Interview with YA Fantasy Author Christine Norris

Christine Norris is the author of several works for children and adults, including the Library of Athena series and the Zandria duology. When she’s not out saving the world one story at a time, she is disguised as a mild mannered substitute teacher, mother, and wife. She cares for her family of one husband-creature, a son-animal, and two felines who function as Guardian of the Bathtub and Official Lap Warmer, respectively. She has also done several English adaptations of novels translated from other languages. She reached a new level of insanity by attending Southen Connecticut State University Graduate School’s Information and Library Science program, so that someday she, too, can be a real Librarian. She currently resides somewhere in southern New Jersey.

Her current book is a YA/Fantasy titled The Mirror of Yu-Huang.

Visit Christine on the web at Connect with her at Twitter at cnorrisauthor and Facebook at

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Christine. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, The Mirror of Yu-Huang?

As of this September, I’ve been writing for 10 years, been published for just over 5. This book is the third in my series, The Library of Athena, and it’s a natural extension of the storyline. It also has its own flair as well, being grounded in Chinese mythology. The two previous books included Greek and Egyptian mythology, so this one’s got that difference. The main characters are the same though, and I think readers who have followed along so far will be pleased to see the old characters and cheer them on, and happy to meet the new characters as well.

Q: I love your title. Can you tell us why you chose it?

The titles for this series are amazingly easy to come up with, since they are the names of the artifacts that the main characters must find to escape from the enchanted books. That’s the basis of all the stories, just the very basic idea. This one, though, was a little tougher, because I had to do a little research into the names of Chinese gods and find what kind of object would be important to that mythology, what it would do. Whatever it was would be the title of the book, and I ended up with The Mirror of Yu-Huang.

Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

Wow, go right for the hard questions, huh. I think a lot of writers, nearly 100%, believe their book should be published. Most of them, I think, believe that they have something to say, a story to share, with the world. Some do it because they think it’s a quick way to get rich, but I’ll tell you that it’s the slowest get-rich quick scheme ever developed. This one almost wasn’t published because of issues with the previous publisher, who put out the first two in the series. But I really wanted to continue with the books; so many people have loved them and I really hate to leave a series hanging in the middle.

Q: We all know that publishers can’t do all of the publicity and that some lies on the author. What has your publisher done so far to publicize the book and what have you done?

The publisher has been great! They’re supplying a decent supply of review copies, helping out with the tour, tweeting and putting the book on Facebook, and in the publisher catalog, available through several outlets where bookstores and libraries can order it. They’re really working hard to make it as available as possible; in fact it was one of the very first books that the publisher made available in Nook format, and so far it’s doing well. And they promote all the books at conventions and events they attend.

They’re also supplying some really cool giveaways, some of which I think will be part of the prizes for the month-end Facebook party.

Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

This entire series is often compared to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians, I think mostly because of the mythology connection. I get a lot of fan spillover. There is a lot of that same adventure and fantasy to my book, but it’s different because none of my characters are gods or godlings or the cousins of gods or the college roommates of gods. At least I don’t think they are—they don’t always tell me everything.

My book has a bit of mystery to it as well, something that needs to be found and answered by the end. They’re special, I think, because all of the main characters are girls. There’s a boy or two thrown in for good measure, but mostly it’s just girls out there, kicking butt. And, of course, my book, and my series, includes more than just Greek mythology, so that’s a big difference.

Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

Megan is getting ready for the formal New Year’s Eve ball that her father has been talked into hosting at their house. She’s having her dress fitted in the parlor, and talking with her friends, when the doorbell rings.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

Yes, the plan is for a five-book series. I hope to finish up Book 4 over the summer (and we all know what they say about the best-laid plans) and already know the basic idea behind Book 5. Just have to sit down and write them out.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Christine. Do you have any final words?

Thank you for having me! I hope your readers enjoyed it and will go and check out the book!

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