Sunday, November 18, 2012

Intwine by Christina Moss: Interview, Excerpt


Over the course of a summer, young Juliette Greenmoss discovers the secret and dangerous life of Seth Morrison, who happens to be visiting Earth from the other side of the galaxy. By the time the overwhelming details of Seth's world unfold and its dangers fall upon Juliette, it's too late -- she's already in love and there's no turning back!

Author, Christina Moss, delivers us from the microcosmic world of a teenage girl to a galactic level perspective -- and she does it with humor, adventure and style. You won't want to put it down, and you'll probably read it twice.

November 19 & 20 

Seth pointed to one of the large green holographic grids showing a large spiral galaxy. “It looks like the Milky Way.”

“Exactly. See the green light? That’s where we are. Over here on the other side of the galaxy is Artigun — the red light.

Now, if I turn the galaxy image so that we’re viewing it edge-on like this, you can see our flight path.” He hit some computer keys and the galaxy image moved so we had a side view — a
long expanse of stars with a glowing white center. “We’ll be flying up on a slight angle way above the galaxy. That way, we’re less influenced by the gravity of star systems. At that point we can jump to light speed, then we fly directly across, decelerate and descend over here to Artigun.”


“Now push that red button.” I did and a light flashed. “You’ve engaged the power source to the thrusters. Now flip that switch.”

Once I flipped it, the big screen in front of us changed. We were moving away from Earth. Seth adjusted the view so we were looking straight down. We quickly gained altitude and I watched as Los Angeles became mountains, then land surrounded by water.

“Look over there.” He pointed to the curve of the planet where it was still dark, and I could see streams of light inside of the atmosphere. It was beautiful. “That’s a meteor shower.”

I watched in amazement for a few seconds, but then I saw an overwhelming sight — the blue and white marble-sized Earth, home to mankind, rapidly dwindled into the distance, and we were flying through outer space.


Welcome Christine! I am so happy for this chance to chat and learn more about you.  Thanks so much for stopping by! Who is your favorite author?


There have been so many amazing authors down through the centuries.  My favorite contemporary author, and the one I admiration most, is Suzanne Collins.  I love her ability to paint with words.  I also love her choice of topics.  My son got me to read Hunger Games, and I was really struck by her vivid writing style, and of course, the political message. 


What political message did you get out of Hunger Games?


I think the idea of a cataclysmic event, or series of them, resulting in the birth of an oppressive government, is within the realm of possibility.  I imagine that a completely devastated population would be very easy to enslave.  Hunger Games is a novelization of a possible reality — it’s not a fantasy series.  Sure, vampires and zombies are really fun, and some of the stories are creative fantasy at its best, but it’s not real and it’s never ever going to happen.  Hunger Games, on the other hand, is possible, so it makes people think.  It’s important to get people thinking about “what ifs,” and “how would I deal with that,” and even better, “how can that be prevented?”


On the lighter side, Collins’ ability to dream up something fresh and awesome and then communicate it in a way that touches the reality of massive amounts of people all over the world is something to which any author aspires.


But speaking of favorite authors, I love many of the classic authors but there are two I want to mention.  Ernest Hemingway and Jane Austin.  Hemingway wrote in a way that conveys very distinct moods.  It amazes me how he managed to do that.  And Jane Austin, makes it easy to understand and step into a world that existed hundreds of years ago.  Austin’s world was so different from our own, but at the same time she shows us that people are people, regardless of what century they lived in.  All of these humans who have lived through all of these centuries, when it comes right down to it, were just like you and I, except the time frame and environment are different.  Of course, Shakespeare did this very well too, and his writing goes back 400 years!  The works of these authors are great accomplishments which is why they have stood the test of time. 


When do you write?


Usually in the morning, when it’s quiet.  I turn off my phone, close my office door and write for four hours.  My writing time is sacred to me — when I’m doing it I don’t do anything else and I don’t let anything distract me.  The phone gets turned off, I don’t tweet, or Facebook, or check book sale statistics, or read fan mail.  My husband respects my writing time and doesn’t interrupt me.  Sometimes he forgets and pops his head in to ask me a question, then he’s like, “Oh, you’re writing.  Sorry.”  And he quietly backs out.  I’m very fortunate in that he’s very supportive of me as a writer.

What kind of research do you do for the books you write?


I like to travel.  My husband and I went to Sequoia National Park last Spring and it became a dream sequence for my main character, Juliette, in the fourth book in the series, INVIRAL.  Some photos I took at Sequoia were used as the inspiration for the cover art, by Brad Fraunfelter, for the same book.


I read a lot of non-fiction if it’s pertinent to my writing and I love interviewing professionals.  I learn a lot that way.


What sort of professionals have you interviewed?


Firemen, rock stars, a biologist, a sculptor, painters, accountants, a street beggar, a homeless person, and several space scientists.  The last one is important to me because I write science fiction.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?


I thought of two things if that’s okay.


Go for it! 


Okay, so I learned that the idea of a muse actually exists.  Before I began writing, I thought it was just a cute idea.  I also learned that the stories take on a life all their own.  My characters, Juliette and Seth, have developed into very real-ish people.  They aren’t a copy of anyone I know in particular, instead they have distinct personalities all their own.  They also have specific feelings and reactions to the things around them.  If fascinates me.  As I write I can ask myself, “Okay, what would Juliette do in that situation?” and the story just keeps going and going.  It’s the sort of thing that makes it easy to be a writer.


Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I know that having critique partners is the “thing” to do these days.  But I am the only one who claims the right of creative and structural input for my stories.  Having said that, I do love my editor.  But he does not encroach on my style and if he wants to point something out, he’s does it with finesse.  And he’s usually right anyway, so I’ve learned to trust him.  As for beta readers, yes I use them.  I just need to know that people have read my book before it goes to press.  It doesn’t matter to me if they love it or hate it.  The book is done at that point.  If I call it “done” it means I love it.  And if I love it, chances are there are people out there who will love it too.  They are my audience. 


That brings me to my next question.  How do you react to a bad review of your book?


I know that some people will hate my work.  But that’s okay.  It just means that my story did not speak to them, or it wasn’t done the way they thought it should be done.  So what.  They are in the “not my audience” category.  This is my advice to other writers.  This is how you keep your sanity.  Your fans are preselected by the simple fact that they either admire, love, or really like your work.  You’ll never “speak” everyone so why be disappointed when someone criticizes your work?  Some people love oranges and others hate them.  The orange doesn’t take it to heart and neither should the artist. 

I love that!
“The orange doesn’t take it to heart and neither should the artist.” So, so true! Who are your books published with?

Adamantine Publishing House was founded by my husband so my books could be properly published and marketed.  I owe my success to him.


Is there anything else you’d like to add?


Just thank you very much.  You’re organized and professional.  It’s been a pleasure.

Christina Moss was born in Winchester, Massachusetts, then raised and educated in New England where she worked as a teacher and guidance counselor for a private school in Cambridge.
On May 3, 2009, she woke up with a story idea about an Earth-like planet on the other side of the galaxy. The story grew as the day progressed, and later that afternoon she mentioned it to her son who insisted that she write a novel. Christina began writing that night and two months later, the first draft of INTWINE was complete.
It has since become a series.
Christina is happily married, has two adult children, and currently lives in Burbank, California.

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1 comment:

Ronald Joseph Kule said...

I met Christina through her posts on Facebook, which is also how I learned of her book, Intwine. Then I met her by chance in person in Florida. She seemed so down-to-earth ... well, I just HAD to read a story that was sci-fi written by someone like that! I read it cover to cover practically in one sitting; she's that good of a story-teller. And I don't even read a lot of sci-fi. Now I'm looking forward to the next installment, Insight.