A Chance Interview with Christopher Patterson


Coach, Teacher, and Author!

Mekayla Phan, Features Editor

“Erik Eleodum is a simple man. He doesn’t want to be a hero. He doesn’t need fame or fortune. He is content farming his family’s homestead in northern Háthgolthane and raising a simple family, like his father, for the rest of his life. In fact, adventure is the last thing on his mind…” –Chance Beginning: Book One of Shadow’s Fire Trilogy

Christopher Patterson is a hard-working Government and Economics teacher; the head wrestling coach and football staff coach; and an active Desert Hope church member. During his free time, he is also a self-published author.
A huge fan of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genre, Patterson grew up heavily playing D&D (Dungeons and Dragons), and reading series of books- The Wizard of Earthsea, Chronicles of Narnia, and Lord of the Rings. With all of the influence of these great authors (such as J.R.R. Tolkien and Lawhead), it was probably how he was inspired to start writing his own adventures on his grandmother’s typewriter.
After switching out of his Classical Guitar Performance major for Literature and Creative Writing at the U of A, a traditional publisher from Lamp Post Publishing came across his drafts of the Shadow’s Fire story. She encouraged him to publish it. Things didn’t work out very well between the two (as the publisher wanted to change the story too much), but another publisher gave him the idea of self-publishing.
“Mainstream publishers usually want experience with publishing. It’s like applying for a job.”
Patterson says the biggest challenge in writing a story is to actually get it published. Since he self-publishes, it is hard for him to have professional editing. So he mostly has to self-edit his own works. It seems tedious but very worth it. “What I enjoy about writing is that it’s like a movie playing in my mind,” Patterson explains. And that process may play a role in his writing- “My greatest strength is probably dialogue, character to character interaction,” he says. A lot of his writing is very descriptive and action-driven.
He published his first book of the Shadow’s Fire trilogy: Chance Beginning in 2014, which drew in quite a decent success.
Patterson had accepted a position as a coach before teaching at Sahuaro. He was a Sahuaro graduate and really wanted to help out with the sports. He was an English teacher for several years until he decided to change over to being a Government and Economics teacher. He had extensive knowledge of the field already (certified in economics at the U of A) and it provided more opportunities for him.
When asked if he would abandon his job to become a full-time author, he says that he would in the future if he was successful. “I would like for my writing to pay my bills, and teach without worrying about my paycheck. But I enjoy teaching, coaching – and have no desire to let go of both.”

This May 2016, he finally plans to release the second book of the Shadow’s Fire Trilogy. And his goal is to have the third final book out next year in May.

Learn more about him at his website/blog:
And if you are interested, you can find his book in our school’s library.