10 Questions with Christina L. Rozelle
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a wild imagination. Through years of cultivating my craft, I’ve been able to develop my skills enough to write these imaginings into stories, places, and characters for others to enjoy as well. I love speculative fiction because I can let my imagination run rampant, and as I’m writing, I’m also discovering it, living it. The thing I love most is getting to know my characters as the story unfolds, and living it with them as it happens in each new world I create. I’m a “pantser”—meaning I write by the seat of my pants, without much planning of what the outcome will be. And though it seems to require rewriting later to smooth out plot and things, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I crave the surprises and excitement of not really knowing what’s going to happen next.
What do I like least? One word: Marketing.
2) As your book is titled “The Treemakers”, tell me whether you have a favourite tree or a favourite flower.
Though I’ve never seen them in person, the Redwoods in California, USA. I’m entirely dumbfounded and intrigued by their colossal size. Yes, I am a total tree-hugger, and plan on visiting them one day, just so I can give one a ginormous hug. Second on the list would be Willows. They’re just so dreamy and romantic.
3) What made you decide to write a YA book, and was there any challenge in it?
When my oldest daughter was eleven, “The Hunger Games” had just come out. She was super excited about it and at that point, I had never really read any YA. I wrote a lot of prose and non-fiction, read a lot of spiritual and self-help literature, and never in a million years thought I’d ever be a fiction writer. I have the attention span of a toddler in a candy store, really. But we started discussing plot ideas for a story and in a couple hours we had come up with winged humans (not angels, just humans with wings, yes), reptilian human antagonists, and . . . shadow animal people. Yeah. Needless to say, that idea didn’t stick. BUT! It did get my wheels spinning and I began brainstorming, kind of without meaning to. My mind just naturally began to play with ideas and scenarios, storylines and characters, and so that day I decided “what the heck,” and I began to write my first novel. It took me nine months to finish, was the biggest achievement of my life (because I don’t finish things), and though it was ultimately unpublishable, it set in stone what I knew I was put on this Earth to do. I haven’t looked back.
Sure, there are challenges. I’m a single mom of four children, one of whom is a toddler, so writing means sacrifice for me: sleep, a clean house, etc. I hardly ever wear make-up anymore. I’m a prize, A PRIZE I TELL YOU.
4) One morning, you wake up, look into the mirror and find out you have blue skin and a third eye. Your reaction?
“I’m gonna be rich!”
Second reaction: “I see you.”
(20 points for totally clever AVATAR reference)
5) Is there a question you have always hoped somebody would ask you? (Feel free to answer it, too.)
*Clears throat, adjusts imaginary tie*
“Christina, out of the 33 million books on Amazon, what makes you stand out? Why should people choose your book instead of the next guy’s or girl’s?”
Ah, yes, I’m so glad you asked me that question.
*sips tea, adjusts invisible glasses*
Well you see, coming from a bleak past into the light where I am today has given me a unique viewpoint from which to tell a story. This is why I enjoy writing and reading fiction that shines a light in the dark, is fearless, honest, makes me feel, provokes thought, and pushes the limits. I pull very few punches, because I believe the punches are where the magic’s at. It’s when we are faced with life’s toughest trials that we are given the opportunity to rise above and shine brighter, and brighter, and brighter still. Yes, at times things get dark in my fictional worlds—as in reality—but there is always that inherent hope and light, urging, yearning, pushing onward. This is conveyed in everything I write.
6) Do you think there is a hidden message or a lesson in dystopian fiction? Have you included one in your science-fiction novel?
Most certainly. The message isn’t really hidden though, it’s actually rather blatant, IMO. If we don’t change certain things about our world, our children, and our children’s children, ad infinitum, are going to pay for our mistakes. This idea is presented in high-def in “The Treemakers.”
7) Are you a spring, summer, autumn or winter person?
I am a complete Autumn fanatic. My birthday is in October, and I’ve always loved the seasons changing at that time of year. There’s so much intrigue and mystery at that time, plus the trees (of course!) are remarkably beautiful when their leaves change colors.
Second fave is spring, because FLOWERS!
8) Do you have any writing rituals?
Yes, since I am a single mom of four, I keep my laptop in the living room at my desk in the corner. I work—a lot of times, with headphones on listening to inspiring wordless music—amidst the madness. I keep one eye on the screen, one eye on the kids, and try to get as much done between mommy-tasks as possible. I stay up late and get up early. And I never go a day without working on a project.
Also, things I must have at my desk at all times, in order for my brain to operate at optimum capacity: lipgloss, hand lotion, fuzzy slippers, something caffeinated and/or bubbly, and chocolate.
9) If you could have a superpower, what would you choose?
Flying, DUH. I’ve had amazing dreams about flying throughout my entire life and have been obsessed with the idea since childhood, when I tried to make wings from various backyard objects and fly from my fence. Luckily, I wasn’t hurt. But I was rather disappointed.
10) Please tell us more about your latest book(s) and plans for the future.
Speaking of flight, in my current work in progress, an Upper YA Futuristic/Sci-fi/Adventure with Romance elements titled, “South,” (out summer 2015), we will be flying like mad. I won’t tell you how, so as not to spoil anything, but I will say it’s going to be an exciting ride!
I also have an Upper MG Fantasy novelette titled “The Truth about Mud” releasing in a couple weeks, which will be my free holiday gift to the world (the ebook). Very excited about that one!
But for now, “The Treemakers,” an Upper YA Dystopian/Scifi with Biopunk and Romance elements, is on promo from December 9th through the 16th. Stop by Amazon and check it out! It would appeal to older adolescent and adult fans of “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent,” and “The Maze Runner,” which, not coincidentally, are three of my favorite series.
About the Book
But the iron bonds of friendship and family, the discovery of magic in the dark, and love amidst devastation soon fuel her search for a way out. Aided by an unlikely ally who harbors a dangerous secret, Joy and the Treemakers embark on a quest for freedom, and for the truth about the existence of a forbidden paradise.
Link for “The Treemakers” on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Treemakers-Christina-L-Rozelle-ebook/dp/B00P49KVKG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1418067362&sr=1-1&keywords=the+treemakers
About the Author
Christina on the Web:
“A Spark in the Dark” (her blog for writers)- https://clrozelle.wordpress.com/
Facebook “Friend” Page- https://www.facebook.com/cl.rozelle
Facebook Author Page- https://www.facebook.com/clrozellesouth
Christina L. Rozelle, author of the Upper YA Dystopian/Biopunk/Sci-fi, "The Treemakers," is a mother of four, currently residing in Dallas, Texas. She enjoys fiction that shines a light in the dark, has verve, depth, and truth. She writes what she'd love to see available to read. Though her focus is currently YA speculative fiction, she dabbles in other genres as well, including adult speculative, fantasy, and addiction/recovery fiction. To find out more about her, as well as links to her plethora of social media outposts, please visit her fan-site: http://christinalrozelle.com/
To sign up for her mailing list, warmly referred to as 'The Rozelle Army,' follow this link: http://eepurl.com/68sS9
To read her latest blog post, follow this link: https://clrozelle.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/10-things-that-suck-and-rock-about-being-an-indie-author-part-1/