Christina Benjamin, Born in Georgia, and I grew up in Pennsylvannia. I now live in Florida
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’ve always loved to write. It started when I was young and learned I had a knack for making up stories and tall tales. It was a great creative outlet.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I first considered myself as a “writer” after I officially completed my first novel, The Geneva Project Truth. It felt funny at first to say I’m a writer, as my actual job, but I love being able to say that now, since it’s truly something I’m passionate about.
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
No, not really, my husband helped me self publish and it’s been a fun process to have so much input and control over the way we’ve published and promoted it.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Yes, I’m currently a buyer, merchandiser and decorator for a community in Central Florida, which is once again another fun way for me to be creative through fashion and decor, which is a hibby I’ve always enjoyed.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The Geneva Project Truth. It’s an epic tale of adventure, friendship, courage and self discovery, laced with the limitless possibilities of magic.
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
We self published, but my husband is at the helm of that ship.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
My first book took about a year start to finish. Now that we know the process of editing and self Publishing, I think the second one will go much faster.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’m currently working on book 2 in The Geneva Project Series. This one is called Secrets. I have plans to make it at least a three book series.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, working on book 2 and as I have said earlier in the Interview, I plan to write at least three books in this series.
What genre would you place your books into?
YA Fiction. Kind of along the lines of Harry Potter meets Hunger Games mixed with the love triangle in the Twilight Saga.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
They are my favourite type of books to read and I found myself being sad when my favourite series were all coming to an end so I thought why not write my own books?
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
Well I love the main character Geneva. I can relate to her, the way she struggles with self doubt and where she fits in. I also have a soft spot for Niv, because his character was based on my dog.
If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
I would have to be Nova. He is so confident, strong and aware of his abilities. Nova is a natural leader.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing since grade school, and truly began to love it in high School during AP English ad Theater Arts Classes. Reading through plays really got me into Shakespeare and then I ended up majoring in English at the University of Central Florida.
Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?
I get inspiration for my books from places I travel to or hope to travel to. I also draw inspiration from growing up outdoors. The characters and their adventures all come from that creative place in my head that is constantly chattering to me!
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
No, not really. It’s just me and my laptop, and usually some coffee! It does have to be quiet because I get distracted easily. My ideal place to write would be on a lounge chair overlooking a deserted beach, with an iced caramel macchiato with soy in my hand.
(I’m a Starbucks addict, so you’ll find me there a lot!)
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewer’s you know?
My husband (who is also my publisher!) and my sister in law (who is also my editor!)
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes, I do.
What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
I don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t like my book, but my favourite reviews always come from kids. I love to hear that they are excited about reading or want to read more. I actually received a letter from a reader and it totally melted my heart to see that she had enjoyed my book enough to write to me.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
No, Everyone is entitled to their opinions.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
The titles usually just write themselves based on the tone of the books. My husband is a graphic designer, so he does all the covers for me.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I wrote the book first and it didn’t have a title. I just kept calling it The Geneva Project and it kind of stuck. Then I added Truth since that was the underlying tone of the book. Secrets play a large part in book two, so that seemed like the perfect title for the second installment of The Geneva Project.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
I love names! I have been keeping a list of names that I love for when I had children, but I ended up using them for my stories. This is quite fitting because I feel like each character is one of my kids.
Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
The first book had no outline. I just let it flow and had so much fun seeing where my mind would take me. Sometimes I’d end up somewhere I didn’t like and then I’d think Hey, I’m in charge if I don’t like it I can change it! The second book has a rough outline just to keep me on track but I allow plenty of room to branch off and follow the story where ever my mind takes it. I like to allow room for spontaneous creativity.
How do you market/promote your books?
So far, just social media and word of mouth.
What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
I hang out with my husband, have a glass of wine and day dream about all the places we want to go.
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
I try not to, but I think you can’t help but let life experiences influence how you think and that comes through in your writing.
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..")
No, not hidden messages, but I do think that there are morals to the stories. I try to make them good influences since my target audience is young readers. Things like, tell the truth, be loyal to your friends, put others first, fight for what you believe in and be courageous.
Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
I think that J.K. Rowling is amazing and she has definitely inspired me to do what I love, in writing.
Which format of book do you prefer, e-book, hardback, or paperback?
Oh, that’s hard! I love the convenience of E-Books, but, there’s something so special and nostalgic about print on paper, plus I also love the smell of a paperback.
If done right, Yes. Like Harry Potter, the movies are as good as the books and seeing the characters on film was like having my thought brought to life. The casting was excellent in those movies. It was evident that the author had a close hand in the making of the movies.
What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
Currently I am reading The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare and it’s an E-Book.
Do you have a favourite genre of books?
Yes, it has to be YA Fiction.
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