We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Ahrens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, how do you think about risk?
Anyone looking from the outside would have considered my becoming a writer a million to one shot. . Even though I never had one word of encouragement in my early days, I somehow knew it would work out. I, I generally play it safe, but to me, a writing career was a sure thing and no risk whatsoever. If you’re going to bet on a longshot, make sure you know the players.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
If I had listened to my teachers I would never have become a writer. From the fourth grade on, I received straight Fs in writing. While my grammar and spelling were atrocious, I did know how to tell a story. My first big hit came in grade school when I wrote a parody on a kid in my class titled “Big Bully.” The class howled, the bully pounded me and I knew I had to become a writer. I never became any better in school, and am self-taught. In time, I began having stories published in surfing magazines. As my confidence grew, I became a regularly featured writer in that genre, and, eventually became a surfing magazine editor. I specialized in interviews, and I learned from everyone I talked with. In the early 1990s, I co-founded an interview magazine called Risen. Now comfortable with the interview format, I conducted in-person interviews with celebrities like Ozzy Osbourne, Hillary Swank, and Tony Hawk. In 2008 I directed my first documentary, D.O.P.E. (Death Or Prison Eventually) which chronicled the Rise, Fall, and Redemption of four of the world’s top skateboarders. My bylines have appeared in Surfer’s Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Family Circle, and just about everything in between. I have 10 books to my credit, My latest, “God & Gangsters” features 21 of our nation’s most notorious criminals and their turn from destruction to God. I enjoy redemption stories, in part because they echo my own path from failure to success.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Whenever my friends are in town, we go to all the normal spots San Diego County is known for: The beach and all the little restaurants dotting Coast Highway. But I like to take them beyond that, into the local mountains to explore places even many San Diego locals don’t know exist. The railway museum in Campo is a favorite as is mining tourmaline near Lake Henshaw.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The Grauer School, Boy’s Men Mentoring Program, Any Body Can (AB&C)
Instagram: Chris Ahrens (@cahrensword)
Facebook: Christopher M. Ahrens
Other: As an older writer, I do very little social media and concentrate more on my content in the hopes that people will find me, which they seem to do. Thanks/
Profile photo: Bil Zelman Img 39: Ahrens collecti0n Img 31: Photo: Bil Zelman Img 61: Ahrens collection Img 2685: Ahrens collection IMG28: Ahrens collection IMG 19: Ahrens collection