Interview with Christine Schulze, author of 'Bloodmaiden'

Christine E. Schulze has been creating books since she was too young to even write them in words. Her collection of YA fantasy books, The Amielian Legacy, is comprised of series and stand-alone books which can all be read separately but which weave together to create an amazing fantasy. She hopes to inspire readers throughout the world with these books by publishing in both traditional and electronic formats to make them available to all readers.

Christine has published several stories with Calliope and Kalkion magazines and is an active member of the WE book online writing community. She has also published several Christian/fantasy books which are available at various online retailers, as well as publishing several eBooks via Writers-Exchange.

Her latest and most exciting venture includes her publications with Old Line Publishing: Bloodmaiden and Tears of a Vampire Prince: the First Krystine. She also anticipates her upcoming publication with Old Line, Lily in the Snow, as well as releasing The Chronicles of the Mira with Writers-Exchange in both paperback and electronic forms.

Christine currently lives in Belleville, Illinois in her first and most thrilling apartment.

You can visit Schulze at Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3242087.Christine_E_Schulze or her blog at www.goldenhealeratwork.blogspot.com. Connect with her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/Chasmira or Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/Chasmira. Like her Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Christine-E-Schulze/158265555890.

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, Bloodmaiden?

Hi, and thank you so much for having me; I am excited to be here today!

I've actually been writing since I was around four. The first books I created were just full of illustrations telling the story. However, my first book with both pictures and words came when I was a flower girl in a wedding and the bride requested one of my books as a wedding gift. Thus, Jonny to the Rescue was born. It would spark the inspiration for my now-published series, The Legends of Surprisers (and, interestingly enough, Jonny turned out to be the name of my soul mate).

Bloodmaiden came about through a variety of factors. First off, I was taking my first fiction class in college, and this spurred me to focus not just on the characters and plot, but more heavily on the writing of a book. The opening chapters of Bloodmaiden are full of rich, metaphorical imagery. They are also in first person, present tense, to make the readers really feel like they are "there".

Secondly, Jonny and I had done a photo shoot on myself in a red gown and cape; I always forget if the ideas for the book or photos came first, but doing the photo shoot really helped set the mood for Bloodmaiden. The photos can be seen on my blog and in a trailer I made for Bloodmaiden on Youtube, which also includes music to accompany the book. Yes, I went all out for this one and still envision it one day--hopefully--breaching the big screen.

A final factor included the fact that, while I had done fairies, elves, unicorns, vampires, banshees, genies, you name it, I'd never done dragons. Maybe because I'd never really liked dragon books that much. So, determined to create a book with dragons that I myself would enjoy, the four dragon dynasties were created and grafted into the book.

I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?

Doing so might give away a little too much of what exactly is happening in Bloodmaiden. However, I will say this: the book is not about vampires. I get that a lot. If readers want vampires, please check out Golden Healer, Dark Enchantress.

Why did you believe your book should be published?

I've honestly always wanted all my books to be published; ever since I was a small child, I believed God gave me the gift of writing, and sharing my stories with the world was what I was meant to do. I chose Bloodmaiden to really focus on though because I believed it both to contain the normal fantasy elements like dragons and sprites while also being a unique tale. It is also one of my few books that is not part of a series, so a publisher wouldn't have to feel too intimidated taking it on, while readers could have a good stand-alone to try from a brand new, emerging author.

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?

Mr. Schenning is great; he is wonderful to work with, on both the publishing and marketing side of things. One thing that helps automatically is having the book available in both print and ebook; I've made way more sales overall in ebooks so far than print. Also, he's been great in sending books out for review.

As far as my part, well, there's just never enough time or funds to do everything one would like. So, I've created a sort of schedule for myself. I've participate in various blog tours, including this one of course, and have several more planned for upcoming releases. I love giveaways, especially on a site called Goodreads, which is a great network for authors and readers to connect. Blog posts and interviews like this one are always fun for me. Eventually, I hope to be able to do physical tours as well.

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

I've had my book compared to Susan Collins' Hunger Games, a book I am eager to read though I haven't gotten the chance. I hear this is a high honor to be compared though. Others have also equated my writing to greats like Rowling and Tolkien, which are very humbling compliments.

I consider Bloodmaiden, as well as many of my books, unique because many of my worlds and their elements are unique, such as the Aria in Bloodmaiden, the strands of music that weave together to protect the land of Sulaimon. I also love intricate plots; although all of my books can be read separately, even within series, many of them connect, a reward of sorts for readers who read more and more of my books. I've been told I am also great at creating very visual images, real emotions, and am a good story-teller.

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

Page 109:

Our heroes have just left Zale, having received the first part of the Aria, a magical, healing song. Crisilin reflects upon the sprite, Pan, and the traveling minstrel, Brydon, two members she and Chalom added to their party while traveling. They seem to know each other and share some sort of history, though the extent of it is unknown.

Later in the night, Crsilin awakes to hear them fighting. She hears words about Brydon leaving Pan; Brydon argues she sent him away. Pan soon grows hysterical as the real reason for her cold manner against Brydon surfaces...

But that's far too interesting a part of the story, one I won't ruin for readers of the book.

Do you plan subsequent books?

For Bloodmaiden, no. It is one of few of my books not part of a series.

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

Again, thank you so much for having me! Tis been a true pleasure.

And to other fellow artists out there or to anyone with a dream, young or old: never give up! God has given you a gift; you must only use it. Keep working hard, and some day, your dream can come true.

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