Author Spotlight with Christine E. Schulze

K.S.  Hello and welcome to the blog. I am very excited to have you here. Why don’t we start off with a small introduction? Tell us a little about yourself.

C.S. Well, first off, thank you for having me! I am quite excited to share in this, my first interview as an author.

A little about me, I have essentially been creating books from the time I was too young to write them, probably when I was about four. My first books were comprised solely of pictures. My first “real” book was Jonny to the Rescue. I was a flower girl for a lady at church, and she asked me to make her a book for a wedding present. Thus, I made her a copy of my latest work, Jonny to the Rescue, complete with illustrations. The story itself was inspired by the “Surprise, Surprise, Puppy Surprise!” toys which those in my generation may remember. This book would later provide inspiration for my published Legends of Surprisers series, which is actually for middle readers and young adults.

In addition to writing, I also enjoy drawing, photography, singing, playing piano, and going for exploratory walks in the woods. I draw namely manga style versions of my characters, which you can check out at my blog, www.goldenhealerartwork.blogspot.com. I also love composing and have compiled a couple soundtracks for my books, which can be downloaded as mp3s at a site called “Rmusic” under the name “Stregoni Symphony”. Finally, you can always catch me on Youtube singing something or other! While shy in talking in front of others, I’ve always had quite a voice for singing.

K.S.  Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?

C.S.  Lol, do I have quirks. From the fact that I randomly switch to British or Southern accents when talking or the fact I like to name everything—such as my rolling backpack “Rollie”; not very original, I know—to my strange, childhood cartoon crushes—Darkwing Duck, James from Pokemon, etc.—this author is definitely quirky. And proud of it.

Although quirks can prove good inspiration. Take my childhood infatuation with Darkwing Duck, for example. This provided inspiration for Pekin Muscovy, who marries Elizabeth in The Legends of Surprisers series. Now, I will say this caused some debate, as Sarah, a best friend of mine, still considers it wrong that “a dog should marry a duck”. I still try to tell her it’s okay because they’re really not animals; their humans under a spell to look like animals, but she still doesn’t buy it for some reason.

Then, take my infatuation with James from Pokemon—yes, I’m one of those girls who always likes the badguy and fantasizes about him becoming good. When I was around twelve, I wrote this whole book about our adventures. But you know what? The opening scene for that book provided inspiration for a much more serious novel I’m co-authoring write now called You, Fairie, I.

Finally, the way that The Legends of Surprisers series itself came about is actually a little odd. As a kid, I used to play with these toys called “Surprise, Surprise, Puppy Surprise!” They had mainly cats and dogs. They started making little clothes for the animals, and it was then I invented my first definition for “Surprisers”: Dogs and cats that do everything like people.

This spawned Jonny to the Rescue, then a whole series when I was in elementary school, and finally The Legends of Surprisers series developed when I was around twelve. As I grew older, I developed a more elaborate story about how there were seven human races placed under a spell to give them animal features and were known as “Surprisers” because of their surprising appearance.

K.S.  When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?

C.S.  Well, as mentioned above, I have been writing since I was a small child. I remember being very young and wanting to be an artist, but I think that must have quickly changed, because I feel like I’ve always known this is what I am meant to do. Even as a young child, I would say “This series will get published someday!” And now, it’s finally happening!

K.S.  What genre do you write?

C.S.  I write what I love to read, and that is fantasy! I also incorporate Christian themes, romance, horror, coming-of-age, action, and adventure into many of my works. But if I have to use just one genre to define my work, it would be fantasy, or, depending, Christian fantasy.

K.S.  What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career? Or, who is your favorite author and why?

C.S.  Honestly, what inspires me most is people. The Gailean Quartet, for example, was inspired largely by Gail Fleming, a favorite college professor of mine who quickly became like a second mother when I was going through hard times. Most of the time she didn’t even know, but attending her Music Appreciation and then Choir classes provided rays of light on dark days. Thus, through her, my favorite series, one where magic and music uniquely intertwine, was born.

Now, in terms of authors, some of my main inspirations are Tolkien, Rowling, and Diana Wynne Jones. You can often tell this from my writing too; I’ve had British editors tell me my writing is too American for them, while one of my American editors was confused when I kept using the word “towards” which is apparently British (“toward” being the American version). Lol, who knew?

But I mainly say I draw inspiration from these authors because of my quirkiness. I know I am quirky and that this translates into my writing, but I don’t always realize how much unless others point it out to me, because it just comes so naturally. I am a person who is very comfortable with herself; I write what I write and do what I do without question, unless I think I’m doing something wrong. I am just myself; I write what I like and hope others will like it too. So when a friend of mine tries to tell me it’s strange that I introduce Panganiban from Bloodmaiden by having her surf on a giant snowflake, I simply think how I never thought that could be considered weird; for me, it’s fantasy, and anything goes.

Actually, a friend of mine who has already written a wonderful review for Bloodmaiden here on Goodreads is considering writing a second called “Schulze and the Techni-colored Dream Fairy” just to compare my writing to other quirky authors of my kind.
I like being different though. I appreciate books like Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle because of its freshness, its uniqueness. So, sometimes I try to emulate such uniqueness in my own writing as well.

K.S.  What does your family think of your writing?

C.S.  Well, my mom is definitely a great supporter, which is evident by the fact that she allows me to hole myself up in the computer room quite often, with me only coming out occasionally to eat, sleep, or at least show signs that I’m still breathing. But, yes, Mumsie has always been a good support in terms of my writing, school, whatever I set out to do.

I would like to thank her here, as well as Sarah, Aaryn, Jonathan, Chrys, and a slue of other friends who have also been a great support in all of my writing ventures!

K.S.  What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book/s?

C.S.  Hmm...well, for one, I learn—to my joy and self-encouragement—that I actually get better the more I do it. I’ll write a book and think it the most wonderful thing. Then, looking back, while I’ll still love the story just as much, I realize my actual writing has improved a great deal since writing it.

I’ll often reread a book of mine I haven’t read in a while and go, “Wow, did I write this? This is actually really brilliant!” I don’t say this to be proud at all, but it’s refreshing to read your own work and realize you really have told a good story. One book in particular, The Mass, has these twists that I always forget how they will turn out, and when I read on, I surprise myself! I know perhaps I should remember what happens in my own books, and generally I do, but I have written twenty-eight by now...

K.S.  What inspires you?

C.S.  As mentioned above, people are probably my largest inspiration. So many books have been spawned because of people I loved and wanted to include in my fantasy worlds.

As a Christian, I must also say that God has inspired me to write everything and has granted me this glorious gift; I must give due credit and praise to Him.

In essence though, I can be inspired by a great deal many things—too many sometimes. Used to be that when I read a cool book, watched a new movie, etc., I would get inspired—which I pretended annoyed me because I had too many projects going already as is. A major inspiration for me actually is my favorite video game, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which spawned ideas for The Legend of Loz and Zephyr’s Islands, The Gailean Quartet, and The Legends of Surprisers Series. You can read more about this inspiration on my blog here at Goodreads.

K.S.  Can you tell us a little about any of your novels?

C.S.  Well, while I love all of my books—especially The Gailean Quartet, my favorite series—and while I consider my self-published works to be of high quality, seeing as I have worked a lot with editors and such, the two works I am currently seeking to promote are my novel Bloodmaiden and my ebook Golden Healer, Dark Enchantress, if only because they are my first works published by actual publishers!

Here’s a blurb on each book:

Bloodmaiden
"Zale. Gauthier. Varden. These three dynasties…They all sound like something out of an ancient, oriental myth or fairy tale. The concept of humans and dragons helping and living in harmony with one another, without fear. To me, that’s exactly what they are. A distant dream only read of, whispered secretly, quietly yearned for.
"For, you see, I am the new Quelda of Tynan."
These words echo the mystery, horror, and romance found within Schulze's fantasy novel. Along with her new husband, Chalom, Crislin must choose to embrace cruel tradition, run from it, or stand against it. The young couple's only hope is to rally the help of the three peaceful dragon dynasties of Sulaimon—but tradition is not on their side, even outside the realm of Tynan. The dragons outside Tynan's borders have been rumored as too stubborn and proud to believe their Tynanian brothers would commit such horrors as inflicted upon the Quelda. Gaining their aid is not a likely hope. Yet, any hope at all is valued in Tynan...
If they are to stand a chance of bringing cruel tradition to a permanent end, Crislin and Chalom must brave the constant, consuming blizzards of the Ever-white. They must brave the three dynasties and the challenges awaiting there. Together, they must convince the dragon emperors to allow them access to the shrines which house the sacred Aria - protective strands of music which may be able to disperse the evil from Tynan and unite the four dynasties of Sulaimon as a whole once again. Their only aid stems from a sprite whose moods are as unstable as her magic, a young minstrel, and a mysterious fox. Despite the odds, such plans are daring, dangerous, unprecedented, but fully possible - if they can escape the Wall first.


Golden Healer, Dark Enchantress
He leaned his head close to my ear and whispered, "Are you afraid?"
Chrystine had had more reason than any other time of her life, even when facing one of the rampages of her drunken father. But she wasn't afraid. And that was odd, because although Aaryn, the person asking her that question, was her best friend, he was also a vampire. In fact, she was surrounded by hundreds of vampires.
But they weren't your typical vampires. They were Stregoni Benefici, the good kind. Nor was Chrystine your typical fairy. She was the Golden Healer, and she alone could save the Stregoni Benefici from the Dark Enchantress. But can Chrystine figure out the Dark Enchantress' secret and defeat the evil vampires without destroying the good ones as well, without destroying Aaryn?


Find out as you read for yourself the story of the first vampire.
Bloodmaiden Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAd3ieiCKGc

Bloodmaiden Trailer 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tQEm_fSsWo&feature=related

Golden Healer, Dark Enchantress Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w29WMIrDo7I

The real SWIC Choir (from The Gailean Quartet) performs Sweeney Todd Medley (check out their other great songs!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMd4bdRmhRU


K.S.  Where can we buy your novel?

C.S.  Well, I’m not in physical stores yet—working on it, but these things take time! I find writing to be one of those ultimate, give-you-the-run-around, going-in-circles professions. You have to be known to be in stores. But to get known, it really helps to be in stores where people can buy your books. Sigh. But I am definitely available at these online locations:

1. http://ChristineESchulze.webs.com
Here you can order Bloodmaiden for a discounted price!

2. www.amazon.com
Find almost all of my books here, many in print and ebook form. Simply type “Christine E. Schulze” in the search box.

3. http://www.oldlinepublishingllc.com/index_files/OldLinePublishingFictionBloodmaiden.html
Go here if seeking to order Bloodmaiden directly from my publisher.

4. www.readerseden.com
Currently the only place to find Golden Healer, Dark Enchantress

5. www.smashwords.com
Some of my books as ebooks; read free samples!


K.S.  Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?

C.S.  I do indeed! First off, I have what I call my “official website”. My wonderful bf is going back to school for web design and set this site up for me. We plan on setting up a more “official” one in the future, but for now, this is it. I actually really like it; it’s a nice, clean, easy navigable site:
http://ChristineESchulze.webs.com
You can find links to my other sites there, but in particular, please check out and consider joining my forums:
http://goldenhealerfantasy.forumotion.net

And also check out my blog:
www.goldenhealerartwork.blogspot.com

K.S.  Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers?

C.S.  Do not give up! What I have come to learn is that it really isn’t that hard to write a book or even get published these days. For some, that may be your only goal, and it’s a great one! Completing a book or story is a great accomplishment. But if you’re like me and trying to really get your name known, it can be a daunting task. You don’t realize how small you really are until you delve into the world. But do not give up! It takes constant, hard work, but you can be a successful author! I hope and plan to someday share my stories with all the world and don’t intend to give up too easily. I’ve only just begun. The journey may be frightening but exciting too. So, don’t give up, keep writing and trying, and I hope God blesses you as you start down your own, exciting, writing path!

Comments

Christine said…
Thanks so much! Looks truly wonderful! ^_^