Deprecated: Hook custom_css_loaded is deprecated since version jetpack-13.5! Use WordPress Custom CSS instead. Jetpack no longer supports Custom CSS. Read the documentation to learn how to apply custom styles to your site: in /var/www/wp-includes/functions.php on line 6078
Pretending to Write | Original Writing and Conversations with Writers
Map of the City of Selmar from Circle's Call, a Novel by Chris Watson

Pretending to Write

Welcome to the digital home for author Chris Watson, with original writing, conversations with writers, a space for creativity, and a podcast about writing and more

“Go away, I’m pretending to Write!”

Chris Watson

I am a father, a sailor of small boats and tall ships, a passionate storyteller, a podcaster and blogger, and a professional writer for corporate and nonprofit organizations for more than 25 years. Written works in progress include a fantasy series, The Stormspire Quartet, the first of which, A Murder in Fire and Fog, is the product of my lifelong fascination with epic fantasy and a good murder. In a less fantastical voice, I am also well along with a series of historical short stories and in the beta reader phase for my novel-length murder mystery, Seeing the Elephant, all set in the fictional town of Shelton’s Cove, Maine.

Need a kickstart to get writing? Check out the weekly writing prompt and give yourself 30 minutes of creative time to see what emerges!

Write a complete story in a 100-word piece of micro fiction

Pretending to Blog

Evaluating the Tools of the Trade

As the publishing industry has expanded through innovative platforms and an explosion of indie authors, so too has the technology to support them. Whether you’re drafting a manuscript, self-publishing your work, designing a marketing plan, leveraging social media for...

read more

The Empty Spaces Between the Other Times

I’ve been thinking a lot about time ever since I received the call at 5:55 PM on a Wednesday. How much time it took me to put on my jacket. To sprint from my office, down the hall, and out to my car. To drive across the bridge to Jamestown to be with my stepmother and...

read more

Inspired or Not

Quote of the Day: "If you’re only going to write when you’re inspired, you may be a fairly decent poet, but you will never be a novelist — because you’re going to have to make your word count today, and those words aren’t going to wait for you, whether you’re inspired...

read more

Explore Some Original Work

A Map of the City of Selmar from the novel, Circle's Call

A Murder in Fire and Fog

The port of Selmar is burning, and this time, it isn’t young Blazemaster Melsera Ailenway’s fault. Instead, she finds herself defending the city, solving a murder, and protecting a young Windrider with far more power than he should possess from an enemy determined to kill them both.

Welcome to the world of Amastria and an excerpt from my hopefully-soon-to-be-published novel, A Murder in Fire and Fog.


Library of Lives

Inspired by a writing group prompt and a touch of Edgar Allan Poe and the creepy side of Ray  Bradbury, Library of Lives is a 1,000 word story that won the 2021 Christmas Lake Creative “Rising Stars” Flash Fiction competition in the Freeform category. I hope you enjoy this visit to an unusual library in Barcelona.

Short story inspired by Chris van Allsburg and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick

Seeing the Elephant (excerpt)

I’ve been a passionate fan of mysteries since I was a kid and starting with Donald J. Sobel’s Encyclopedia Brown Books and the Hardy Boys series, then moving on to Chandler and Hammett, Christie and Mosley, Connelly and Lippman.

Seeing the Elephant is my first complete mystery, a contemporary set of murders set on the rocky coasts of Maine. It’s in the beta reader process at the moment, so there’s work still to be done. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this excerpt.

Pretending to Podcast

Enjoy this sample from The Epic Pencil podcast and click below for access to all of the episodes.