Sunday, June 5, 2011

Christina St Clair - Author Interview & Book Review Plus a FREE Book Download

Emily's Shadow is a continuation of an Arthurian legend in the desperate aftermath of World War II. It is for young adults, and anyone who enjoys Merlin fantasies in a very English setting.

Emily, now that the war is almost over, yearns for an end to bloodshed. She longs for family, but not one that includes her new stepmother. Carol, though, is preferable to Vivienne, the medieval sorceress who vanquished Merlin. Emily can’t believe the ugly visions in her head, can’t believe a witch from a past century still exists and wants something from her, something far from peaceful…

What a great YA read this was. This book is such a page turner. The characters were well developed and the world in which they were placed was so well described and full of historic details. The pace and storyline were very enjoyable. This suspensful, World War II, is a recommended read for any reader (male or female) from YA+.

My Rating 5 stars!


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

First, I want to thank you, Melissa, for your passion and energy for books. I love your website. Your review of Emily's Shadow is a big help and encouragement to me.

About me: I was born and raised in London, England. After I quit school, I worked in a job I hated, doing animal research. I rescued three of the mice, quit the job, and set off to France where I met an American GI, fell in love and moved to the U.S.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My father passed away suddenly, and I had to go to England for his funeral. I'd been feeling as if my life lacked meaning, and heard Joseph Campbell say follow your bliss. What was mine, I wondered? I didn't know. But here I was in England, and to entertain my little nephews, I began telling them stories, and decided I'd try my hand at becoming a writer.

What surprised you the most about the writing/publishing process?

It was really hard to get published. Rejections used to lay me low and make me want to curl up in a ball and give up. There again, the thrill of inspired moments makes it worthwhile.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

Hmmm. Interesting question. I never use a formula. I begin with an idea and think about what it is I want to say and where I want the novel to go. Then I develop characters and let them take the story to its conclusion.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Good writing is a craft, and takes a lot of practice. It's important to revise, revise, revise.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sure. An essay about Mother God is being published in a spirituality journal, and I've got to get the revision completed. I'm beginning a collaboration of a women's fiction novel with my niece who is also a writer. I am finishing up the first draft of the sequel to Emily's Shadow which has already been accepted by Blood Moon Publishing.

In Twitter Fashion use140 characters or less, sum Emily's Shadow for us.

Emily's Shadow, set in England after WWII, is about the magic of family and the chaos of evil rising through the witch who tricked Merlin.

How did you come up with a story that was such a whirl wind of events?

The story grew. I searched for facts that lent themselves to an exploration of the evil of war and its aftermath. Creating page-turning chapters is a craft I've studied and tried to develop.

How long did it take you to write it, and did you have any writer’s block along the way?

It took years! Yes, I suffered from writer's block and many rejections that laid me low. I am stubborn, though, and refused to give up. Eventually, I honed down the manuscript, which began as three distinct sections, into one continuous story, alternating the witch with the main character. I also followed the advice of an editor I met at a writers' workshop who suggested I needed the first chapter to begin with the witch.

Will we be seeing a following book to this story?

I am excited to be writing the sequel, The Blue Caravan, set in Blackheath, London. Emily is older now, working as a bus conductress, and wants more out of life, but little knows what is about to ensue. This will be out in 2012, also by Blood Moon.

How did you come up with the character Emily?

Emily is in some ways me! She is struggling with the meaning of life, and is a pleaser who must integrate anger that she doesn't know she has repressed.

I always must ask, If you could pick one actor to portray Emily on the big screen who would it be and why?

I love this question! I always saw Emily's Shadow as a film!

I would love to have Samantha Morton take the role. She's so pretty and so smart, not to mention a fine actress who's been nominated for Oscars.

Was there anything you find particularly challenging when writing this book?

Creating fantasy that seemed real was difficult. I had to spend a lot of time getting to know the witch, but it was fun too, showing her gradually gaining power and becoming more and more evil.

What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your finished book?

I loved it! Not at all what I'd imagined, but awesome, especially with the tiny airplane, like a wasp, buzzing past the sorceress.

Thank you for everything! It was an awesome read and I know I have a few readers looking for just this kind of book. I will be sure to send them your way.

Thanks to you too. This was a fun interview and made me think!

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free illustrated book for children: Misty the London Pony

PDF download

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