Today, author Christine Schulze is stopping by to have a chat with us!
Christine E. Schulze has been creating books since she was too young to even write them in words. The stories from Bloodmaiden: A Fantasy Anthology are only a small part of her vast twenty-seven book collection, The Amielian Legacy. She hopes to inspire readers throughout the world with these books by publishing in both traditional and electronic formats to make them available to all readers.
Christine has published several stories with Calliope and Kalkion magazines and is an active member of the WEbook online writing community. She has also published several Christian/fantasy books which are available at various online retailers, as well as publishing several eBooks via Writers-Exchange. Her latest and most exciting venture is landing a contract for her novel Bloodmaiden with Old Line Publishing.
Christine currently lives in Shiloh, Illinois with her Mom, three dogs and a rabbit.
1. What first got you into writing?
Honestly, I’ve been making books since I was too young to write them, when I was probably about three or four. Those books were just pictures, of course. When I was around four or five, I actually wrote my first book called Jonny to the Rescue, which has ultimately spawned the existence of one of my current series, The Legends of Surprisers.
I suppose then it’s just something I’ve always done. I consider it a God-given gift that I’m meant to do something great with someday. I love creating fantasy worlds, new races and creatures, deep characters with multiple story-lines all twisting together in an intricate and intriguing plot. I love painting rich imagery so readers can see and feel exactly what I do. I write for myself and hope others will like it too, and I write for my readers because, though I would write even if no one read my work, I have not done my part if no one ever reads my books. But, if at least one person reads and is inspired, I have done my part.
I just love everything about the craft and really hope to use my books to inspired readers around the world someday.
“Routine” is actually probably an awful word to use, at least compared to other writers. I’ve heard so many say that writing is to be this agonizing, toiling craft; so many writers are never satisfied with their craft, and it can be hard putting what they see in their head on the page. Many writers also have a set amount they must write everyday.
I’m not like these writers at all. I don’t box myself into a required quota, I don’t consider writing pain-staking, and I only write stories I’m really into, so I’m always pleased with my results! There’s been a couple times that a story really sucked, but I polished it up into something I loved. As for the writing itself, I write what I’m inspired to write, when God inspires me. It comes as naturally as breathing; if I force it, it doesn’t work. So, one day I might write a few chapters, the next day a single scene, the next day a brilliant sentence I came up with, and then might not pick up the book again until two weeks later.
Thus, I don’t write the book in order from start to finish either. I often have the beginning and end done before all the middle; I often like to have an idea of where the main plot is going, at least for the most part, before starting a new book—unless I have an idea for a really great scene that just must be written. Then, later, I might actually develop the book around that scene.
Moods are important too. If I am in the mood to write an action-packed chapter which doesn’t come until chapter 13, I’ll write that and wait until I’m in the mood to write romantic chapter 9.
So, while I am perhaps a very sporadic writer, it works, because when I AM inspired, I write fast. The only thing I usually have to make myself sit down and think about is when I’m trying to connect two story-lines or ideas which don’t seem to have to do with each other—I love doing this; it adds so much complexity and intricacy—or when I’m done with most of the book, all the important scenes, and just have to come up with what I call “filler”, the in-between bits which connect various scenes and make them flow into one another.
3. Can you describe BLOODMAIDEN in one sentence?
An honest answer would be “no”, actually. ^_^
This is the question I always cheat on (sorry, though thanks for not asking me to describe in three words; that one was definitely not going to happen); the best I can give is Bloodmaiden’s tagline, so without further ado:
Four dynasties. Four aria. One brilliant quest.
4. If BLOODMAIDEN were made into a movie, who would you cast?
I am SO thrilled you asked this question! I have always envisioned some of my books becoming movies someday and really, truly hope they do. When I get an idea for a scene, I see it so visually in my head, playing out like a cinematic experience, and then I transcribe what I see onto the page. Some writers have difficulty writing down what they see the way they see it, but God has thankfully blessed me so that I have never had a problem with this. Even as a kid, it came naturally, and many of my readers—especially those who have read Bloodmaiden—have commented that one thing they really enjoy about my books is the imagery, emotion, and my ability to really place the readers in whatever world I’ve created.
All that rabbit-trail completed, I think Bloodmaiden could make for a great film, between its lush worlds and moments of heart-pounding emotion—if done right. I’d want an expert like Peter Jackson on the sets, if possible. As far as actors, well, ever since I was a kid, I always said Elijah Wood had to be in one of my movies. This was when I was around twelve or so and created a character in his honor in my book Loz: Zephyr’s Islands. As for Bloodmaiden, he might do really well as Chalom since I know from Lord of the Rings that he looks adorable with curly hair. BUT, despite his eternal youthfulness, he might still be told for the role at this point. I think he might fair well as Brydon though, or another idea would be if the movie was animated. I always thought it might be cool for some of my movies to be 3-D anime, like in video games, such as Final Fantasy or my favorite Legend of Zelda. Then, Elijah Wood could do all the voice acting he liked...
If it was live cast though, besides Lij, I would need a very sweet, innocent, naive young girl to play Crisilin, as well as someone who displayed a wide array of emotions very well. A younger version of Liv Tyler would please me, if there was such a one. It’s difficult to say, because I always imagined Chalom and Crisilin as being thirteen; but Hollywood might deem that inappropriate and make them at least sixteen. Perhaps Emma Watson? She’s still very youthful and very gorgeous, but with a sweet look about her. She might also work well as Pan though; with her new haircut, she proves she would make an excellent pixie!
Some other possible good choices for Crisilin might include Saoirse Ronan, Sarah Bolger, Joey King, or Selena Gomez (if she could be blonde; she’s so cute!)
5. What advice do you have for young writers today?
Persevere and be patient!
Patience is killer, but very key. While Bloodmaiden is published by a small press, a lot of my other works are self-published. This has been a great and fn experience, and I consider them of just as high quality as Bloodmaiden, having had the chance to work with editors and thoroughly polish them. However, I still hope to get into a major publisher to help get my name out there, and that truly will take time and patience.
Also, keep learning and polishing your craft. Learn the market, learn “the game”, if you will, what it takes to write a successful query or proposal and how to really get your foot in the door. Even if you think you’re not the best out there, you have to market yourself as such, so confidence too is key. Having learned so much through self-publishing and publishing with smaller presses, I feel much more prepared in terms of writing a query and polishing a manuscript to present to an agent. You can always be educating yourself, practicing, and improving. With each new book I write, I find it amazing sometimes the progress and improvements my writing has made.
6. Finally, what are you currently working on?
It is surprising to say I’m really not working on a book right now. For those who know me well, they might ask to take my temperature at this point. Especially as a kid, I was always working on a slue of books at once. I did just finish up my first-ever fan fiction, Silent Hero, which is based on Nintendo’s epic Legend of Zelda games, my favorites, and which is available as a free ebook on sites such as Smashwords.
As for serious projects though, I’m trying not to write but instead work on promotion Bloodmaiden as well as my up-and-coming second release with Old Line Publishing, Tears of a Vampire Prince: the First Krystine. I have, however, just finished re-editting a middle grade fantasy of mine called The Last Star. In a few months, I should be ready to start submitting to agents. I have self-published and published with both small presses and ebooks. I’ve truly enjoyed the experience and learned so much from it; now, it’s finally time to use what I’ve learned to keep climbing up the ladder and hopefully obtain for myself an agent, a first step into the world of big publishing, probably the best way at this point to really get my name known and be taken seriously.
Here’s a blurb of The Last Star:
There were no Stars in Novalight that fateful night; they had all been extinguished save for one: and if Olette, THE LAST STAR, were to lose her Starfire too, then all the land would be consumed by Shadow—and the very world would come to an uncertain end.
Thankfully, the work of the Shadows goes yet unfinished. Hope remains solely in Olette, the tiny winged fox who flies into ten-year-old Christya’s bedroom that dark night. As a Backwards Star, Olette’s life source—her Starfire—cannot easily be snuffed out like all the others in Novalight. Being the smallest and youngest of the Stars, can Olette take up the position of Blue Star and unravel the mysteries of Star Appointment? Can she help Christya and her other new friends discover the truth behind their parents’ disappearances? Together, can they overcome the Shadows with their newfound powers before every last Star vanishes from the sky? Combining the magnificence of the heavens with the allure of magic to create a charming adventure, THE LAST STAR is more than an enchanting tale of light against darkness: it is a story of friendship and forgiveness, one that shows how even the smallest person can become a light of hope after all the others have gone out.
Thanks to Jonny for helping me craft an excellent blurb and query letter. ^_^
Well, that about wraps things up. Thanks so much to Patty for having me here; I truly enjoyed it and hope you will all take the chance sometimes to experience Bloodmaiden and other of my work.
God bless and happy reading!
We are glad to have had you, Christine, and we hope that you will stay in contact. The review for BLOODMAIDEN will be up soon.