futuristic & fantasy romance,
with a touch of paranormal
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK. They know me here...
Monday, April 4, 2011
GUEST AUTHOR: Christina Phillips
Fellow Berkley author, Christina Phillips, joins me today to share her love for ancient historical romance.
Let's begin by finding out a little bit about her...
Christina Phillips has always loved writing, and while her efforts in eighth grade usually involved space ships, time travel and unfortunate endings, as soon as she discovered romance novels a whole new world opened up.
She now writes ancient historical romances about strong heroines and gorgeous warrior heroes who, no matter how torturous the journey, are guaranteed a happy-ever-after. Christina was born in the United Kingdom, but now lives in sunny Western Australia with her real-life hero and their three children.
Christina is represented by Emmanuelle Morgen of Judith Ehlrich Literary Management.
Christina, welcome back to my blog (she visited last August)!
It's great to have you here and I'm looking forward to hearing more about CAPTIVE! It's a great book (I read it in a day!)
So, tell us when did you start to write and how long did it take you to be published?At school I loved nothing better than to write tragic stories that involved time travel to ancient Rome or the fascinating Pharaohs in Egypt, but it never occurred to me to write a historical romance with the aim of publication.
And so for ten years, after moving to Australia from the UK at the end of 1998, I wrote contemporary romances, first aimed at Harlequin Mills and Boon—where I received huge encouragement and revision requests from editors but never the elusive contract—and then, when I realized my secondary characters were desperate for more page-time, single title.
But although, once again, I received positive feedback from agents something was still missing. As an experiment (and because my awesome CPs insisted!!) I wrote a dark paranormal erotic romance.
Within a week of submitting it to The Wild Rose Press I was offered a contract. This boosted my self-confidence no end, and after my second novelette was accepted by them a sexy Roman Centurion marched into my imagination and refused to leave.
At first I thought this was the idea for my third novelette but within days realized I was totally wrong about that! And so I wrote FORBIDDEN, a full length erotic ancient historical romance with a fantasy element and despite the setting, the time period (AD 50) and the protagonists (Roman and Druids) it hooked my agent’s interest and three months later sold to Berkley Heat.
Are you a panster or plotter? Is it your characters or your plot that influence you most? What's your writing process from start to finish when writing a book?
Before I start writing I spend time thinking about and getting to know my hero and heroine’s background. I don’t discover everything about them before I start their book but I need to know the major events that have occurred in their lives before they reached this point.
I also have a vague road map in mind—a few crucial turning points in the plot of the story but I rarely have any idea how my hero and heroine will a) reach those turning points or b) how on earth they’ll resolve them when they do.
So as far that goes, I wing it. I can’t write out of sequence, either, since my characters dictate exactly how events unfold, and until each scene is done I’m not at all sure what’s going to happen next. This means that often my original vision of what’s going to happen changes, but since my characters drive the plot I’ve come to expect that.
I also edit and polish as I go. I’ve tried writing other ways but they don’t work for me, so I now accept that if a single sentence takes me twenty minutes to write before I’m happy with it, then that’s just the way it is!
Can you tell us about CAPTIVE, your new release?
CAPTIVE is my second ancient historical romance set in my Roman/Druid world, and begins six months after FORBIDDEN ends.
The heroine, Morwyn, is not only recovering from the realization that the man she once loved brutally betrayed his own people, but has also turned her back on her Druidic heritage. She sets off to join the rebels fighting the Roman invaders but is ambushed and captured by a tough Gaul mercenary.
The hero, Bren, is haunted by his violent past and far from being Morwyn’s bitterest enemy as she imagines, has been undercover in the Roman Legions for the last three years. The problem is he can’t tell Morwyn the truth, because the truth could get them both killed.
What’s the most unusual book you've read that’s made a lasting impression on you?
Jean M Auel’s CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR. I first read it when I was a teenager and it completely blew me away. I love the world building and even to this day I find it hard to convince myself that Neanderthals weren’t driven to extinction because of the way their brains had to adapt in order to accommodate new ideas.
Do you have a pet that keeps you company when you write? If so, write about him or her. Has your pet taught you anything about writing? If so, what?
I often baby(kitty)-sit my daughter’s two kittens. They are completely adorable and very distracting! They’ll often wander into my study when I’m working and either knock over all my photo frames or play tag with each other with anything they can find. Then they might decide to have a nap on my desk, stretched out over my notes and diary. I feel very mean when I have to wriggle out bits of paper from underneath them and disturb them!
Christina, thank you for joining me today. I learn a little bit more about you or your books every time you visit. Now for some extra fun!
Christina has a give-away of CAPTIVE (for locals - Australia only) or a $10 Amazon gift card (for everyone else).If you'd like to go into the draw for the give-away, share with us something about your pet by 12 noon (AEST), Friday 8th April 2011.