Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Interview with Debbie Christiana

Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to write in this particular genre?

My mother instilled in me the love of reading and the love of the paranormal. It became my favorite genre to read so when I tried my hand at my own story it seemed natural to write a story about an ancient Egyptian mummy coming back to life in modern times to reek havoc. I was twelve or thirteen, it wasn’t very good but it was fun to write and I haven’t looked back.  I may have to dig it out and rewrite it.

What inspired you to write this book?

Witches and vampires are my favorite paranormal characters. Witches are fascinating, mysterious, magical, sexy and best of all, real. What’s not to love? My grandparents immigrated here from Sicily and my grandmother used to tell us stories of the Stregas (Italian witches) from her small village in Sicily. Stregheria is different from Wicca in many ways; one of which is it’s hereditary. You simply don’t become a Strega, you must be born a Strega.  I’ve read many wonderful witch themed books but none featured a true Strega. I thought it would be a different perspective on witchcraft in contemporary times.

Please tell us about your latest release.

SOLSTICE is a romantic suspense about modern day Italian witches, a curse, a murder, lots of magic and a bit of mayhem. 

Do you have a special formula for creating character’s names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes to the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?

I love naming my characters. I like to try to find names that aren’t all that common but reflect the heritage of the character.

For the male characters I like a strong name but one not often heard.  The hero in Solstice is Albanian. I searched around Internet and fell in love with the name Armend. I think it’s strong and sexy. 

Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?

Yes! I loved writing the antagonist/villain in Solstice. I can’t say who it is right now, the readers don’t find out who is causing all the trouble until at least half way through the book, but it was liberating to say and do things that I would not normally say and do. The antagonist has psychopathic tendencies, is narcissistic and doesn’t really care what anyone thinks so the character does have a few outrageous moments.

What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?

My debut novel, Twin Flames, is a story of soul mates, reincarnation and past lives. I had been in touch by email with a past life regression therapist who had written books on the subject.  I had the privilege to meet her and found her generous with her time and knowledge. She offered to regress me so I could feel the process first hand and write it accurately. I was thrilled, as I’ve always believed in reincarnation. 

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

There seems to be a difference of opinion if writer’s block exists. Some authors swear by it while others believe it’s an excuse for being lazy or procrastinating.  I don’t know that there is a technical term for it, but I think we all get stuck now and then.

I usually put aside what I’m working on for a day or two and look at something else. Going for a good brisk walk and listening to music also helps but I think the best thing to do is read.  Someone else’s words, dialogue, description and setting are great tools to spark an idea.  

Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?

I’m a morning person so I enjoy writing within a half hour of getting up and having coffee. My desk is in a corner of our bedroom next to a window that looks out into the woods behind our house.  It’s peaceful and relaxing although I do need music when I write. My walls are decorated with congratulatory cards, rejections and souvenirs of writing events I’ve attended. I like to have small items around me that reflect the story I’m writing. When I wrote Solstice I bought a cute, sexy witch ornament and a magic wand from Salem, Mass and put them on my desk. They’ve brought me good luck so they’re still there.

Do you write in different genres?

My two novels have been paranormal romance/suspense but I have had two dark fiction short stories published in anthologies.  I love to read horror and would like to try to write a good, old-fashioned terrifying ghost story some day.

What are your guilty pleasures in life?

A big bag of Doritos and an icy Tanqueray and Tonic with a slice of lime.

What was the last amazing book you read?

Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz. I love the Odd Thomas Series.

What can readers expect next from you?

I’m working on a novella and a sequel to Twin Flames. I’m also developing a new paranormal character, Spookie Millane, that I hope to make into a series.

Where can readers find you on the web?

Facebook: Debbie Christiana, author
Twitter @DebChristiana

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Debbie Christiana
Genre: Paranormal – Romantic suspense

Publisher: Black Opal Books
Date of Publication: May 4, 2013

ISBN: 9781626940178

Number of pages: 313
Word Count: 98,000

Cover Artist: Cindy Hammock

Book Description:

Time is running out for Armend Zogu.  The 250-year old family curse on his head will claim his life on his 30th birthday, the winter solstice.

Sofia Palmalosi is just the Strega who can save him. A descendant of a long line of powerful Italian witches, her family’s magic was a gift from the Goddess Diana.

In order to break the curse, Sofia and Armend must connect two pieces of a violin sonata that Armend’s ancestor composed for his forbidden love.

Together they embark on a journey from New York to Sicily, to the ancient ruins of Diana’s Temple and back to New York all the while fighting a battle of magic and wits with a psychopath who wants them both dead and the curse intact.

If the curse doesn’t kill Armend, breaking it just might.

About the Author:

Debbie Christiana would sit in her room as a little girl and write stories about ghosts, unexplained events and things that go bump in the night. She combined her love of the paranormal with her fascination of unusual love stories and decided to write paranormal romance.  She has two novels published with Black Opal Books, TWIN FLAMES and SOLSTICE.

In 2012, she had two short stories published. The Land of the Rising Sun, was one of ten included in the anthology BITES: Ten Tales of Vampires and The Thirteen Steps is featured in BELTANE: Ten Tales of Witchcraft. Debbie is a member of RWA and the International Thriller Writers, Inc.  She is the Secretary of her local RWA Chapter of Connecticut and Lower New York. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children.

Twitter: @DebChristiana


Debbie Christiana said...

Hi Roxanne, thanks so much for having me today and asking some great questions. It was a lot of fun.

Liv said...

Your writing nook sounds lovely Deb, and I hope everyone who checks out this interview will get their copy of Solstice. It's a great book!

Debbie Christiana said...

Hi Liv. It's a small corner of the room, but I love it! Thanks for stopping by ;)

Nana Prah said...

Armend is a sexy name. The name fits the hero. You were regressed? That is cool. Do you remember anything?