Here is the next in my Author Profiling posts!
Please welcome Christina Weigand!
I hope you all enjoy this new/unknown author!
Title: Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two
Author: Christina Weigand
Genre: YA Christian Fantasy
Blurb: Brandan and Joachim have returned from the brink of Hell, but everyone questions if they are truly healed and one with Asha.
As each prince tries to readjust to life, they must face the funeral of their father and their missing mother.
They each take on the responsibility of ruling a country with new wives by their sides, but can they and the countries survive the trials that will ensue because of their choices?
Release Date: September 20 2013
Where to buy:
Before we move on to the interview could we have a little snippet from the book?
Rupert looked through the window in his tower room at the landscape of Wyrzburg. Months had passed since the Battle of Harable Valley and the spring planting season faded into the wonderful summer growing season. The land progressed in its healing and would soon be returned to its former state. As he turned from the window, he thought about the things that hadn’t healed…the twins. Brandan and Joachim still had a long way to go to erase the darkness that infected them. Joachim seemed better, but at night he still dreamed of Sidramah, and the doubts about what happened still haunted him. Brandan appeared even further from the boy that left to find his brother. The darkness appeared to follow him day and night. He withdrew to chambers as far away from Joachim as he could get.
Walking down the stairs to the great hall, Rupert remembered when the princes first returned; both had seemed healed and better than ever, maybe. But it appeared as if the tentacles of Sidramah still lingered. Any small opening the evil one could find, he exploited, and both boys were once again haunted by dark dreams.
1 When did you first start writing?
When I was in middle school.
2 Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
In my heart of hearts I always wanted to be a writer. Unfortunately my practical brain side, demanded that I do something else. So I went to school and got a degree in Interior Design, thinking that’s what I wanted. But after eight years of school and working in the industry for several years I realized that that was not where God wanted me to be. And even then it still took another couple of years before I picked up the pen and started writing again.
3 What drew you to writing YA Christian Fantasy stories?
I started out writing for young children, but felt too limited. I always had more story than a young child would sit still for. I moved to middle-grade, but didn’t do much there because I was focusing on inspirational articles for women. I tried my hand at YA and found the messages I wanted to share were best directed at that age group. The fantasy part besides being what I read most of the time came from a desire to present young people with a balanced reading palate. I don’t begrudge other authors. Just as I wouldn’t want them to tell me what to write, I don’t presume to tell them what to write, but I do want young people to have wholesome, uplifting stories of people their own age making choices and living with the consequences. That is where the Christian part comes in. I want them to see the world from a Christian point of view. The young people are the future and they need the tools to do a better job than their forbearers have done. That is what I hope to provide with my writing.
4 Where does your inspiration for these stories come from?
The Palace of the Twelve Pillars trilogy was never meant to be a trilogy. When I was taking Writing for Children course, the second assignment was to write a short story. I didn’t get hit with any bolts of lightning. There were no dreams that compelled me to write them down. It was just an idea about a boy that woke up around his fifteenth birthday to discover he was a prince and wizard. He had been raised as a farm boy.
I don’t know where the idea came from, but there it was and I wrote it.
When I finished two things occurred to me. One: There was too much story to be a short story. And two: I had a desire to know what got that boy to the place he was; who were his parents and extended family and what brought them to this place in time.
Hence Joachim and Brandan along with a whole slew of other characters were born. About halfway through writing the third book I realized that it had become Joachim and Brandan’s story. And that fifteen year old boy that started it all: He comes on scene at the end of Palace of the Three Crosses and his story is revealed in the third book, Sanctuary of the Nine Dragons.
So to wrap this up: I’m not sure where my inspiration for this story came from. I like to think God is my muse and He plants the story seeds. Once I acknowledge and begin to write then He feeds and waters in the form of my characters and plot guiding the story to its completion and beyond.
5 What has your experience been like publishing with MuseItUp Publishing?
It has been a very good experience. My editors Nancy Bell and Penny Ehrenkranz along with Marion Sipe, the cover artist and Lea Schizas are very talented women and extremely easy and wonderful to work with. They have saved me from having funerals without the body and more recently made sure that all my characters are where they are supposed to be. And Marion has done two beautiful covers with only a little bit of info. I can’t wait to see what she does with the third.
6 What was your favourite chapter to write and why?
That’s a hard question to answer. Over three books there were many scenes that I enjoyed writing. Without giving too much away there was one death scene that plagued me. It was very difficult to write but when complete it was the most satisfying. There was also a confrontation scene with some of the main characters where things happened that I didn’t suspect, but the results are pretty exciting.
7 Where is your favourite place to write?
Anywhere my netbook and purple pen are.
8 Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
Mostly just my purple pen and netbook.
9 Do you use a computer/laptop for your first draft or are you a pen and paper writer?
A combination of both. I like to write with a purple pen and paper, but sometimes to finish a scene it helps to be typing on my netbook or laptop. In November when I participate in NaNoWrimo it is strictly my netbook, when my goal is to write as many words as I can in the least amount of time. I don’t think I could do that writing by hand.
10 How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Names are something that evolves as the story progresses. My m.c.’s started out with very different names then what they ended up with finally. When deciding on the final names for the main characters and even some of the secondary characters I did a lot of research in names from particular countries that had a meaning and would fit the characters personality. I couldn’t have Waldrom be Wallace or Brandan be Bill. The cities were a little easier. Some of them are made up and others are actual cities in foreign countries. I tried to pick names that were not easily recognizable.
11 Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?
I learned so many things, it’s hard to pick just one. However since you asked: If writing is your passion, something you feel called to do then never give up. It will take a lot of hard work and there will be days when you are ready to give up and think you aren’t good enough. However if you plow through those days and find the days when everything is going your way and you will find them, you will succeed. And success is not always in the form of publication, but can come from finding yourself and your true calling.
12 How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
To write the whole trilogy, probably about ten years. For Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two I would have to say 1 ½ to two years and the same with Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three. Palace of the Twelve Pillars: Book One probably took the longest, because I had to get to know the characters and their world.
13 Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?
Excited, awed, a little disbelief. It’s hard with ebooks, because you don’t get a hard copy to hold in your hand. It’s almost surreal, because you can’t reach out and touch it, smell it, hear the pages rustle or sign it. But the excitement is still there. I actually wrote a book and someone published it.
14 Who are some of your favourite authors?
Terry Goodkind, Darlene Reilley, Mariana Thorn, Sarah Jayne Carr, Bryan Davis, Wayne Thomas Batson, James Rubart, just to name a few. There are way too many to name all of them here.
15 Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?
I’ve had writer’s block numerous times and have yet to find one way that works for all blocks. Each block is different and takes a different solution. The most important thing I think a writer can do is keep writing and listen to your characters when they go on strike.
16 What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Write, Read and Write some more. B.I.C.H.O.K (butt in chair hands on keyboard)
Thank you for letting us get to know you and your books, Chris. This book sounds rather exciting and thrilling I must say! Plus you do have a lot of books under your belt 🙂
Everyone, please remember any questions or suggestions for Chris please write them in the comments section below.