Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Author Interview: Christine Schulze

Hey everyone!

Meet Christine Schulze! She is the author of many books but today we're going to learn a bit more about her newest book, Bloodmaiden.

For a full listing of Christine's books click here.

Here's a description of Bloodmaiden:
 Vale. Gauthier. Varden. These three dynasties... 

They all sound like something out of an ancient, oriental myth or fairy tale. The concept of humans and dragons helping and living in harmony with one another, without fear. To me, that's exactly what they are. A distant dream only read of, whispered secretly, quietly yearned for. 
For, you see, I am the new Quelda of Tynan.
 These words echo the mystery, horror, and romance found within Schulze's fantasy novel. Along with her new husband, Chalom, Crislin must choose to embrace cruel tradition, run from it, or stand against it. The young couple's only hope is to rally the help of the three peaceful dragon dynasties of Sulaimon-but tradition is not on their side, even outside the realm of Tynan. The dragons outside Tynan's borders have been rumored as too stubborn and proud to believe their Tynanian brothers would commit such horrors as inflicted upon the Quelda. Gaining their aid is not a likely hope. Yet, any hope at all is valued in Tynan...
 If they are to stand a chance of bringing cruel tradition to a permanent end, Crisilin and Chalom must brave the constant, consuming blizzards of the Ever-white. They must brave the three dynasties and the challenges awaiting there. Together, they must convince the dragon emperors to allow them access to the shrines which house the sacred Aria - protective strands of music which may be able to disperse the evil from Tynan and unite the four dynasties of Sulaimon as a whole once again. Their only aid stems from a sprite whose moods are as unstable as her magic, a young minstrel, and a mysterious fox. Despite the odds, such plans are daring, dangerous, unprecedented, but fully possible - if they can escape the Wall first.


1.) Describe your book in 3 words

(Ah! So, I recently participated in an interview where the girl asked me to describe the book in five words. That didn’t happen, and this certainly isn’t happening either. Sorry to cheat on the first question, but the following is Bloodmaiden’s tagline and works brilliantly!):

Four Aria. Four Dynasties. One brilliant quest.

2.) How did you first get the idea for your novel?

Well, it was a number of things, really. It sort of began with an inspiration for a photo shoot I had and thus accomplished with a best friend of mine; yes, that is me on the cover. The concepts and moods of the photos helped paint some of the scene. I believe I was also taking or else had taken a fiction writing class in college and wanted to write a book that focused not just on the story and characters, but on the language and the tone set from that language.

At the same time, I wanted to do something with dragons. I’m not really a dragon fan at all when it comes to fantasy. However, while I love creating my own fantasy races and creatures, I also love taking those already in existence and placing my own, unique spin upon them. I’d done vampires, werewolves, fairies, elves, banshees, genies, you name it—but not dragons. After doing a bit of research online about different types of dragons and using that as groundwork to create my own four dragon dynasties, I set to work.

So, in reality, I sort of combined ideas for two books into one, something I’m actually quite fond of doing. More often than not, it makes the stories more complex and intricate, which in turn makes them more unique and interesting, which in turn makes for both happy readers and a happy author. ^_^

3.) Which of your characters do you most relate to?

I would have to say Crisilin, hands-down, if only because her character is one of many partly based upon myself. They say that authors put a little of themselves into each of their characters; this is likely true. Two other characters in the book are Pan and Brydon, which have a mysterious and intriguing side story going on which I won’t spoil. However, Pan reflects the deep pain I’ve felt in relationships, while I have felt the sting of Brydon’s sorrow as well.

However, as I said, I most relate to Crisilin. One reviewer of Bloodmaiden, Kate from The Book Buff, says:

“You are right there with her, you don't totally know what is going on, but that helps you feel more in the moment.  Speaking of Crisilin, I just love her.  She is so sweetly innocent, and unabashedly so.  She is self aware, she knows she's naive in many things, and that's how she likes it.”

Though there are other aspects to my character—and Crisilin’s as well—I do incorporate my own innocence, naivety, and self-awareness into her character; though I may not claim to be as sweet as she...

4.) If you could go anywhere in the world to write, where would you go?

New Zealand! It’s so beautiful, plus I always have had a thing for traveling there since Lord of the Rings was filmed there—at least in part, I can’t remember how much of the movies they shot there. At any rate, who knows? Might see some hobbits while visiting; that would prove quite the inspiration...

5.) What is the hardest challenge about being an author?

Getting known! I have come to learn that it’s easy to write a good book—for me, at least; then again, I’ve been doing so since I was around four years old—and even fairly easy to get published. But gaining a name for yourself—promotion—that’s the toughie. There’s lots of great books out there, so it’s hard to get readers interested in your own book; why should they read it above others? Personally, I’ve been told I am a great writer with very unique fantasy reads with rich imagery in my books; however, spreading the word to other readers can be difficult!

However, I encourage all writers to have patience and persevere. The more you write, the better you get with each book, so work hard to present your best to the world. Patience is killer, but I’m slowly, steadily learning it.

6.) If you could be any of your characters for a day who would you be and why?
 
This is probably THE most awful question because I have SO many characters. I do have several characters crafted partially after myself: Crisilin from Bloodmaiden; Elizabeth from The Legends of Surprisers series; Chrystine from Golden Healer, Dark Enchantress; Chasmira from The Hero Chronicles, etc. I honestly don’t know if I would choose one of those as a character to act as.

Perhaps one I might choose is Tiffany from The Hero Chronicles. She is a story-traveler, something I used to pretend as a child and still do on occasion, traveling into the worlds of various books and aiding the characters on their quest. She is involved with Dristann in the side story of The Hero Chronicles; it is partially a forbidden sort of romance, partly connected to what is going on with the main plot—and one of the main villians. I was inspired to write Dristann’s character from Harry Potter’s Draco Malfoy. Dristann is a deep, dark character but one with a rich soul; he harbors many secrets and feels forced to serve a side he wants no part of. However, his story—and its outcome—are quite different than Draco’s. Perhaps if Draco had someone to guide him as Dristann has Tiffany, his story too could have ended on a happier note...

7.) Have you ever faced writer’s block, if so what did you do to overcome it?

Generally, no; I know so many writers who suffer from writer’s block. However, God seems to have truly blessed me. Often, when a new story comes to me, it comes to me rather quickly in full. Sometimes I have to sit down and brainstorm for how a certain scene will turn out or how I want two different ideas to connect in a story. For the most part though, writing is as natural as breathing to me. Thank God for that; I’ve currently written over thirty books and still counting and hope for all to be published someday!

8.) If you had to spend $10,000 in one day what would you buy?

Honestly? I’d probably save a lot; lol, maybe that sounds lame, but I am a cautious person when it comes to finances. Although, if I HAD to spend it, I would probably do all I could to promote my books in that one day that was possible! $10,000 might really help in getting a poor author’s name out there...

9.) What is the best part about being an author other than writing for a living?

Lol, so, to answer this honestly, I suppose I would actually have to first be able to actually write for a living—which I would love to do, but one has to get known first, eh?

Even if I never got paid though, I would write. When God inspires me to write a new book or story, I MUST write. It literally wants to explode from me; I’m actually quite cranky if I can’t get my new ideas down fairly quickly. I revel in creating unique worlds and peoples, intricate plots, deep characters, and intriguing side stories. Lately, I also love focusing not only on the story and characters but on the language as well, playing around with different writing styles; I’ve always been good at creating rich imagery though, transferring what I see in my mind, like a cinematic scene, onto the page.

In short, I love everything about writing. As far as writing to make a living though, the one thing I can say I would truly love about that is if someone decided to make a movie from one of my books, especially Bloodmaiden; it’s teeming with suspense, tension, beautiful imagery, and so many other qualities which could make for an awesome film.

10.) Mac or PC?

I’ve actually never used a Mac, so I’ll have to go with PC. Though, I am never opposed to trying new things. ^_^

***

Thanks Christine!

For all you fantasy lovers out there be sure to check out Christine's books! 

-M.

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