Author of Middle Grade novels about friendship, family, and figuring out where you fit in.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Interview with author Christine Rains!

You guys are in for a treat today. I am happily hosting Christine Rains, author of the paranormal novella FEARLESS, which debuts tomorrow! If you know Christine and have heard of her book, you know how exciting this is. If you haven't, stay tuned -- you'll read all about it here!

Welcome, Christine!

It's great to have you here! Care to tell us a little about yourself?

Hi, Shelley! Thank you so much for having me. I'm a writer, blogger, and stay-at-home mom. I have one son, a clever and cute two-year-old who consumes most of my time. I'm a proud geek with an equally as geeky husband, and we live in a cozy house in southern Indiana.

It's always great to meet a fellow geek!

When did you first begin writing? Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

From the moment I could talk, I've been telling stories. The first story I remember writing was when I was seven. It was about our neighbors, my brother, and I outrunning a tornado on our bikes. Everyone loved it so much, I wrote binders full of short stories about the neighborhood kids over the next eight years. I still have them all.

Wow, eight years of short stories? It's great that you still have them all. I bet they're fun to go back and reread!

You have a book coming out called FEARLESS. I love the cover, and the premise sounds fantastic! (Monsters from children's imaginations? I'm already hooked and I haven't even read it yet!) For those who haven't heard of it, can you summarize your book?

Thank you! Abby White kills the monsters spawned by children's imaginations, and the number of creatures is on the rise. She and her guide - a stuffed hippo named Tawa - are trying to discover why when Abby rescues a gorgeous wild fae from a pack of monsters. Tempting as it is to become distracted by him, Abby must solve this mystery before one of the monsters kills her.

Love it. I've posted the cover at the bottom of this post -- blog friends, be sure to check it out!

How did you get the idea for FEARLESS?

I had originally written the story for the 2012 A to Z Challenge. I wanted to write something that had a lot of action and that was just plain fun. There's a commercial for these stuffed animals with nightlights in them that my son adores. In the ad, it says it helps alleviate your child's fear of the dark and what they imagine might be in it. I then thought: what if what your child imagines to be in the dark becomes real? Who would help the children when their parents didn't believe them? That's how Abby was created. She's what the monsters fear.

Ah, one more reason to love the A to Z Challenge: a wonderful story was born from it! The more I learn about FEARLESS, the more I'm dying to read it!

How did you come to the decision to self-publish? As a writer interested in self-publishing one day, I'd love to hear all the gory details. Any advice to other writers who might self-publish?

It was a hard decision. There's such an allure to traditional publishing. I still would love to be published by one of the big presses and see my book on the shelf at a store. I'm also horrible with the business side of being a writer. Yet my life has changed a lot over the past five years. I became a mother, and I decided to stay at home with my son. We have a routine, but nothing is ever certain with a toddler. Some days I get time to write, and sometimes I don't get a minute to myself. I didn't want to sign on with a publisher and not be able to make their deadlines.

I decided it was best to go the self-publishing route because then I could make my own deadlines. It has allowed me to be much more flexible with my schedule and given complete control over how I want to present my work. It's a lot more work, but I'm very excited about how things are going. The writing community has been highly encouraging and supportive. I also have my friend and critique partner, Cherie Reich, to thank for helping me along the way. Her experience has been invaluable.

I admire that you're so in tune with what you need right now. Everyone's publishing path is different, just as everybody's lives are different. Good for you for pursuing your novella. (Also, critique partners are beyond amazing, aren't they? I don't know where I'd be without mine!)

What are your plans once FEARLESS debuts?

I'm planning a "What was your childhood monster?" blogfest. I've always loved participating in blogfests and connecting with various writers. Plus, this is something fun and easy for everyone, and it will help to promote FEARLESS.

Ah, that sounds fun! I'd have to think about what my childhood monster is. I was afraid of so many things as a kid... (I was a bit of a Chuckie Finster, for anybody who's watched the show Rugrats.)

Are you working on any other novels?

I have two other projects in the works. The first is a paranormal romance novel called WITCH'S FIRST RULE. I've been revising it for a while, but hopefully by the end of the year, I can start to query publishers. My second project is a series of six urban fantasy/paranormal romance novels in the same vein as FEARLESS. The series is called THE 13th FLOOR, and I hope to reveal more about it in a month or so.

Both of those sound exciting! (You're really good with titles, you know that?) Best of luck with your future projects!

Our last question is just for fun. Since I write Middle Grade, I'd love to know what your favorite book was as a kid/preteen... or if you didn't read at that age, do you have a favorite kids' book as an adult?

I was reading Stephen King by the time I was ten. (He still remains one of my biggest influences.) Yet before then, I loved a collection of Middle Grade horror books called Twilight. (Nothing at all like Stephenie Meyer's series!) They were like Goosebumps, but a little more mature. One that stands out in memory is VICIOUS CIRCLE by Imogen Howe. I also owned most of the Nancy Drew books.

As an adult, the Harry Potter books have become my all-time favorite series. I swear, there's real magic in those pages.

Whoa, reading Stephen King at age ten! That would've given me too many nightmares. But go you! I can see how he'd be a great influence. And I agree... there's nothing quite as magical as the Harry Potter series.

Thanks so much for joining us, Christine! It's been so nice having you here.

FEARLESS is out tomorrow, my friends! Here's the official blurb:

Abby White was seven years old when she killed the monster under her bed. Now she slays creatures spawned by the fertile imaginations of children, and the number of these nightmares are on the rise. Neither she nor her guide - a stuffed hippo named Tawa - know why.

When she rescues Demetrius from an iron prison, he pledges his life to protect hers until he can return the favor. She doesn't want the help. And how can she concentrate on her job when the gorgeous wild fae throws himself in front of her during every fight? No matter how tempting, she can't take the time to lose herself to him.

To save the children and all she loves, Abby must be truly Fearless.

Check out Christine's blog at
Read More

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Shelley Was Here

Sometimes I take for granted what a nice neighborhood I live in. It's not a rich neighborhood by any means, but it's a cute, cozy suburban one. Also, it's perfect for walking and jogging, and I walk/jog around town daily. (Trying to work my way to jogging a 5K in September, but something tells me I'll only be walking that 5K.)

As nice as my town is, I don't know my neighbors too well. I do tend to notice which houses have kids, and which have expecting mothers (more than one on our block), mostly because I like to work with kids and always keep an eye out for babysitting opportunities on the side.

On my usual walk/jog last week, I passed by a house whose residents I didn't know. They must have had kids (or grandkids) though, because on the sidewalk in front of the house was a brontosaurus drawn with green chalk.

(FYI, the brontosaurus is -- and always has been -- my favorite dinosaur. T-Rex is overrated.)

I didn't know that children lived in or visited that home, but that chalk dinosaur practically shouted, "A child was here!"

It got me thinking... what objects or creations in my life would tell others, "Shelley was here"? Since this is a writing blog, some easy choices are my manuscripts, stories and song lyrics. But then there are smaller, more everyday things: my bulletin board of post-it reminders to myself; my colorful purse left carelessly on a kitchen chair; most obviously, the displayed photos of me with family, friends, and favorite celebrities.

They all say, "Shelley was here."

What things in your life let others know YOU were here?
Read More

© Shelley Sly, AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena