I’m excited to begin this interview with an introduction to Christina’s debut novel (The Revenant – Halcyon Reach: Book One) scheduled for publication in Winter 2016.
With its advanced weaponry, the Revenant was supposed to turn the tide of the war… but went missing instead. Ten years later, the Federation’s hold on the three suns is firmly cemented and corrupt in every way, and any Separatist hopes or dreams seem to have gone the way of Earth and its dinosaurs.
Grayson Delamere was still a child when the war ended and she doesn’t much care why it was fought in the first place. In the cold, dark vac of space, most lives are short and brutal with or without the Federation’s interference. She’s worked hard and kept her head down, making her living as a mechanic on any ship that’d have her. If she’s broken a few laws and made a few enemies along the way, well, that’s just the way things are out on the fringe.
But now, someone has discovered all of her dirty little secrets… and will hold them hostage to ensure Grayson’s help in the most dangerous job of her life: To recover the Revenant and rekindle the fires of rebellion.
The Revenant looks very exciting, Christina. Obviously its completion is the result of your devotion to writing. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Christina: In third grade, we had some time every week where we were all supposed to sit down and write something. Most of us wrote journals; we all knew what a diary was. And then one day it dawned on me that what I wrote didn’t have to be true. Duh! So I wrote a short story about a pair of kittens that got lost in their backyard and had a bit of an adventure finding their way back to their mom.
Balancing all the elements of story telling is tough. Is there any aspect you find particularly challenging as a writer?
Christina: I’ve always had trouble with building suspense. I think it’s because fear is such an uncomfortable emotion for most of us. It’s fun to write love and anger and just about anything else. It can feel very therapeutic, very satisfying. But it feels strange to invite and embrace anxiety.
Since you’re well on your way to publishing, what advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Christina: Write constantly. You never really know which idea is going to be the one that carries through to publication and you’ll probably have a lot of terrible ones along the way. You have to approach it like a job–something you have to do whether you feel like it or not. It’s a discipline. And don’t be afraid to share. You’ll learn from others what your bad habits are and find out what you’re doing right, which is really invaluable information for honing your craft.
Speaking of sharing, how do you handle good/bad reviews and critiques?
Christina: On the internet, for every positive, uplifting thing you read, there are a dozen horrible ones. You try to take the good to heart and the bad with a grain of salt. Art of any kind is subjective. If your book isn’t someone’s cup of tea, that’s fine. You just hope they’ll be courteous about it so you can learn from the experience. So far, I’ve been very fortunate. I’m beyond grateful to the early readers who have shared their encouragement, insights, and positive reviews. That kind of constructive criticism has been very helpful moving forward.
Along with loving written stories, what’s your favorite movie and why?
Christina: I watch movies for the same reason I read books–I want to be challenged and surprised, I want to think and feel something new, and I want an experience I don’t want to end. So my favorites tend to be movies like The Fountain or The Matrix. There’s a lot going on in the subtext of those films, comments on humanity, religion, technology, race, gender, class, politics, sexuality–you name it. I love that the experience lingers after it’s over, if you ask the right questions.
Thanks for the great interview, Christina. Best of luck with The Revenant. Am looking forward to reading it.
Christina Feindel resides in central Texas with her multi-talented husband, Noah. While traversing academia, civil service, and chronic illness in early adulthood, she founded the whole-foods blog ACleanPlate.com and now works as a cook, photographer, and educator. She pens fiction in her spare time, with a particular passion for character development and genre-blending.
More info about her and her debut novel The Revenant can be found at www.CLFeindel.com
Check out Christina’s food blog at: A Clean Plate