About a week ago I decided to email some of the authors that inspire me most and asked them if they would be interested in being interviewed by yours truly – basically, all of them came back saying yes and I am so grateful to them all for agreeing. I am obscenely excited to bring you the first of many interviews; starting with one of my all-time favourite authors – Christine Zolendz, creator of one of my must-read series from last year – the Mad World Series. I was honoured enough that she agreed to answer my questions (and was unbelievably lovely by the way!)
Also if you want me to review this series I will – just leave me a comment and I will make it happen because I love it.
I have many more interviews coming from so many other incredible and inspirational authors (such as: Annalisa Grant, Siobhan Davis, Anne Elliott and more) – so you better get used to them because they are not going anywhere XD
M: Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing?
I’m a romance novelist residing in New York City. I’m married to an NYPD detective, and we have two daughters. My favorite thing to do is read, next comes writing. And you can always find me with a caramel latte in my hand.
I started writing when I was on childcare leave from being an elementary school teacher. I was bored at home with a newborn and I was always reading and obsessing over the covers of books. It was actually my dream job, creating book covers and illustrating. I even went to college for it. So I started letting people know I would design book covers for them. This was back in 2010 and the indie world of publishing was just beginning. I did a lot of covers. I loved it, but I wanted more. I wanted to create the covers and the stories inside them. Then one day, I was on a stock photo website and I saw a picture of a woman and this whole story kind of swirled around in my head. It was about a badass New York girl named Grace, and the love of her life that she had spent lifetimes looking for. I wrote Fall From Grace while my daughter napped then I dared myself to upload it to Amazon. It shocked the hell out of me when it hit Amazon’s top 100. And I haven’t stopped writing since.
Out of all your books what was your favourite to write and why?
My favorite is definitely Brutally Beautiful because the characters were so loud and strong in my head. They were easy to write and the story just rolled right out of my fingertips.
Who is your favourite character you’ve written and why?
Shane Maxton. He was so arrogant and broken and I loved how he loved Grace.
How do you keep/get inspired when starting something new or are having writer’s block?
I get ideas all the time. Sometimes from movies, the news, other books, music, but mostly from listening to people. I see people and listen to them talk and watch them interact with other people and then I ask myself…what if…and my imagination goes crazy. I have a folder on my computer with a document titled Ideas. It’s about 100 pages long and it has little plot ideas in it.
Your Mad World Series is one of my all time favourites and I love the musical element – do you play any instruments your self?
In high school, I played the drums. Music was a huge thing for me writing that book. I always had my earbuds in and played the same loop of songs over and over. For each book I write I have a playlist that I listen to. It sets the mood.
I personally found your Mad World series hilarious, do you write planning to be funny or just when you feel it fits?
I planned on it being funny. I love sarcastic witty characters and I try to add a little in all my books. The funniest book I ever wrote was #TripleX. It’s a chick lit book I wrote with one of my best friends, Angelisa Stone. We pretended to leave our husbands and take a crazy trip to Vegas and wrote about what might have happened if we did. It was sort of like a mid-life crisis book.
What is your favourite: food?
book other than your own?
My favorite food is pizza.
My favorite movies (I can’t chose just one) are Pride and Prejudice, Goonies, and Boondock Saints.
My favorite book right this moment is Heartless.
As a high school student myself, what was your favourite subject when you were my age?
Art and writing. I hated gym the most, my teacher was Satan’s wife. I swear.
Who would you say was your biggest writing (and non-writing) inspiration as a child?
As a child, I grew up loving Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King. My non-writing inspiration was my mom, who was a single parent and held it all together to keep us alive. I don’t publish any books without her reading them first, even though she skips over all the steamy scenes. And after every book she asks me when I’ll write more about Shane Maxton from my Mad World Series.
If you could say anything to your younger self what would it be?
You’re beautiful just the way you are and don’t ever listen to people who bring you down, just be you, f*ck everyone else.
Are you working on anything right now?
I’m working on a few books at the same time. One is a paranormal romance about a girl named Rainey and a dystopian book. And I can’t even think how I could describe the plots of the books without giving anything away so that’s all I’ll say!
And finally can you please tell everyone how best to contact you?
I’m all over…
And my website, where you could sign up for my newsletter and I send you a FREE novella!
That’s Christine guys. I just want to thank her again for willingly agreeing for me to probe into her life with odd questions because I’m nosey. She was genuinely so sweet and nice and unbelievably inspiring for an aspiring author myself. I totally recommend her books, you really should check her out. Brutally Beautiful and #TripleX have already shot to the top of my TBR after her recommendation of them and I am insanely excited for the paranormal romance because that is right up my street!!! So I thought I would leave this post on one of my favourite quotes I read her say in another Q&A…
“NEVER compare yourself to others. The only person to compete against is the person you were yesterday, and always keep writing.”
Thanks and happy reading,