Christine Hart is a Canadian author who writes New Adult, which is a fairly new field, And she lives in one of my favorite places. I love British Columbia. Our family spent time in Vancouver when my wasband was filming Who's Harry Crumb and People Across the Lake. There were so many child oriented adventure in the city. On weekends we left the city to explore. But I digress. Christine, please tell us a little about yourself.
This one is always hard to answer. Should I talk about where I came from (Edmonton and BC’s Okanagan Valley) or should I tell everyone about my start in non-fiction writing articles, ads, and press releases?
It’s probably more interesting if I skip to right now. I live on the West Coast, specifically Langley, BC. I work from home with two adorable and active toddlers underfoot – which functions exactly like you think it does (99% #nightwriting).
At the moment, I’m working tirelessly to get the word out about my new Paranormal Romance trilogy The Variant Conspiracy.
Book 1, In Irina’s Cards came out May 4th of this year. Book 2, The Compendium was just released July 13th. And Book 3, Terra Nova comes out September 14th. It’s been a wild year so far and I can’t wait to share the rest of this story!
Tell us about The Compendium.
The Compendium is the second book of a paranormal sci-fi romance trilogy for new adults. It’s called The Variant Conspiracy. In Book 1, In Irina’s Cards, my heroine uncovers a plot to essentially remake the world resulting in a planet uninhabitable for anyone but the genetic ‘variants’ who are part of her newfound subculture. Book 2 takes the story on the road as my heroine and her friends pursue a terrifying threat to life as we know it.
Here’s the blurb for The Compendium:
Irina and her renegade variant friends are scrambling to pick up the trail of their former employer, Ivan, and his globally catastrophic scheme. After strategically sharing their story with the media, the group heads south from Vancouver to Seattle hoping to recruit more experienced – and lethal – variants to their cause.
Their attention develops a laser focus on an engineered disaster mere days ahead of them. Ivan is using what staff and resources remain of Innoviro Industries to set off a violent earthquake in San Francisco. While they fight to stop the earthquake, Irina pushes the love of her life Jonah as far away as she can, trying to keep his unstable genetic degradation in check.
Irina’s friends think they’ve seen the worst that Innoviro could bring forth by the time they reach a secret facility in the Mojave Desert. As they near the property, the group uncovers a horror none of them had ever imagined.
What do you think makes a good story?
Above all, I think a story needs a rollercoaster plot. From there, relatable and likeable characters are critical, along with villains you love to hate. When I shape my story ideas – both novels and shorts – I think about the stories and characters from my favourite authors that really stuck with me over the years. Who are those favourite authors? To name just a few, I’ll start with contemporary authors like Neil Gaiman, Charlaine Harris, Suzanne Collins, J.K. Rowling, and Stephen King. Going back a bit farther, I love John Wyndham, Ray Bradbury, J.R.R. Tolkien, and H.P. Lovecraft. Although my personal list of amazing writers is miles longer, those are the really recognizable names that top my picks for master story-crafters.
What motivated you to start writing fiction?
Writing fiction wasn’t such a huge leap for me. I’ve been a writer most of my adult life. I started out publishing in student newspapers at the University of Victoria and working for different university offices while completing my BA in English and Professional Writing. Once I started taking writing courses, I figured out pretty quickly that journalism wasn’t my thing, so I focused on communications instead and as a result I’ve worked a variety of jobs in the corporate world. But it wasn’t fulfilling. I loved to write, but something was missing.
I finally gave fiction a try in my mid-twenties, experimenting with children’s picture books and short stories before I hit my stride writing young adult. My first few novel ideas started as nostalgia for growing up in the Okanagan. My YA titles mostly explored my personal experiences and stories from the periphery of my life.
When developing The Variant Conspiracy, I realized some of the themes and plots I wanted to explore were more mature than most young adult publishers would tackle. I started considering the new adult market. In Canada the ‘new adult’ category is still being incorporated into the publishing landscape, so the opportunities up here are slim. Fortunately I found an amazing home for The Variant Conspiracy at NY-based Soul Mate Publishing.
How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation?
I have an interesting relationship with writer’s block. I simply don’t allow it. I push myself to write, even if it isn’t flowing or thrilling me in the moment. If I’m going to get a chapter done on a particular day, that’s what happens. I’ve written with an infant strapped to my chest. I’ve written bleary-eyed until midnight. When it comes to deadlines, even those I set for myself, I’m my own hardest taskmaster.
What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
When I’m not working, writing fiction, or chasing children, I break stuff to make stuff. I take apart watches, computers, electronics, and vintage jewelry to create new wearable art. It sounds odd and it is, but I’ve had so much fun turning trash into treasure, I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. My Etsy alter-ego is Sleepless Storyteller, a steampunk and industrial obsessed butterfly enthusiast.
And finally, where can we find you?
Find me on Facebook
Text me on Twitter
Thank you so much for being here, Christine. Christine is giving away the first book in The Variant Conspiracy series, In Irina’s Cards
Enter below. Happy reading!a Rafflecopter giveaway