Publication date: July 31st 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
An Epilogue NovellaAt last, Elea and Rowan are settling in to their new lives. Trouble is, Rowan is spending a lot of time cleaning up messes from his childhood. And considering the nightmare that was his mother, those are some ugly messes indeed. In fact, the experience is enough to make Rowan vow that he never wants children of his own.Oops.BEHOLDER
The Cover Contessa Interviews Author Christina Bauer!
Christina Bauer is the author of more than a dozen books that combine fantasy, romance, and kickass chicks. We caught up with her on her launch tour for CRADLED, the new epilogue novella for her Beholder Series.
1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
I pretty much always wanted to be a storyteller. Even in first grade, I’d just stand up in class and start telling things I made up. The nuns loved that, by the way!
Over time, I got sick of hearing people tell me it was impossible to make a living as writer, so I began lying and saying I wanted to be a nurse. Everyone seemed almost creepily happy with that change, so I secretly decided I wanted to write stories about chicks who kick ass in battle.
2. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
It’s changed over time. When I first started writing, it took me two years to finish a 40,000 book. Now, I can do a 90,000 book in three months. The more I write, the more I can write, if that makes sense.
3. How do you come up with themes for your stories?
I go through short periods of time where I brainstorm a bunch of ideas and create inspiration boards for them on Pinterest. Then I wait. Some take a while to percolate. Others sort of raise their hand and say I’m ready now! When that happens, I take the Pinterest boards out of stealth mode and get to work. I have about five or six ideas in my secret Pinterest queue right now, in addition to my four active series: Dimension Drift, Magicorum, Angelbound, and Beholder.
4. Do you have a schedule of when you write?
I still have my day job, so I wake up at 5AM every day and write. My husband and son give me writing time on weekends as well. I’m not going to lie; it’s a lot of work. But it’s also incredibly satisfying to bring these worlds to life.
5. How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
Not sure I do a super-awesome job, actually. I can get really caught up in my mental worlds so that even if I’m beside you physically, my mind is off planning dragon lore or whatever. It’s something that I have to keep an open dialogue about with my family and friends. Otherwise, I’ll just disappear into my head, which isn’t really a great choice over the long haul.
6. What elements do you think make a great story line?
Personally, I enjoy stories with lots of action and feels. I also follow the Save the Cat model by Blake Snyder. It’s actually a format for writing movie scripts, but I think it works well for novels too. I don’t always follow this format, but I find that for me, it’s good to have some rules. Then I can make smarter choices about when to break them.
7. What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Early on in my career, I was writing nine chapters for every one I kept, so at that point, the hardest part was being patient. Now fifteen-plus books later, I write much more cleanly. Now, the hardest thing is digging deep into my soul and putting that on the page. I believe readers know when you’re really opening up and that’s just hard to do, period.
8. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
CRADLED marks my seventeenth published book and my fourth major series. Picking a favorite book is like choosing a favorite child. Not possible!
9. Do you have a favorite character?
Well, since I don’t have a favorite books or characters, I will say this: I just love writing in the voice of Myla from Angelbound. Being inside her head is simply too much fun. When I don’t do it for a while, I always find a way to go back.
10. Where do you write?
I spend an awful lot of time in Starbucks or on my favorite spot on the living room couch. Most recently, Monster House Books has gotten new office space so I’ve also been there quite a lot.
11. When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
In the end, I’m too much of a control freak to be satisfied with a traditional publishing model. I’ve been really happy with founding my own publishing company, Monster House Books. Our team of authors, editors and support staff are second to none!
12. Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
I used to discuss my writing all the time, but now I leave it alone and just try to be very present in the space where I’m at, whether it’s with a friend, family member, or coworker. My world building is pretty intense and can quickly overwhelm others, so I save that part of myself to share with folks like you.
13. What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I enjoy reading, going to the movies, and spending time with my family.
14. What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Here’s my advice: in the beginning, you’re going to suck. Hard. Everyone does. Honestly. Even Shakespeare was a literary pile of dung when he started out. Stick with it, work hard, and it will pay off in the end. The stories in your mind can only be brought to life by your pen. Respect that.
15. What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?
JRR Tolkien is my all time favorite author. His Lord of the Rings series helped me survive being a teenager, giving me a light break from some pretty harsh realities. Today I hope my work can do that for others as well.
16. Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?
The team at Monster House Books is very collaborative. We have a set process of outlining, drafting and so on. It’s a very supportive and creative environment…LOVE!
17. Are you working on anything now?
Right now, I’m working on THE DARK LANDS, which is another adventure for Myla and Lincoln from the Angelbound Origins series. After that, I do some more work on my Dimension Drift books, which are an adventure that’s set in a dystopian future. I’ve got another Angelbound Offspring book in the works called ZINNIA (due 2019) which focuses on Myla and Lincoln’s grandchildren. And finally, there’s Book Two of my Fairy Tales of the Magicorum Series which releases this fall. It’s called SHIFTERS AND GLYPHS, and it’s got ancient Egypt and pyramids in the mix. Fun!
18. Tell us 5 things that make you smile
1 - my son, 2 – my husband, 3 – chocolate mochas, 4 – chocolate shakes (seeing a pattern here), 5 – finished manuscripts
19. Tell us 5 things that make you sad
1 – negative reviews, 2 – type-os, 3 – man colds, 4 – boy colds, 5 – mom colds (lo! another trend!)
20. If you could travel anywhere in the world to visit a place so you could use it as a background for a book, where would it be?
I’d like to visit Bali because here’s how it would work in my fantasy travel scenario: the flight would be like twenty minutes long and I could stay in a 5-star hotel for free. I’d figure out the book part later. Bali!
Thanks for asking me to participate in this interview—it was a TON of fun and I hope to chat again during my next book launch!
Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
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