Black Wings is one of the debut books on the Urban Paranormal scene that I have been eagerly awaiting for months. It arrived on my Kindle and I wished so much that I could hide somewhere and read it. As it is I am only 35% into Black Wings and well I would rather be reading it than blogging ;) Look out for my review because I am definitely going to be saying good things about it.
So here is your chance to get to know the author a little and maybe even win yourself a copy of Black Wings. It has debuted at #7 on the Barnes and Noble bestselling science fiction and fantasy paperback list! Enjoy the interview! I am off to see where those Black Wings are flying to next...
Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about your debut book, Black Wings?
Christina - Maddy Black is an Agent of death. It’s an inherited job with no pay. She’s broke, she’s stressed and she’s got to rent the apartment in her building if she wants to have some income. She takes on a new tenant who winds up bringing a whole host of new supernatural problems with him. She’s also got a very mouthy gargoyle with a bad popcorn habit who loves to express his opinion on everything.
Amber - Were you nervous about the release? What was it like reading the reviews?
Christina – I was more excited than nervous. The first time I saw the book in the bookstore I wanted to jump up and down! I restrained myself, though :)
The majority of the reviews for the book have been pretty good. Not everyone has loved the book but that’s OK – not every book is for every reader.
Amber - How did you come up with the idea for Black Wings? Was it a long process or did it just come to you?
Christina - I originally had an idea to write a story about the Grim Reaper. As I started writing and working out the mythology for the Agency I decided I could work in the Fallen – it seemed like a natural fit. Plus, at the time there weren’t really any fallen angel books out on the market and I wanted something to distinguish the book from all the vampires and werewolves (not that vampires and werewolves are bad – I just wanted to do something a little different).
Amber - What kind of research did you have to do for Black Wings? Anything interesting or is the research boring?
Christina – I didn’t really do too much research. I looked up the angelic hierarchy on Wikipedia and the definitions of the Grigori and the nephilim. I wanted the mythology of Black Wings to be my own so I tried to stay away from too much research – I didn’t want to be influenced by other sources.
Amber - How did you pick the names for your characters? Do the names have any special meanings?
Christina – Maddy was just a name that I liked. It seemed strong but also likeable. I picked Gabriel because it’s another of my favorite names. I wanted to name my son Gabriel but husband didn’t agree :)
Most of the other names were drawn from the angelic hierarchy list, but don’t necessarily match their biblical descriptions - I just picked the names that sounded the best or seemed like they fit the characters.
Amber - What is like being a new author on the writing scene? Wild parties with other authors or sitting at home writing more books as fast as possible?
Christina – There are definitely no wild parties unless you count the way we all comment on each other’s blog postings :) That’s about as wild as it gets.
Other than that, most of the time is spent on the business of writing – not just working on new books but also editing, proofreading, promoting and blogging. Most of my day is spent doing something writing-related.
The rest of the time I fetch snacks for my perpetually hungry four-year-old.
Amber - Why did you decide to start writing? And how long did it take to get published?
Christina – I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 12 years old, but never really put in the time to achieve that dream until a couple of years ago. Once I finally completed a manuscript (Black Wings) it took six months for me to get picked up by Ace.
Amber - What is next? Are you working on any other projects you would like to tell us about?
Christina – I’m working on the third book of the Madeline Black series right now. Once I finish this I’ve got an idea for another book but I’m trying not to think about it too hard about it right now – I don’t want to get distracted until I’m done writing Maddy’s book :)
Amber - Why did you pick the Paranormal Urban Fantasy genre?
Christina – I picked urban fantasy because it’s a genre that I like to read. You have so many opportunities to play with this genre as a writer – with different creatures, different mythologies, different kinds of magic, different levels of action and romance – I think every urban fantasy out there really stands alone. There’s something for everyone!
Amber - What are you listening and watching lately? Is there any music or other media that influences your writing?
Christina – I always put together a playlist for each book that I write. I start off with an 8-10 song playlist and then I add to it as I get further into the novel until I’ve got about 20-25 songs that I listen to while I write. Every time I sit down at my laptop that playlist brings me right back into the story and the overall emotional arc of Maddy’s character. When I get to a point where the writing feels stuck or stale, I’ll put the playlist on my iPod and just listen to the music while I run errands or bake something in the kitchen. If I let my mind wander while still staying inside Maddy’s world through the music the next piece of the story will usually occur to me.
Right now I’m finally getting around to watching “The Walking Dead” – the whole six-episode season is in my DVR because I’m terrible about keeping up with TV shows. It’s a really fantastic series so I’m glad I get to watch the whole thing in one shot!
Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?
Christina – Definitely a werewolf. You get to look like an ordinary human being but transform into something incredibly fast and powerful…I’ve always had a soft spot for werewolf stories.
Amber - Thank you so much for being a guest on Amberkatze's Book Blog! I hope you will come back again ;)
Christina – Thanks so much for having me!
CHRISTINA HENRY is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and enjoys running long distances, reading anything she can get her hands on and watching movies with samurai, zombies, and subtitles in her spare time. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.
Visit her website!
This week the contest is limited to US/Canada only. The winner will get a copy of Black Wings and you really do want it :)
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