Project Wonderful

Monday, February 2, 2009

Interview With Author Christine Norris

I had the pleasure to do an interview with author Christine Norris author of Tailsman of Zandria, Return to Zandria and The Crown of Zeus. Today is the last day for the giveaway of a signed copy of her book Crown of Zeus so if you would like a chance to win the book leave a comment here.

What are your favorite books to read and/or authors?
I love what I write - YA and MG fantasy. I don't have tons of time to read outside of books for my college classes right now, but I do have a pretty big TBR pile. Some of my favorites are Tolkien, JK Rowling (of course, I'm a total Potterphile. I admit it) and Tamora Pierce (who is a first-class lady!) I've discovered some new authors too, and I just read Jim Hines' Stepsister Scheme, which is really fun. I'm waiting for the next in that series. I also ADORE James Owen's Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series. I buy those in hardcover and put them next to my Harry Potters. They are awesome. I'm waiting for Lisa Mantchev's Eyes Like Stars and Cyn Balog's Fairy Tale, which should be out this year. I read all the time, I always have a book with me. If I could afford a portable ebook reader, like a Kindle or a Sony, I'd have one, so I could carry hundreds of books with me.

Can you tell me little about what got you started in writing?
That's an interesting story. It was late summer 2001, before 9/11, when I finally caught up to the Harry Potter craze. I read the first three or four books like a starving person eats a meal. I loved them, but more than that it was JKR's story, which everyone knows now. I had always had this thought in my head that to be a writer and be published you had to go to school for it. But here was this woman, desperately poor, scribbling in a cafe. If she could do it, why couldn't I? I started on Talisman of Zandria in early September of that year, and finished it in mid-2004. I didn't write continuously for those three years though.

Do you have a routine with when you write?

Not really. My life is so crazy, I have to be flexible. In the summer, when there's no school, I do drop into more of a routine. But most of the time it's just fit it in wherever. As far as writing the story itself, I used to just have an idea and go with it. But I've become a bit more organized now, and I do more plotting before I write, take lots of notes. Saves time and energy in the end, and I can fit notewriting into the crevices of time that show up in my day.

Do you have any tips for a writer starting out?

Read. Read a lot. Enjoy what you read, but also really pick it apart. See what works, what doesn't. Write, even if it's just journal articles. Practice writing. Don't be afraid to try different things. There IS no right and wrong when it's just you writing it, so do something and if it doesn't work, take it out. Don't be afraid to write crap - everyone writes crap, but readers never see it. Do your homework when it comes to agents and publishers. There are a lot of people out there who want to take advantage of new writers, playing on their hopes.

We have a giveaway going on with you book The Crown of Zeus which is the first book in the Library of Athena series. Can you tell us anything about the upcoming books in the series?

When I know, you'll know. LOL. The next book will be out in paperback in late May - The Ankh of Isis. The books are sort of like urban fantasy with mythological elements, I guess. It's hard to classify them. But the next book uses Egyptian myths. The book I'm working on now takes the main character back to Ancient China. I PLAN to make the fourth book Celtic myths. The final book - well, I can't say. :) It's going to be fun.

Where did the idea come from to write the series?
At this point I don't remember - I thought of it five years ago. I think I wanted something different, outside the normal High Fantasy story. I had the idea of the magic library first, then everything else sort of came up later.

Do you have a favorite part in the books?
There are so many little bits that amuse me. Megan is the main character, but all her friends have so many little quips and great lines. I like when Megan and Rachel fly on the back of Pegasus - that was fun, and the Labyrinth. I can't choose a favorite part.

What is your favorite mythological creature?
I'm such a girl. Pegasus, unicorns, dragons are all cool with me. I'm not big on monsters. No Minotaurs or Gorgons at my party, please :).

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