Sunday, October 2, 2016

Author Interview with Christina R Williams!

Author Interview: Christina R. Williams

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote my first poem when I was ten years old, but by then I’d already fallen in love with words. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer.

How long does it take you to write a book? 

The first time you asked me this question the answer was simple. Reborn took a year. Reclaimed six months. Revolution four. Reignited took about the same and is in publishing now. Book five, the last edition to the Superi series, is underway. However, these are just numbers. The answer to your question depends on passion. The more you feel the story the faster the lines are born.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

 In the beginning I was consumed with Superi. I worked ten to fourteen hours a day- seven days a week. However, in the two years since, I’ve learned the value of balance. I spend my days being mom and my nights writing. I sacrifice sleep so that I don’t miss the important things. For though I love to get lost in fantasy it is in reality that we find the greatest joy.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

 I can’t write inside. Walls are an instant block. Scorching heat or freezing, rain or shine, I have to be outside or my muse will abandon me.

How do books get published? 

I’ve published five books to date, with a sixth on the way, and all have been published through Superi,LLC.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? 

The Superi series was created, and co-authored, by Clint Thurmon. Twisted and Armour; collections of poetry, came from my personal journals. Publishing them was an emotional rollercoaster, but I have no regrets.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

 I was thirty five when Reborn was published in August of 2015.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

 Before Superi, I was a simple housewife. Don’t misunderstand, there is absolutely nothing wrong with devoting yourself to your family, but I’ve come to realize that there is more…So when I’m not writing I’m learning to live.

What does your family think of your writing? 

*grins* That is a loaded question. There are those who have shown an unbelievable amount of support. There are those who resent it to the point of turning their backs. There are those who simply have no interest, and those who anxiously await what I’ll write next. As for my house…they suffer the hardships of having a writer in the home with exceptional grace. They are my solid ground when my world tips off balance.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? 

That there are days when you will hate what you love. That when life gets messy, your passion can become a chore. I never saw that coming.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

 I’ve published five books to date. Three for Superi and two of my own. Of the Superi series, my favorite is in publishing now. Reignited is about fighting for what you believe in no matter the cost. It’s about taking control of your own destiny despite your fear of the unknown. It’s about knowing the value of love in all its many forms. As for my poetry, Twisted is a reflection of myself. It’s ugly and beautiful. It’s cynical and hopeful. It’s real, and that makes me love it.

Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer? If so, what are they? 

Know that there is more you don’t know than what you do, and be prepared to ask for help. We don’t become great writers on our own. Great writers are created. We are works in progress. Grow thick skin and prepare yourself to take some hits. It comes with the job. Most importantly, never lose your passion. It will be what gets you through the hard spots.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

 I love talking to my readers, and yes, I hear from them far more often than I thought I would. I enjoy their enthusiasm. I love their ideas. I love that they are invested. Most of all, I love their questions. My favorite to date is… “Why is Tristan bald?” My answer… “You’ll have to read to find out, but its epic lol.” Surprisingly, I hear more from those who read my poetry than those who read Superi. Hearing that my words touched them, inspired them, made them feel less alone… It makes all the sleepless nights worth it.

Do you like to create books for adults? 

The Superi series is written for YA, but yes, I’m looking forward to writing novels for adults. Twisted and Armour are definitely for grownups. I actually fear young minds reading them for they are far too impressionable, and the topics within them are not easy ones.

What do you think makes a good story? 

A touch of truth. There are many things you can fake in a world of fantasy, but emotion is not one of them. For a reader to feel your story there has to be something real in it.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? 

Ha…I wanted to be a lawyer, because my young brain couldn’t wrap itself around the injustices of life, and I wanted to set things right. The rantings born of my frustration became poems…and here we are.

Do you have a specific writing style?

 Yes! Writing for YA, it’s a curse. Writing poetry, it’s my greatest strength. When your heroes are from another century, a time lost to history, it marks you. There is an old feel to my work that some love and others hate, but it sets me a part from most. Just so you know, I’m embarrassed by how arrogant that sounds lol.

How did you come up with the title? 

Clint and I worked together to come up with the titles for Superi. We wanted them to show an overview of the books. We wanted them reveal the progression of the series. The title for Armour; being a Christian collection of poetry, came from Ephesians 6:11. Twisted’s title was born of the emotion it invoked. I cannot tell people enough how terrified I was to publish the twisted mess that is my mind.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

Superi is all about overcoming the lines that divide us to realize the greatness of our potential when we become a whole. Armour shows the ups and down, the slips and slides, that a Christian must face in their walk with God. Twisted is about overcoming the worst that life can throw at you, and the victory that comes when you not only survive…but thrive.

How much of the book is realistic? 

While Superi is a fictional world, I like to think that the emotion shown by its denizens holds a touch of realism. Armour holds reality only for those who believe. Twisted, however, holds nothing but reality…Painfully so.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

 There are aspects of Superi that mirror experience or events in our own lives. The fight scenes, for example, would not be possible without Clint’s passion for martial arts. As for Armour, it is honestly an ongoing road map of my journey towards what comes next. Twisted holds the truth of my life. Every poem, every line, every word…was ripped from the pages of my past.

What books have most influenced your life most? 

The Grey Eagle series by Janelle Taylor. She was my first love. And then came The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. I’d never read anything more beautiful. Pierce Anthony, in the Magic of Xanth series, introduced me to the world of puns and changed me forever. The list could go on, but if I had to choose just one writer that has influenced me the most, it would be Terry Goodkind. Yes, his writing is epic, unsurpassed, but it is his ability to change one’s perspective that makes him legendary. After reading The Sword of Truth series, I was never the same.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? 

As novels go…Terry Goodkind. As for poetry…William Shakespeare.

What book are you reading now? 

I’ve been reading poetry mostly, bouncing from one collection to the next in search of something that will soothe this restless feeling I’ve been bombarded with of late.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

 Raye Wagner and Rachel Matong; as fellow writers in the YA fantasy genre, they have most definitely raised the bar for me. They’ve forced me to up my game lol.

What are your current projects? 

Clint and I are four books into the Superi series. He’s recently asked me to take another look at Reborn. We’ve learned so much, and have come so far, that we want Reborn to be the equal of those that have followed. In addition, we are in the beginning stages of writing the last book of the series. As for my poetry, I’ve started a new journal, and I suppose eventually they will find themselves in a published collection.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. 

Ben Taylor, my nearest and dearest friend. He’s a swift kick in the rear when I need it. He’s my safe harbor when I’m wounded. He makes sure that I never lose sight of what matters. He knows that writing is as much a part of me as breathing, and though it sometimes makes me an absentee friend, he loves me anyway. We are kindred spirits, he and I.

Do you see writing as a career? 

Yes and no. There may come a time when my published works will be enough, but as I’ve told Clint, I think I want to go back to school when Superi is complete. I need…something. I’m just not sure yet what that is.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 

If I had been Superi’s creator the series would have been completely different, but that’s not to say it would have been better.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 

Truth? I’m different than those I grew up with. My family thought it strange that I kept my nose buried in books, and that I was never far from pen and paper. I was told that such things were a waste of time, and that people “like us” didn’t become authors. That my dream was unrealistic and held only disappointment. I started writing because I needed an outlet for all the things I couldn’t say.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

 Thanks to Crystal Thurmon, we have some amazing teasers to share. I’d be happy to show them to you.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

 Yes. I love the Superi series, but I will admit that I miss writing for myself. Over time, the restrictions that come from writing for someone else begins to chafe, and it has its effect on the work.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? 

Terry Goodkind, and as I’ve said before, his writing fundamentally changes who you are. He is a true inspiration.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? 

No. Clint knows I prefer to hide behind my computer. He can be the face of Superi. He’s prettier than I am lol.

Who designed the covers? 

Tony Camehl

What was the hardest part of writing your book? 

With Superi, it was the fact that it was someone else’s story. With the poetry collections…Armour is religious, and we all know how touchy that subject can be, and as for Twisted, well, revealing secrets is never easy.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

 That there is a cost to what we do, and that we seldom see the price we’ve paid until the debt has already been collected.

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Be strong enough to bend without breaking. Be smart enough to recognize your ignorance. Know that you will fail before you succeed, and that you will fall countless times before you rise up as the writer you were meant to be.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

 I am quiet, and yet you’ve heard me anyway... for that alone I love you all!

Teaser for book 4

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