Interview with Christopher Leibig, Author of Almost Mortal

Written by  //  February 1, 2016  //  Cool People  //  No comments

mortalaYoung criminal defense attorney Sam Young has always known he had a gift. Or a curse. A minor psychic ability, he sometimes thinks. When he is hired by attractive young nun Camille Paradisi to help discover the identity of a serial killer before a local Priest is exposed for not having turned the man after a confession – thereby allowing another killing – his abilities seemingly enhance. He quickly learns that the enigmatic Camille is not telling him everything.

Sam reads a section of an old journal anonymously mailed to the Church, which purports to tell the life story of a man with mind control and other special powers who claims to be the descendant of the fallen angels cast out of heaven by God. He ponders its relation to the case while using his legal and investigative skills to establish the identity of the killer. As he learns more about the mystery author, and Camille, he realizes that the journal has less to do with the serial killer than an age-old battle for entry into heaven.

As things become even more clear, he sees that Camille’s own history and purpose in hiring him are different than he ever could have believed. In the end, the question is not only whether Sam can find one killer and save one priest, but whether he will take part in the trial of the ages. 

Learn more about the Author and how to purchase his books at


SFP: What inspired you to write Almost Mortal?

Chris Leibig:  I started writing it as a pretty normal legal thriller with the twist that main character had minor psychic abilities. Then I was on vacation in Argentina and visited a small rural town outside Barilche, in Patagonia. I saw a wooden cross, like a crucifix, in the ground at the corner of a dirt crossroads with the mountains in the background and started writing, just for fun, a story about some kids who grew up in that village and believed they may be the spawn of Satan. After a day or so, I blended the two stories, which is why there is a front story and a back story in Almost Mortal that eventually come together.

SFP: What is the underlying theme of the story that you want readers to walk away with?

Chris Leibig: The book is for entertainment. If there is a big theme in it  would say it is that many of the things our culture tells us about good and evil is obviously oversimplified. Who are the good and bad characters in Almost Mortal is sort of hard to figure out.

SFP: What is your writing process?

Chris Leibig: On a short fiction project I usually write to completion, than revise again and again, usually with the help of quite a few people – some of whom are way better at this than me. On a novel, it’s different. I have to get feedback along the way. To see which direction things should go. In either case though, the story driven by the characters. Invent them, understand them, put them somewhere with a problem, and they can take over.

SFP: How has technology impacted your ability to gain readership?

Chris Leibig: So far, I have to say it has not. I have two previously  published novels through a small press in London, but no substantial sales. Without marketing and such, I think it is very hard to drive sales. My new publisher, Koehler Books, has done a lot more to get the right people to look at Almost Mortal so that the wider public has a chance to see or hear about it.

SFP: How does your work as a defense lawyer impact your writing?

Chris Leibig: Constantly. When I’m in the mood, I make notes all day of ideas that come up while talking to clients and defending cases. Even little quotes, the way someone says something or reacts to a situation, can head somewhere. At the end of every day, when I remember, I write down my favorite quote of the day. Later, I look through them and remember something I can use.

SFP: What about writing novels/short stories do you find the most challenging?

Chris Leibig: With a novel it is really hard to keep things consistent. You revise one thing, and hundreds of other little parts of it will fall if they don’t catch up to the revision. You look back at a section sometimes and say, “whoa, this character would never act that way.” The  point is, you changed the character. His or her whole past has to catch up with the change.

SFP: What about being a defense attorney do you find the most challenging? Rewarding?

Chris Leibig: Rewarding – when someone believes you really helped him or her. Challenging – when good people, which includes almost all of the clients (if not all in some way or another), go to prison or have their lives ruined.
SFP: If you could have lunch with any author from the past or present, who would that be an why?

Chris Leibig: This changes all the time But right at this moment I think I would like to meet Rebecca Sherm. “Unbecoming” is an amazing book.

SFP: What are your aspirations as a writer?

Chris Leibig: I think Almost Mortal would be a great pilot for  TV series. Or a movie. Would I would really like to do is continue to practice criminal defense by taking cases I really want to take, but to work on a TV series or novels all the time.

SFP: What advice do you have for writers who want to self-publish?

Chris Leibig:  My two novels are published through a publisher, and while I appreciate how they did, without major marketing, sales will not be more than if I had self published.  In fact, less, because the writer gets only 8 to 10 percent. If you self publish, and get really lucky, you would earn way more.  Again, I obviously don’t know the secret. If you find out, let me know. My new publisher, Koehler Books, seems great so far and have helped me a lot.

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