Joining us today is Christine Schulze, author of Bloodmaiden. Her collection of YA fantasy books, The Amielian Legacy, is comprised of series and stand-alone books which can all be read separately but which weave together to create an amazing fantasy.
Christine has published several stories with Calliope and Kalkion magazines and is an active member of the WE book online writing community. She has also published several Christian/fantasy books which are available at various online retailers, as well as publishing several eBooks via Writers-Exchange.
Her latest and most exciting venture includes her publications with Old Line Publishing: Bloodmaiden and Tears of a Vampire Prince: the First Krystine. She also anticipates her upcoming publication with Old Line, Lily in the Snow, as well as releasing The Chronicles of the Mira with Writers-Exchange in both paperback and electronic forms.
Christine currently lives in Belleville, Illinois.
Welcome to The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection, Christine. It’s wonderful to have you here. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
First of all, thank you very much for having me; I am delighted to take part in this interview!
Well, that’s one thing about me: I love interviews. As well as blog posts, character interviews, in short, anything to do with my books. That is because, ever since I was a small child, I’ve loved my books, both creating them and sharing them with friends, hoping to someday share them with the world.
I also love composing music for my books, photography, singing, playing piano, playing video games (okay, well, mostly games in The Legend of Zelda series), and hanging out with friends, especially my best friend and sweetheart, Jonny.
Oh, and as all authors, I’m full of quirks. I hardly ever write a book in order from chapter one to the end, I’m allergic to milk and sugar, I love to name everything (especially Kiwi, my favorite teacher’s car), and I am a bit of a stalker when pursuing a new “character” of mine (hence my knowing what my favorite teacher’s car looks like).
When did you begin writing?
I’ve actually been writing since I was around four. The first books I created were just full of illustrations telling the story. However, my first book with both pictures and words came when I was a flower girl in a wedding and the bride requested one of my books as a wedding gift. Thus, Jonny to the Rescue was born. It would spark the inspiration for my now-published series, The Legends of Surprisers (and, interestingly enough, Jonny turned out to be the name of my soul mate).
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I write whenever I am inspired. Of course, this is rather difficult when one is still at one’s day job–and very annoying. I am actually very cranky when I have a wonderful idea until I am able to get home and jot it down.
What is this book about?
Bloodmaiden is both fantasy and adventure, sweet romance and horror, humor and suspense. It tells the story of a young couple, Crisilin and Chalom, who must defy all odds–and a horrible tradition–to save their dynasty of Tynan, and thus all Sulaimon. Sulaimon is divided into four dynasties ruled by dragons who are meant to protect the human races living beside them. But something has gone terribly wrong in Tynan, and only the Aria, protective strains of an ancient song created by guardian fairies, can save Tynan. If, of course, Crisilin and Chalom can find all the parts of the Aria first.
What inspired you to write it?
Bloodmaiden came about through a variety of factors. First off, I was taking my first fiction class in college, and this spurred me to focus not just on the characters and plot, but more heavily on the writing of a book. The opening chapters of Bloodmaiden are full of rich, metaphorical imagery. They are also in first person, present tense, to make the readers really feel like they are “there”.
Secondly, Jonny and I had done a photo shoot on myself in a red gown and cape; I always forget if the ideas for the book or photos came first, but doing the photo shoot really helped set the mood for Bloodmaiden. The photos can be seen on my blog and in a trailer I made for Bloodmaiden on Youtube, which also includes music to accompany the book. Yes, I went all out for this one and still envision it one day–hopefully–breaching the big screen.
A final factor included the fact that, while I had done fairies, elves, unicorns, vampires, banshees, genies, you name it, I’d never done dragons. Maybe because I’d never really liked dragon books that much. So, determined to create a book with dragons that I myself would enjoy, the four dragon dynasties were created and grafted into the book.
Who is your biggest supporter?
If I may, my biggest supporter(s) are my Mumsie and my Jonny.
Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?
No, I am not. But I have wonderful friends, a wonderful and very critical sweetheart, and have always had the opportunity to work with and learn from wonderful editors.
Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?
Definitely planning on procuring an agent. I’m not actively seeking right now, but hope to be able to in the next year or so. Right now, I’m working on beefing up my writing resume.
If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?
No, because even my mistakes or hasty decisions have provided great learning experiences.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
Someday, I hope for Bloodmaiden, as well as all of my books, to be available in brick-and-mortar stores. Until then, readers can find my book on websites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, as well as the publisher’s site; http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/.
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
Yes. I always tell everyone to go to my page on Goodreads; not only do I have a blog there, but there are book reviews and I often host giveaways of my books.
I also have a blog readers should check out: http://www.thegoldenhealer.blogspot.com/.
Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?
Yes. Readers can find several on Youtube:
1. From Old Line Publishing
2. From Apex Reviews
3. Author-made (includes original music and artwork)
What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?
Honestly, probably this and other blog tours. A great way to get good reviews and publicity. My giveaways have also been great to garner interest from brand-new readers.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
Never give up! Whether you wish to share your work with the world like myself or just with family and friends, always be learning and perfecting your craft. God has given you a gift, so use it well.
What is up next for you?
Well, several exciting things actually. First off, a new YA fantasy release from Old Line Publishing, an anthology called Lily in the Snow and Other Elemental Tales, due out in October. Also, from Writers-Exchange, The Chronicles of the Mira, another YA Christian fantasy anthology due out sometime this year. In the meantime, I’m working on both a children’s book and a YA book for Book By You, a publisher specializing in personalized books. This is an exciting new venture for me, one that will get me closer to my ultimate goal of building up a professional writing resume to present to a literary agent, hopefully in the near future.
Thanks for spending time with us today, Christine. We wish you continued success.