I don't think so. But from the stories Mike has told about his experiences on the set, I can predict it's going to be fantastic. When you've got the creator THAT happy, you've got to be doing something right.

Ooh, and to get into really SUPERnerdy territory, and fully acknowledging that there's no way in heck this should actually be asked...
Just how badly are those folks over at Dark Horse itching to release BUFFY vs. ALIENS vs. PREDATOR vs. EVERY OTHER FRANCHISE WE HAVE?
(Which only makes sense if you're a comic nerd.)

CG: I actually don't think Buffy would work with the others. It would be silly. Buffy vs. Batman, now THAT would be cool. We wanted to do it, but Joss said that if it was ever done, HE was going to write it. On the other hand, I'd love to do DIE HARD/ALIENS and DIE HARD/PREDATOR. That'd be fun.
Sam: ... There were plans for BUFFY VS. BATMAN actually tossed around and considered?
And Joss wanted to write it?
Dear God.
I would sell baby seals into slavery to read that.
Claris: Yeah, that sounds neat & all, but as someone who read Fray, if they did that series, my grandchildren would be reading the fourth comic in that series by the time Joss got his ass in gear.
(And what is this fascination you have lately with baby seals? Weirdo.)

Okay Chris, wrapping up - what's next? You going to be workin' for The Man on more Buffy/Angel stuff, or do we get to see new original fiction? Dare I ask about the TV possibilities of Body of Evidence or Prowlers? And perhaps most importantly to our avid readers (which are a grand total of like...ten) - what was the focus of last weekend in the Golden household - new Harry Potter, or the premiere of The Hulk?
CG: It's strange, in a way. This is probably the best time to write new Buffy material, since the restrictions are likely to be loosened somewhat now that the show is off the air. But the truth is, I'm done with Buffy and Angel for now. (Unless there's another video game.) That doesn't mean I'd never write in that universe again, but fortunately I have so many other things going on I don't have time at the moment. As for what those things are, I can only really talk about some of them. My novel THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN will be out from Bantam in April. The first book in my new young adult kids series OutCast, written with Tom Sniegoski, will be out next year, along with THE NIMBLE MAN, the first book in our ADULT dark fantasy series for Ace Books. Meanwhile, Amber Benson and I are continuing to develop our animated web serial GHOSTS OF ALBION with plans for the future. Can't discuss most of those plans yet, but for now you can look for a prose novella we co-wrote, titled Astray,to be serialized starting early to mid July for eight weeks at the BBC site. There are other things, but isn't that ENOUGH? ;)
As for Harry Potter and the Hulk . . . both. Loved the Hulk and I'm reading the new Potter right now.

Sam & Claris
~ June, 2003

For more on Chris' work, or to e-mail him.....