I have an exciting interview for you today with the wonderful Christine Rees. She’s here to talk about her first book, The Hidden Legacy (A Hidden Legacy, Book 1). I’ll be posting my review later this week so keep an eye out for that!
1. What is your typical writing process? Did you always know what was going to happen throughout The Hidden Legacy?
It’s funny – my writing process has definitely changed. When I started out, I wanted to plan everything before giving up and writing where I knew it would start and going from there. By the time I was halfway through The Hidden Legacy, the story took a massive turn I wasn’t expecting. It’s interesting how things in your life can change the way you write, which in turn affects your story.
The newest story I’ve been working on is a little different. I wasn’t entirely sure where the first half of the book was going but I knew where I wanted it to end up in the second half. Complete opposite of The Hidden Legacy, which totally took me by surprise! Haha you could say that I’m still nailing down my writing process.
2. What was your inspiration for writing The Hidden Legacy?
The Hidden Legacy was inspired by an array of people and life experiences, so it’s tough to nail down exactly what provoked my need to write the story.
I’ve always been interested in the prospect of seeing the future. Over the years my writing has taken a darker tone, which led me towards the concept of death. It’s likely that this is related to losing so many people at a young age; however, the idea – that someone could see a murder before it happens and have the opportunity to stop it – poses an interesting question: would you try to save that person, even if it means outing your abilities and risk becoming estranged for having them? Would you risk your life for someone you hardly know?
3. Who/What gave you the idea of creating a character who struggles with her premonitions?
No one specifically. The idea arose from hearing different accounts of people struggling with issues in their own lives. From mediums to dealing with the loss of a family member, the thought that someone could foresee a death happen didn’t seem like too much of a stretch from there, so I opted for the challenge. I wanted to bring it to life.
4. What was your journey to having a book published? What is something you wish you had known before starting?
Very, very long. Alright I am exaggerating slightly, but it has taken longer than I expected to have my first book published. Since I started writing when I was in high school (I am now 23 years old), I needed to grow with my craft. When I wrote my first book (it has yet to be published), I was still searching for my writing style. I wasn’t quite there. I look back on my first stories and I can see where they need improvements. I actually plan to re-write my first novel in the next few years to better reflect my style.
One thing I desperately wish I knew when I was younger is that life will not hand you a publishing deal merely because you wrote a book. You have to write something people want to read. Something that puts a little piece of you inside the storyline. Something that makes it authentic and unlike every other story out there. When I first started out, I wanted to be like every other writer and story out there. The key is to desire authenticity – set yourself apart from all the greats out there.
5. You also have a blog that focuses on nurturing creativity and helpful writing tips. What inspired you to start your blog?
Writing! I love writing and I heavily believe in nurturing passion and creativity, especially in an age where innovation is a popular topic. Everyone has a creative side to them and I love helping people move towards their passion. Seeing inspiration flow from them motivates me to do better. To do more.
If I can help at least one person with my blog – from shattering writer’s block to helping them discover something new – I’ve done my job. I know how difficult it is to feel stuck or put your dream on the back burner. I want people to understand that it doesn’t have to stay that way. There is always a compromise. You just need to find what works for you, and I’m happy to help with that.
6. What are 5 books you always recommend to others?
They are all very different from each other, so hopefully no one gets whiplash.
“Steal Like An Artist” by Austin Kleon
This book is a guide to creativity with today’s rules. It is virtually impossible to be original anymore, but you can always make something authentic by bringing something new to the table. If you are a writer, painter or involved with the arts in any way, I highly recommend this read.
“Identical” by Ellen Hopkins
This story is on the darker side, full of twists I never saw coming. Hopkins combines poetry with life situations that get very real, very quick.
“The Darkest Minds” by Alexandra Bracken
This was a novel I could not put down no matter how hard I tried. I discovered it two years ago and can’t let it go. It is hard to find well written novels with seat-gripping story lines. Bracken has both.
“All American Girl” by Meg Cabot
One of the first chapter books I ever read, so yes this one has been around for a while. But it never gets old. I absolutely adore and look up to Meg Cabot. She is an inspiration to many writers, including myself. This book is what got me interested in reading in the first place.
“Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson
A classic, but I also love Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.