CHRISTINA LOBIANCO author of the upcoming The Guardians: Warrior Angels, and editor at BWP
The Burning Willow Press authors wish to help you celebrate the best month of the year, October. How you may ask? By giving you a different author from the ranks each day with in depth answers to questions that our staff have decided to ask them. Many will be generic, others not so much. Let’s get to know the authors of BWP! Oh, and did we forget to mention… the staff there are all authors too so they have decided to chime in with some answers of their own.
So first, when did you realize that the voices in your head were telling you to write stories or go mad with all that stuck in your head?
I actually first fell in love with writing in 7th grade when my English teacher assigned us a poem. I LOVED the assignment and wrote a whole bunch of poetry after that. Later, in my teens, I had a dream about a witch, gargoyles and a dragon. I intended on journaling the dream. It then became a dream that my character had, and then the story just kind of wrapped itself around it and became the first book I ever wrote, which was Wolfe’s Fayt: The Rescue.
I know many writers who jump in all different genres, so what is your favorite to write?
Overall, I have written fantasy, fantasy/romance, sci-fi/fantasy/Egyptian mythology/romance, and Christian fantasy, so I guess I would have to say my favorite overall genre is fantasy, because it is the only true common denominator between them all.
Currently, there are over a million books that I want to read… and some I have in the past I wish I had written myself, do you have any that you read that you thought about and said, I wish I had written that book?
YES! As odd as it may sound, a series of books by Kerrelyn Sparks. The series is Love at Stake. It’s actually vampire fantasy/romance, and as odd as it may sound coming from a former English lit teacher, it’s my favorite series to date!
What is your favorite book not written by you? See that question is not the same as the other one above… to follow up, what was your favorite book that you wrote?
My favorite single book (not a series) is by Jude Deveraux, and it’s called Remembrance.
When the muse is off doing their own thing instead of pushing you to write, albeit by gunpoint at times, what is your favorite time-waster?
Either reading or working with my daughter on illustrations for a second children’s book we are currently writing together. The first is called Johnathan the Brave, a book about an amazing little boy who has Mitochondrial Depletion Syndrome.
(Editor’s note: Johnathon the Brave is a fantastic book!)
What is the one thing that you must do to get into a writing mood. For me, it is listening to 80’s hair metal.
Chips and salsa are really nice to have nearby. I enjoy having a small glass of wine as well. The music I listen to while writing varies depending on the mood of my story, but I do listen to a lot of Epic Celtic music, as well as some Egyptian music while writing my Egyptian mythology/fantasy/romance/sci-fi.
Is editing your story just part of the job or does it literally kill a part of you to “kill your children” as it has been said? What about making revisions?
There are times I really do enjoy getting “dirty” and really editing the crap out of my books. The thing I would hate the most is to look back on something edited by me after its published and see a grammar no-no or something I may have missed.
When you read a book by another author do you ever look at it and criticize it or edit it in your head as the way you would have done it yourself?
YES! I was reading something recently and couldn’t seem to enjoy it because I was editing it in my mind.
What would you like to be chiseled into your headstone?
I honestly don’t know. It would probably change based on the day and my mood. Some days it might be, “Here lies a salty, spicy woman who lived life the way she wanted.” Whereas with others, it could be, “Here lies a woman who loved life, loved her family, and would have done anything to help those who needed it.” No matter what it says, whoever writes it better damned well make sure it’s written correctly and edited thoroughly! J
What was your favorite candy to get at Halloween as a kid?
Candy bars with peanut butter!
What is your favorite Halloween ritual? And if you do not do that… what is your favorite Halloween movie?
Wearing the costumes and dressing up!
Beach, Mountains, Country, City? And follow up… favorite season… just a hint here… you should say Autumn.
I love the mountains, especially the ones I got to see every day for five years in Colorado. And my favorite season is most definitely fall. Although, I’ve recently started developing fall allergies, so that may change. Lol!
I know my “To Be Read” list is never ending and grows daily… how is yours? And do you prefer paperbacks or e-books? Notice I did not ask about audio?
I really do like paperback books, but I like having them in e-book format with the ability to read them at any time; anywhere.
If you could not be an author then what would you be?
I actually had this conversation a while back with someone. They asked me what I would do if I suddenly won millions of dollars in a lottery. I told them I would use that as startup for a publishing company. I’ve always been very interested in all aspects of distributing the written word to the masses.
What was your childhood ideal job to be as an adult?
It depended on my age. At one point, I thought being a doctor or a veterinarian would be nice.
Cats, dogs, both, other?
I have dogs because my family loves them. I prefer cats.
Advice in one sentence to a new author who is not published yet?
If writing is what you love and you believe in your work, keep pushing it until someone believes in it as much as you!
Do your siblings or other family members support your choice to write horror? Fantasy? Erotica… if you do? SCIFI? Other genres?
I have family members who support it, but only a few who actually read it. I’m so very grateful for those few!
Do you ever use writing as an excuse to get out of doing things with the family… especially the in-laws?
Not really. I’m an introvert and like time to myself anyhow, so it’s generally my go-to when I’m trying to get some quiet time away from people. It’s how I recharge.
If you had wrote a sex scene in your book, would you be embarrassed to have your mom read it?
Nah. I’m actually very surprised about the many people who have voiced a want to read my Egyptian mythology/fantasy/sci-fi/romance even after I said there would be a bit of… er… graphic sexual scenes. J
Beta Readers, Proofers, Editors… all are important to produce a better work of literature. So, who would you say is the most important in your team? Or do you not have those in place and are working on that?
I really can’t place an importance of one over the other. They all play an important part of ensuring the book is ready for the public. They’re all working toward the same goal.
In your day of writing… do you push through it all day or do you take mental breaks?
I have to take “breaks” in order to care for family, work, and work on the many different projects I have going on. Not only do I write, but I also edit for BWP and various indie authors. Another project I have going on is a children’s book I’m currently collaborating on with my talented and amazing daughter.
Do you ever get to travel as an author? Do conventions? What have you learned in those endeavors?
I haven’t traveled as of yet. I really would love to make it to some sort of comicon in the near future.
Book signings? Necessary evil even for the introvert?
Soon. And I’m going to have to push past my introverted self in order to do it. Can I say that the thought scares the shit out of me! But I will push through it and make sure it happens.
What do you have coming out in the next year and who is producing it?
Firstly, BWP is publishing The Guardians: Warrior Angels, the first book in my Christian fantasy series. I’m also hard at work getting Rip Zulu: Revenant of Retribution edited and ready for self-publication. Although I’m not sure if it will be within the next year, but I’m also looking forward to the collaboration between my daughter and I to be complete sometime in the near future.
What is your go to alcoholic beverage of choice?
RUM! Rum and coke, rum and sweet tea; rum in my strawberry daiquiri or my Pina colada…
In the book, Misery by Stephen King, his main character celebrates the end of the Misery books series by smoking a cigar and drinking champagne so, how do you celebrate a finished story?
Have a glass of wine and perhaps taking myself out to dinner.
Ideas come from all over. I get mine everywhere… so my question is what was the inspiration for the last (or upcoming) book you released?
Who would you compare your work to and would love to have them read and give you a review of or even better, a tweet and post about it?
I really try not to compare my work to anyone else’s and wouldn’t even dream of saying anything like, “This is the next (insert newest literary craze here) …” I didn’t start writing to be like everyone else or have the same ideas as other famous authors. I actually hope some of my work is regarded as unique and that it forges a path of its own.
Are there any horror or thriller novelist that you admired when you were younger?
I actually did like one thriller by Dean Koontz called Cold Fire.
While writing, has any of your own stories given you nightmares?
Now that you mention it, yes. I was reediting my Christian fantasy book, and one night, I had this feeling (as I lay in that state between sleep and wakefulness) that a demon was close by. I called upon the power of Jesus to send it away and felt a whooshing pulse from my body. I could sense that presence being flung away, out of my house, and even thought I heard a crashing sound from a distance. I couldn’t tell you if it was just a dream or if there really was a spiritual battle going on in my vicinity. Let’s just say I won’t rule either of those possibilities out.
Have you ever had any supernatural experiences? If so, have you ever used it as source material?
I’ve had some. Some will be used as book fodder, and others may stay vaulted in my mind.
When writing a novel, do you have an intended audience (i.e. adult or young adult)?
Sometimes. Generally, if I feel that my characters are going to end up acting above a PG rated level, I just say to myself, “Well, I’ve just limited the audience to 18+, but I have to listen to the characters.
Do you ever base characters on people that you know? If so, do you ever kill said characters and feel bad?
There was one that I based off of someone in real life, and she didn’t have a very good end. She hasn’t been killed off. Yet. But she’s gone through hell.
Have you ever written a scene so scandalous that you hoped your mom doesn’t read it?
My mom and I are pretty close, and she knows that even though I might write some risqué things, I’m a goody-goody at heart.
As a reader, what are some ways that I can discover new independent authors and novels?
There are plenty who announce themselves on FB, Twitter, and such. My Twitter page is solely dedicated to people who have some part of the written word, be it writers, readers, publishers, and even actors and producers who are taking new stories, rather than recycling through the old, already used material over and over again.
I cannot live without Chapstick. What is one comfort item that you must have?
As long as I have something to write with and paper (or an electronic device to note ideas), I’m good!
What is your ideal writing space?
The office area of my bedroom. Quiet and private.
Do you ever feel that your characters have a mind of their own and change the course of the planned storyline?
YES! All. The. TIME!!
What was your favorite Halloween costume?
My renaissance princess costume.
Because Christina is a staff member at BWP, we decided to continue to drill her on the goods. Here we ask her a few questions about working with the boss, her future with BWP and how she got her jobby-job… enjoy.
What is your actual role at BWP? Okay now that you have answered that… what else does Edd make you do daily?
I’m one of his editors. J
How did you get your position there? Is it worth it? (Realistically, we are not going to tell them. Ha ha.)
He found me through a different publishing company who’d hired me on but ended up having to shut its doors. She gave him my name, and the rest is history!
Not only a staff member at BWP but also an author yourself, so can you tell me what books you have released or plan to release soon?
I’m pretty sure I can tell you that in mid 2019, we will be releasing a book called The Guardians: Warrior Angels, but I’ll check with Edd to make sure divulging that information is copasetic.
We hear that Edd can be a pain in the ass at times, so that being said, he treats us pretty good but what’s he really like?
He’s a great guy! I like a “tells it like it is” type of personality, and you never have to guess what he’s thinking.
Does he bug you with changes, process or otherwise, new schedule updates, calls when you wish to not talk, email overload like he does us?
Nah. As a matter of fact, I’m sure I’ve had to pester him a time or two at inopportune times, but he’s always made time for any concerns or questions I might have.
When not slaving for BWP and your other projects, what else do you like to do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?
Writing, working with my daughter on our children’s book, and spending time with my four kiddos. J
What is your favorite genre to read?
Romance, fantasy romance, and psychology/counseling articles.
What future works are you doing for BWP that you are really enjoying? (We checked with Edd it is safe to name them here).
I edited Rest and “Wreck”-reation: The Starhawk Chronicles II series by Joseph Madden. AMAZING!! (Editor’s note: this book released October 6, 2018 on Amazon and will be available on TBKmagazine.com/shoptbk very soon.)
Name three things on your bucket list and why.
An Ireland trip (because I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland), a Scotland trip (because its part of my roots), and to visit a castle (preferably Neuschwanstein Castle).
Where do you see the position you have at BWP leading you to in let’s say five to ten years?
I would love to be working for them full time as an editor. J We shall see!
We know that BWP has staff members all over the world so we want to know, where are you located in the world?
I live in the US of A. In Georgia.
Would you ever want to take over if Edd and Kindra decided to retire to an island in the middle of nowhere?
Possibly. I did say I aspire to involve myself in all parts of the written word. J
So, when the post was made about doing this interview, you wanted in. Can we ask why you wanted to do it?
I would love for you all to know who I am and the kind of work I have to offer the literary world. If I am truly honest with myself and you, it’s also because I’m forcing myself to take that step and be less introverted. The realistic side of me knows that being reclusive and introverted does NOT help in the slightest when it comes to publicizing work and gaining exposure to who you are and what you created.
What is the best part about this interview… (we will accept that it is over as an answer)?
That I actually got through it and that it will force me to step out of my comfort zone. As much as part of me doesn’t want it, it’s what I need, both for myself as a person and professionally; as an author.
Where can we stalk you at? Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Twitter, website?
I have a Facebook and Twitter account.
Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/christinalobianco.author
Twitter page: www.twitter.com/authorclobianco