Interview Click Magazine
From California’s Coast Highway to Zurich’s Seestrasse
When Chris Corbett was a young student in Silicon Valley his father gave him some career advice, “I can’t tell you what to do with your life but I can tell you what not to do. Whatever direction you pursue, don’t get into computers – there’s no future there.”
Following this advice, Chris’s career path led him into the world of publishing and communications.
Looking back on the early advice, Chris sometimes wondered if he had missed out on something. Now, years later the ‘what-if’ has been answered in the form of a novel.
Chris has taken his passion for communicating and after putting in a typical workday working in corporate communications for a financial services organization, has spent evenings and weekends on a personal writing project, resulting in a book called Nirvana Blues. It includes a rewriting of the early history of the computer revolution which allowed him to live out the life of a computer pioneer. In this part of the story, he appropriated the early life story of Steve Jobs from Apple computer and turned it into a Romeo & Juliet style drama. Also, from observing the film and music industries in Los Angeles it allowed some moral tales to be included on the risks and rewards of getting involved in the star-maker machinery.
Using the same disciplines from his communications work, an outline for the story was created to guide thorough research to get the right background information to make the text authentic. A first draft was created and after several revisions, a professional editor was hired who works for Random House, the world's largest English-language general trade book publisher. A six month collaboration led to a final draft and also during this
time several conference calls were held with a filmmaker friend from Los Angeles to strengthen elements of the story.
Chris commented on his efforts, "The whole process was like what I do in my daily work - create a project plan, gather all the relevant information, draft text and run it through approvals (including Public Relations and Legal) with the usual revisions being done until an acceptable text is produced. The final task is creating a finished project with an appealing layout. And a resulting benefit was that the planning and editing work on my book helped improve my deliverables in the workplace."
So, while ignoring his father’s advice may have produced a different career direction, Chris has no regrets. His time in the communications field in Southern California included owning a publishing business for eight years with a brother-in-law of one of The Beatles, working for Playboy Magazine and taking part in the production of an Academy Award winning film.
Now the fast-paced work environment and challenging work in the finance world keeps life interesting for Chris. But his private passion continues, as he has completed the first draft of his next novel, set in the world of Switzerland's private banking and contemporary art scene where the Seestrasse in Zurich has replaced the Coast Highway as the roadway of choice.
A snapshot of Chris Corbett
Chris is based in Zurich, Switzerland and is in charge of communications for a department in one of Switzerland’s largest financial services companies.
Chris’ background is multi-cultural; born in the United Kingdom, raised in California and living in Switzerland for the last many years.