Welcome back to Monday!
Glad to have you here for another Author Interview!
We're still focusing on Kindle Vella authors - the people who write episode after episode, tirelessly, telling you stories in little bite-sized pieces!
Today I have Christina Wallace dropping in.
Christina has been telling stories through writing since grade school. What once started as a mere hobby to entertain her friends with short “movie scripts” turned into a passion to share her vision with the world. In her early days of writing, Christina focused on the mere moments available to her, a few minutes between classes, during a break at work, or even scribbling
notes on receipt paper while on the run. She served six years on active duty in the US Navy, but never lost her passion for writing. After leaving active duty and marrying in 2012, she was introduced to NaNoWriMo and began pursuing writing as more than a hobby. In 2017, she enrolled in the Institute for Children's Literature, graduating from the the beginner and advanced courses. Her novel, The Light Keeper was accepted for publication by Starry Ink Press in September 2021. She also manages three stories on Kindle Vella. In her home life, Christina lives in Florida with her husband, two children, and a dog. Christina's lifelong dream is to see a story she has written adapted on the big screen, and she hopes more than anything to one day become a household name.
Wesbite: http://Authorcwallace.com (subscribe to her blog and get a free chapter of The Light Keeper!)
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
· As a stay-at-home-mom and homeschool parent, my schedule can get hectic. I set aside two hours for myself every morning, and most days I’m also able to edit in the afternoons for a couple of hours.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
· I get a lot of my ideas from things I see online. My current series was inspired by a writing prompt. Another series was inspired by the faerie items I collected. Even just today, someone asked a question in one of the writer’s groups and a monologue went off in my head for a main character, so I had to jot that down as another story to write.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
· I have always had a love of gaming. My dad raised me playing first person shooters, right now I’m playing through the Mass Effect trilogy, I’m on the third game, but I love the story line. I’m also obsessed with Uncharted and the new Tomb Raider games. When I’m not gaming, I’m also interested in crafting, baking, and cake decorating.
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
· It’s tough to say, especially if you include short stories. If we’re going on books over 50,000 words, I’ve written four all the way through. Although, I only have one ready for publication.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
· For the most part, it energizes me. There are some scenes I get so deeply into I don’t even feel time passing by. Before I know it, a couple hours will have gone by and I’ll sometimes have over 4,000 new words written out. Editing, exhausts me. Sometimes I’ll be stuck working on one sentence and feel as though I’ve wasted my hour.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
· Sound. I’m jealous of everyone who can just break out the headphones, turn on a playlist, and write anywhere. I can’t. The slightest intrusion disrupts my flow. I need to be able “hear” my characters as I let the scene unfold in my mind. So, if my husband is on the phone or my kids are yelling in the background, I can hardly get a word or two down.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
· I thought about it especially because I write in a couple of different genres. I thought it might be easier if my romance books were one name while my middle grade and YA books were under another. But then I’d have to launch all new social media for the new name and it becomes very tedious. Instead, for younger audiences I go with my full name, and for my content aimed towards adults, I shorted my first name to my initial.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
· While I understand writing to market, that just isn’t me. My ideas are my own. I don’t care if fairies are in or out. If my idea is centered around faeries it what I’m going to write and publish when its ready. Sometimes there is benefit in waiting to publish until a story is “on trend,” but then it runs the risk of getting lost in the hundreds of stories just like it. If I have one in a handful of stories like mine, I have a better chance of standing out, I have the chance of starting the trend. Write what drives you, otherwise it just becomes a job like any other.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you building a body of work with connections between each book?
· Most of my books end up as a series. They don’t usually begin that way, but as I near the end I often realize the characters have another story they want to tell. And yes, you’ll often hear me refer to my characters telling me things. I’m just the writer, its their stories. I do have a couple of stand-alones. And for my current series, I’ve worked on establishing a small universe around it.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
· Your book will never be perfect and beta readers are your friends.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
· I hired a developmental editor and it gave me so much to think about. The process was expensive, but I would absolutely do it again.
What did you do with your first advance?
· I went out to dinner to celebrate the signing of my contract. The rest was wasted on non-sense, but it was really important to me to go big with that first payment.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
· Gosh, just this year I wrote 4 entirely different versions of the same book. I have at least six, although I’m sure I’m forgetting a couple, but those are the ones I’m working right now. Plus I’m plotting a Christmas book for this fall and another story for an anthology coming out in two years, but I haven’t begun those yet.
What do you have coming next?
· My middle-grade Urban Fantasy novel, first in series, debuts May 30, 2023.
· The story focuses on Isaac, who finds a chest in his attic. Inside are balls made of glass with a name inscribed upon them, each with a faerie bearing that name trapped inside. The faeries will perform any three tasks of his choosing if he releases them. Soon, strange happenings occur around the time and the truth is revealed to Isaac, he is a Light Keeper, descendant on an ancient line, and it is up to him to stop the faeries from taking over.
SPECIAL BONUS! Excerpt from Chapter 12 of The Light Keeper!
The Light Keeper - Chapter 12: Going on a Faerie Hunt A tiny figure, no larger than a big bug, appeared to be walking towards me on the log. I sighed with relief; the troll was small. I was about to reach into my bag for the glass when the figure began to grow. In no time at all, the troll grew from the size of a praying mantis to a burly figure about four-feet tall. Like Kearney, this troll was covered in hair and smelled of mildew and rot. He did have a necklace of bones, but many were too large to belong to a pixie. Orvin also had a man's watch on his wrist and several ladies' necklaces to accompany his trophies. "Who dares cross my bridge?" The troll growled, his breath foul like rotten eggs wafted over me with each word. "Don't tell him your name," Yara ordered into my mind. "Who wants to know?" I countered. Orvin narrowed his eyes and took a step towards me. The log creaked as though it might give under his weight. "This is my bridge. You will pay the toll." I didn't want to look at Yara, just in case he might target her after me, but I didn't know what to do. I tried to pretend as if I had been doing this for years. Maybe, if I acted confident enough, Orvin would back down, and then I could capture him. Instead of backing up, I took two more steps forward, closing the distance between Orvin and me. "Orvin the troll, I have no intention to pay anything." Orvin's eyes seemed to glow with rage upon hearing his name. The pit in my stomach grew. I wanted to run. I could just jump in the water and run back upstream. Yara was safely hidden, and she could always catch up with me. Orvin reached behind his back and pulled a large and thick branch over his shoulder. My heart began to race. The troll had a weapon, and I had none. My bag contained only emergency items and the glass. How was I supposed to fight? How was I supposed to take charge of his magic?