Thursday, July 30, 2009

T2T Interview: Christina Harner

I'm hosting author Christina Harner today as part of Traveling To Teens. Harner's debut novel Behind Every Illusion is on sale now!

Christina Harner spent years studying the complexities of culture for her B.A. A lover of all things fantasy and creating imaginary beings and stories in her head, she is thrilled to finally blend her passions for anthropology, nature and the unknown realm of fairies together in her debut book. She wrote the book while living in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and two children.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
If anyone had told me two years ago that I’d write something longer than my sixty page senior paper I would have laughed at them. Sure, I wrote an article for my college’s newspaper and quite a few ten page essays on books, music and religion; but the “author” title didn’t come until Christmas of 2007.

What inspired you to pen your first novel?
I gave my husband a new laptop for Christmas. Sitting in bed that night, I held the old Toshiba in my lap, trying to think of what to do with it (the thing was ancient; Microsoft Word was pretty much the only functional program). So I grabbed a story out of my head, one that I’d been rehearsing for no one but myself for a few months, and began to type the intro, which I’m now very attached to (even if I should probably just chop it). I then wrote my favorite scenes (starting with a scene in the middle where Tatiana goes to the concert and meets… well, someone).

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
My dad influence my writing the most. He’s an author. A brilliant one. He focuses on character development and the story springs from the people he carefully crafts from his imagination. I was also influenced by Holly Black, author of one of my favorite books, Ironside, a simple yet exciting story about a young girl who is actually a fairy. After reading her saga, I wanted to write something that brought an even deeper study of the reactions and growth that would revolve around a girl who discovers she’s changing.

How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
Besides simple things like naming her hometown of Bellevue after my hometown, I based many of my characters on family. I was very close to my brother and sister growing up. I was the oldest, but my younger brother, Daniel, was the inspiration for the character of Isaac, Tatiana’s younger brother. I also based the story in Louisville, Kentucky, where I resided until, well, yesterday! One of my readers from Louisville told me she actually went down to Bardstown Road while reading parts of the book so she could put the story in perspective.

Do you have a specific writing style?
Remember how I said I never thought I’d write a book? So, to tell you the truth, I’m not even sure what my “writing style” is! However, I’d say that I wrote the book so greatly from Tatiana’s perspective that the entire story is seen in a slanted light. She’s shy, nervous and tends to overlook some (cough cough) obvious things about those around her. So that’s how I wrote the book. Book 2 (the name is still a secret!) is being written from the perspective of a more confident male character, so that should be interesting!

Thanks Christina!

To read my review of Behind Every Illusion click here.

For more information about Christina and her books, please visit her website here.

2 comments:

  1. What a great review.... I love her journey to writing.... I am still trying to get there and reviews like this inspire me! :)

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  2. I'm really interested in reading Behind Every Illusion. Thanks for the interview!

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