What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Christina Leigh Pritchard; I was born and raised most of my life in South Florida. I still reside in Boca Raton.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Always, since I was a little girl! Before I could write, I made up fantasy worlds and tried to get my friends to believe they were real.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
There was a poetry contest in my fourth grade class. It was tie between Maggie and me. Her poem was by a famous poet and mine was self-written. Clayton, a boy in my class, raised his hand (I was losing by one vote) and lied, telling the teacher he didn’t get to vote yet. “I pick Tina’s!” His second vote, tied us. That was the day I decided this was what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Yes, I am a reservationist at a fine dining restaurant, create websites on the side and work freelance jobs.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The name of book two in the C I N Series, T R A I T O R, is my latest book. Summarize? That’s a genuinely tough one. (I’m a writer!) LOL.
In Traitor, Lisa must fight for her life. Someone has to die. Who will it be?
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It depends on what type of book it is. Books with actual facts or history take the longest since I must do research and stick to a basic outline whereas most of my stories take over and I go along for the ride! Sometimes I can write a book in a month maybe two months. Some books I write and rewrite for years.
Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
Hardest: Book two, Traitor. I didn’t want to give too much away but felt the readers deserved a lot more than what I gave them in book one, C I N.
Easiest: Pete and Millie, Short story 3 in the C I N Series Shorts. I couldn’t stop writing or crying through that one!
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
Yes and Yes! Upcoming I have four additional full length novels in the C I N Series, many shorts stories and novellas in the Shorts series. By the end of the summer other books of various genres will be out. I have a science fiction novella entitled Janie, a fantasy thriller called Christine and Shame, a young adult drama. In the near future, I’m releasing a non-fiction self-help publication called Overcoming Abuse, and two intermediate novellas for boys, Alan and True Friendship. There are others in the works but we’ll have to wait and see what happens with them…
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I am working on my first horror story! It’s a scary write for me. I don’t think I’ll make this a series; unless I get really hooked on adrenaline. ;o)
What genre would you place your books into?
I have many various types of books but they’re mostly all Young Adult.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I love Young Adults books and I’m still a teenager at heart!
Do you have a favorite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favorite?
That’s tough. I love them all, but I’d have to say The Fall of Gadaie Series is my first story. I’ve written the books all through my life, each year the world changed along with me. I lived in this world from five years on. (at least my first memory of the world was at five) It’s not available yet but maybe someone will fall in love with it too and I’ll get to share with everyone! It’s a dark fantasy series with 8 epic novels. Omaik Digital Art illustrated the characters and many scenes in book one. There’s a website on the world and a homemade trailer. (I’m obsessed with this series, can you tell? I can’t stop talking about it!) gadaie.com
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
The more I get to know Ally, the more I love and loathe her. In the C I N Series, Ally is my favorite. She brings suspense, doubt, kindness and is great fun to place in a scene. Ally doesn’t have boundaries and that makes me love to read and write about her!
If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
I’d be Celeste from book two, Traitor, of the C I N Series. She’s made mistakes in her past but isn’t afraid to stand up against people she loves. It would be like a mother who knows her son is bad. Do you protect your son or his innocent victim? That’s what Celeste must do, choose between her deceitful family and her new friends.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
My first stab a stories was about the age of nine. My grandmother gave me a typewriter. As soon as my fingers touched the keys, I never stopped. I dreamed about tapping keys and awoke to them.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
Yes! I read all my books to my mother. She’s tough. The only story I’ve ever written that she likes is C I N. I nearly fell over with shock when she told me. I have a group of readers who read a lot of my novels too.
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Absolutely! I love to hear what readers say. It helps make me a better writer. I have some readers on Shelfari who read books from the C I N Series. I give them the books in exchange for an honest review.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes, and I take them to heart.
What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
It was a forum post, actually. Someone thought C I N’s title was too long, which it is lol. They started commenting on the verbiage of my synopsis. It hurt for a second but it was good to read because I was able to make the necessary changes. I sent them a thank you post. In the end, I was grateful for constructive criticism.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
No. A review is supposed to be honest. If they don’t like something, how can I fix it if it’s never posted?
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
For C I N, Michelle Monique created the cover art. She’s a freelance Photographer who works with clients like Dior, Penguin, etc. I like to use my little sister, Ember’s photos and D. Sharon Pruitt’s.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
Always the title first! (Sometimes it changes once the story’s written)
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Some characters just come to me. I try to use people in my life as my inspirations. Especially in the books I wrote as a young person. My friends influenced me greatly.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I sometimes just go with the flow, but usually I have a very, very basic outline of what I want from a character, like three words. Such as Michael, in the C I N Series, he needed to be (1) comic relief, (2) sexy and (3) someone who could last throughout all the novels. Everything else follows suit.
What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
Yes! I write! ;o) I also love to go to the beach with my dog Teacup and ride my bike to the movies for what I call ‘short visual book breaks’. I also collect elephants and have an internet radio station.
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Yes, all the time. There’s a little bit of me in every book.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
There’s several. But, as a young person, it was Judy Blume and Jerry Spinelli.
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
As much as I enjoy eBooks, there’s nothing like a paperback.
What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. I read it once a year and have been since I was eleven. This story taught me that stories weren’t good without bringing in emotion. He should be crowned for this novel. (Well, he did win an award for it!)
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
I’d love to see all my books turned into movies. I enjoy watching someone else’s take on a great novel. You get to see what you’ve already read and decide which version you enjoyed best. My favorite was The Secret Life of Bees. My least favorite? The Other Boleyn Girl.
What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I am reading an eBook called PIG (I picked it up because it has the same name as one of my characters in C I N) written by SBR Martin. It’s very intriguing and was in the running for Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award.
Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I do enjoy eBooks but I wouldn’t want a world without paperbacks. Stories come to life when they’re on a printed page.
Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
Oh yes, while all my teachers lectured, I took notebooks to school and wrote my stories. I’ve been writing since I was at least nine. The older I grew the harder it was for me to do anything else but write.
Did you have a favourite author as a child?
Besides Judy Blume and Jerry Spinelli there was Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, LM Montgomery, Poe, Emily Dickenson, Ronald Dahl and Charles Dickens.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Don’t write what you think is popular. It should be as original as possible and you. The world goes through phases. If what you write isn’t of interest now, it will be someday.
Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
Yes, Teeny and A. Lotus
If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
Apostle Paul (from the Bible), went back into towns he terrorized. When he entered these towns now as a Christian and writer of 14 Bible books, how did he handle seeing people he helped imprison for the same faith he now shared with them? That would make for some very interesting conversation.
I would do nothing but laugh in the presence of Mark Twain and hopefully the night would be filled with stories of his childhood.
I doubt there’d be much conversing going on between Edgar Allen Poe and me but, the eeriness of his very presence would be inspiration enough.
Where can readers follow you?
Your Blog details? Cinseries.com
Your Web site? teeny120.wordpress.com
Your Facebook page? Type in Christina Leigh Pritchard or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christina-Leigh-Pritchard/118941638145057
Your Twitter details? Twitter.com/teeny120
And any other information you wish to supply?
CASTING CALL! Please join the raffle to be one of four new characters in upcoming C I N books! Submission Form. (No purchase necessary to win)
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Christina Leigh Pritchard
Author of the C I N Series