Author Interview – Christie Stratos – Anatomy of a Darkened Heart

Good evening everyone.

It is with the greatest of pleasure to introduce to you the multi-talented author Christie Stratos who has kindly offered to talk to us today about her amazing work ethic, her engaging writing and useful creativity advice.

Take it away Christie!

Christie, lovely to have you here today on my blog.

Thanks so much! 😀

Firstly, let’s talk about your debut novel “Anatomy of a Darkened Heart (Dark Victoriana Collection Vol 1)”. What genre(s) would you classify your book as sitting in or spanning? Who is Victoriana? And who is our protagonist Abigail Delilah and what conflicts and challenges does she face in your novel?

AoDH, as I like to abbreviate it, is dark psychological historical fiction. You could break that down to dark fiction, psychological thriller, and historical fiction. It’s impossible to call my book just one of these, so I melded the genres together.

“Victoriana” is not so much a “who” as a “what”. The word Victoriana means anything from or about the Victorian era, and since this whole collection of books takes place in the Victorian time period with different characters and plots, I named the collection after its time period.

Abigail Delilah, the main character, is faced with an entire life of conflict. She’s born to parents who don’t want her and already have more than enough tension in their relationship. All their problems and resentments overflow onto her. Her struggles begin with trying to maintain her sense of self while being treated by her parents as if she’s a wretched child right from birth. As she grows older, things worsen and complications pile up until…well, it’s really something you have to read. The book is wrought with relationship and psychological problems in all the characters. As one reviewer said, there are no easy answers.

Anatomy2

If your novel were to be made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?

This is a question I don’t think about often as I tend not to like describing characters to a T. I like the reader to be able to use their imagination as much as possible, so I only describe looks when they really matter to the story.

That being said, I only have two specific people I would love to cast in a movie version, and they’re both British! (AoDH takes place in Victorian America.) Eddie Redmayne would be the perfect actor for the role of Conrad Scott, a kind, wealthy young man Abigail accidentally meets in the town gardens. Some of the character’s looks are actually exaggerations of Redmayne’s looks, and I think his manner would be absolutely perfect for the role.

The other person I’d love to play a role – any role – is Rob James-Collier (Thomas from Downton Abbey), whose versatility and brilliant darkness would fit perfectly with the book. He would be fantastic as Richard Whitestone, Abigail’s father, but I’d really let him have his pick of the male characters in AoDH.

You recently started a YouTube series where you combine writing insight and gaming walkthrough/playthrough with American McGee’s “Alice” and are already eight episodes in to the series. What inspired you to pick this particular game, are you a big fan of Alice In Wonderland? And what can we expect to see in the episodes, in a concept which is both fun to watch and educational to writers?

I did have a tough time deciding which game I should play first while I give writing advice and discuss my own experiences. I thought about a few but settled on Alice because it’s based on classic literature. There are just so many talking points about Alice herself, this dark video game version versus the original children’s story, etc. Alice is so well loved, I thought it was a great way to kick off the whole let’s play-writing discussion combination. I’m also fascinated by Alice in Wonderland and have never really been able to figure out what made it so popular and classic. I like to pick apart things I don’t understand, so that’s probably another reason I’ve decided to do a few things Alice related (there is more to come…).

These episodes range from book discussions to video game symbolism to writing advice, with a different topic every week. I wanted a different format through which I could casually discuss these things instead of always sitting in front of the camera. I think this format gives you something to look at, something to laugh at, and something to listen to.

Who are some of the authors in general that inspire you?

SHAKESPEARE! He’s my number one influence, the first author to get me interested in psychology in fiction and fine detail. I also love Gillian Flynn’s dark psychological perspectives, and I’ve recently discovered Brandon Sanderson’s genius. His level of detail and finesse is unparalleled. I read lots of books but rarely return to the same author again and again. These three are authors I study and love.

What sort of research do you do to write your books?

The most valuable research is when I can get my hands on books from the time period (1840-1861). I have a few books from this time period including a dictionary, a cookbook, and household care books. I also use fashion prints from the time period to describe dresses and other clothing so that it’s totally accurate. Another thing I love to do is go to a particular auction that always has a lot of Victorian jewelry. I’ve based pieces in AoDH on real jewelry from the time period. I talk about this last research method in the video below.

Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?

I have ALWAYS loved writing ever since I was a child, and whenever I’ve stopped writing for a while, I ended up feeling lost and empty. I always go back to it. One day I suddenly realized that I, too, could do more than write poetry and short stories and occasionally submit them to lit mags. I could write novels and publish them myself instead of going through traditional publishers who would no doubt change my writing in ways I wouldn’t like. I could even publish my own poetry and short stories instead of submitting them, if I wanted. Why it took a few years after college before this occurred to me, I don’t know, but I’ve been doing it ever since. I already know this will be what I do for the rest of my life.

What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?

The only creative slumps I get are caused by stress. During those times, I turn to writing things in a different format. I used to write only haikus when I was frustrated by the heavy stress I was under at work, but now I write them all the time, and they seem to keep me from totally losing touch with my creative side during these difficult (and sometimes lengthy) periods. It’s important to keep writing at all times, and it’s even more important to realize that even writing notes for a book, short story, etc. counts as writing.

Usually with writer’s block I skip around whatever section I’m having trouble with and move to a different section of the book. Sometimes moving forward regardless of my problems in one section can end up resolving the question by working on later sections. It solves itself that way. It’s not as easy with short stories though. My short stories are usually very short, so when I get stuck there, I have to walk away and wait for it to come to me. Once I waited a whole year!

How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?

I’m not sure what “free time” is, but if I find any, I’ll let you know.

Anatomy1

Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?

I have a 15-year publishing plan. No joke. The Dark Victoriana Collection will be a total of 5 books with a couple of short stories in there as well. The next book in this collection is Locke and Keye, which will be released fall 2016. In 2017, the next book (Love’s Bloom) will be published along with a novella I’m contributing to the Happy Endings Resort Series. To summarize, I’m going to publish at least one book per year from the Dark Victoriana Collection, plus other projects. After the Victorian collection is finished, I’ll work on a medieval duology (at this point, I believe it will be a duology), followed by a film noir type book, a couple of fantasy-based books, and more and more. During all this I’ll still contribute to anthologies and lit mags. I have so many ideas, there won’t be a year that goes by without publications from me!

Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?

I always say this: write what you want to write, not what others have written. I know it’s very tempting to jump on the trend bandwagon and publish genres that are oversaturating the book market, but the most important thing that will satisfy both you and your readers is to write books you love, books you want to read. Readers can feel it when a book’s writer is in love with it. Don’t write anything just to put something out there, and don’t avoid writing something just because it doesn’t fit into a popular genre.

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for having me!

Bio:-

ChristieStratos

Christie Stratos is an award-winning writer who holds a degree in English Literature. She is the author of Anatomy of a Darkened Heart, the first book of five in the Dark Victoriana Collection. Christie has had short stories and poetry published in Ginosko Literary Journal, Andromedae Review, 99Fiction, and various anthologies. An avid reader of all genres and world literature, Christie reads everything from bestsellers to classics to indies.

You can contact Christie on the following Social Media platforms:-

Author website: The website of Christie Stratos
Editing website: Proof Positive Editing Services
Amazon Author page: Christie Stratos – Amazon Author Page
Twitter: Christie Stratos (Twitter)
Facebook: Christie Stratos Author (FB)
Instagram: christie_stratos (Instagram)
YouTube: Christie Stratos – YouTube Channel
Goodreads: Christie Stratos – Goodreads Author
Pinterest: Christie Stratos (Pinterest)
Google+: Christie Stratos (Google Plus)

You can buy Anatomy of a Darkened Heart at the following outlets:-

Amazon: Anatomy of a Darkened Heart
Barnes and Noble: Anatomy of a Darkened Heart
Smashwords: Anatomy of a Darkened Heart

If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.

Want more? Well, as writers and artists we are always learning new things about our arts and crafts from the beautiful endeavours of others. For more blog posts on the theme of ‘Learning’ then check out the links below:-

1. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Toys – islesgilian
2. 3 IDIOTS, CHATTUR AND ME – Wanderlust
3. I Am a Teacher – Fledglings and Beyond
4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Postcard from a Pigeon
5. A Momma’s View – Work In Progress
6. “Learning. ” – Nomadic Adventurer
7. Blogger Recognition Award – lovelyricism
8. Chronicling life & recording thoughts – Thoughts about Learning
9. Spiritual Reflections – Salt of the earth – Let The Light In ~ Reflections
10. My Mixed Blog – Live and Learn
11. Laurel Grove loves… – What “Hit the Road, Jack” really means
12. It’s All in Finding the Right Words – Learning
13. ‘Titanic’s Childhood’ – The Last Blog Available
14. Intentergy – What do you want to learn?- a first day question for students
15. Kerry On Your Personal Assistant – The BEST of – Window Cleaners – Excellent Window Cleaning
16. The Uniqueness of Learning – Meg’s Magical Musings
17. Life after the Delete button – Life of Di
18. Impromptu Promptlings – What I’ve Learned via The Sandbox Writing Challenge – Linda (Spiritual Dragonfly)
19. learning to yield – Praise Word Spaces
20. Learning – Shilpa Nairy
21. The little things – Freed to Exceed
22. Work in Progress – Optimal Daily Word Count
23. Learning – YUDITH’S Journal
24. A Lesson In Love – Asleep At The Wheel
25. Strange Salmagundi – Learning, That’s the Key Here
26. Loss – Opal Reflections
27. 10 Reasons Why the Panhellenic Exams are Flawed – GREECE LISTS
28. jesuslovemercyandme – You’re Never too Old
29. Positive Leadership by Jef Menguin – 6. Learn like a child.
30. Wordless Wednesday: Watch And Learn – whippetwisdom.com
31. Learn for free! – Shiny Eyes
32. From the streets of Nairobi to being one of the most known radio presentor in Kenya.The power of education in learning. – DISCOVERY BLOG
33. A Work in Progress – Kiwi Chick
34. Learning thru life – The Inkwell
35. The Closest Thing to a Diary I Have Ever Kept – Time
36. Learning – Mahiself
37. Men Appreciation Thread – LIVING AND LEARNING
38. The Last Goodbye (Revisited) – stephentotheplate
39. Awakening: A Bittersweet Ache – atrangizindagieksafar
40. Significant Lesson from an Insignificant Incident – Hershey’s World
41. Learning – CrossGear
42. Meet Me in Nevada – Learning to Love Again
43. theblackwallblog – Found A Feather-What Does it Mean?
44. Purposive Writer – Passing The Test
45. Finding Me – continue Learning to stop the anger
46. I’m Still Learning · Daily Prompt – whatamberthinks
47. LIFE, LEMONS, ESCAPADES – Why You Need to Take an Online Course at Shaw Academy
48. helen meikle’s scribblefest – Daily prompt: Things veterans learn and heads of state don’t
49. Commencement – A lot from Lydia
50. Lisa’s Journal Blog – Learning Ham Radio
51. Mainline_Matter – Learning The Truth
52. The Hidden Chalkboard (The HC) – “Repeat and Enlarge”
53. Don’t Get It Right, Get It Written! – a nomad in cyberspace
54. MY ENDURING BONES – We Are Stories
55. Positively Un-broken – Disposable
56. dueyvan – To Love Again
57. Starting Fresh Once Again – Mac’s World
58. Wither Or Thrive – I’m Glad You Learned To Paint
59. Signs, Signs, Everywhere There’s Signs – Dangerspouse
60. How boys learn – My Daly Bred
61. another quiet muse – Learning (to let go)
62. Learning as a Leader – Reflections
63. kindergartenknowledge.com – Learning About Eagles. Amazing!
64. Raif Badawi – Odyssey In Atlantis
65. inspiration in progress – Romance – The Learning Curve (Fiction)
66. Moonlight Reflections – Learning
67. Twisted Roads of Madness – Day 104 – Learning – Daily Prompt Short Story
68. blogmylife86 – Learning – Everything
69. hoosiersunshine13 – The Cucumbers are Multiplying
70. Risking my teeth – aYoKa
71. manvsloneliness – Day 52 Supplemental: The Man and the Daily Prompt; ‘Learning’
72. Making Sense of Complications
73. Lakeland Musings by Irwin – To Learn or Not to Learn – That is the Question!
74. Learning to Read – Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky
75. A sign of the times – aYoKa
76. Share your blog! – Wie is Theo Herbots ? // Who is Theo Herbots?
77. artifiswords – LEARNING
78. The LEARNING. Partying with diabetes – Come in, sit down
79. Some People’s Kids – Sunken Thought
80. Learning – ExpectinGreatness
81. Entre erros e acertos (HIT AND MISSES) – Fenix Verde
82. April’s Perspective – Difficulties
83. The learning yearning – rupalislale
84. americandenial – Learning
85. Words on Words on Words – Learning is LEARNING
86. wordsareallihavesite – Daily Prompt:Learning
87. I’ll Teach You, Said the Sea to Me – Alchemy of Story
88. Some of My Favorite MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – Free University – Blog to Memoir
89. I’m sure – Painted in words
90. April love letters – Painted in words
91. To know how to – AS TOLD BY ALI
92. Michael J. Fite – What Can Adults Learn From Children?
93. Re-Learning: Just Write! – Shelby’s Starlit Crossing
94. Sandmanjazz – Old Dog with New Tricks
95. Learning – A Thomas Point of View
96. On Making Mistakes – Who I Was
97. Making it write – A sign of the times
98. websaladbar – The Learning. LEARNING QUOTES
99. Are you curious? – Mr.Brb_blog
100. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Hard Lessons
101. Autism in Our Nest – Social Learning
102. Beyond Saving – Leigha Robbins
103. Success Inspirers’ World – Are you willing to learn?
104. B_ up to date – Still am …
105. Belinda O – Wisdom is as Essential as Salt
106. Fluffy Pool – Damn Cat
107. Unlearning – aYoKa
108. thankful for the memory – know my heart
109. City of Slums and Skyscrapers – The Cliffhanger Chronicle
110. Mafe Roig – Tips to improve you mobile photography!
111. Diary of an amateur chef: Meal two – yasminmay
112. ativ schuberg – A solitary man
113. Learning New Form – Sneakers on Pavement
114. Learning – Image & Word
115. Learning – A Pantoum – Bits of Poems
116. Back to school–Senior Year. – 1withthepen
117. The Watching Clock – Writcrit
118. Small steps do matter – The Weightloss Journey of a Working Mom
119. Learning (Why Can’t You Be Quicker) – Simple Existence
120. Dear Past – From Sand to Gemstones
121. ATG Successful Living – A Day in the Life of A Blogger and Content Creator
122. kStan(ly) kSays – for gregor
123. Letting Go – English Lit Geek
124. Dollops of Heedful Ramblings – FFfAW: Time to Embrace Humanity
125. show me the way – themanbehindtheglass
126. Learning – Random Thoughts and Musings
127. Difference between federal funds rate and discount rate? – The Mono-Economy of the New Millennium
128. Will I ever learn? – motheringaddicts
129. FYI: What is the Electoral College? How does it work? – The Mono-Economy of the New Millennium
130. kStan(ly) kSays – ba ba ba bored
131. Hot White Snow – The Trauma of First Grade
132. Signs of the Times #3: Thoughts on jobs and jobs training – The Mono-Economy of the New Millennium
133. Tiffany Higgins, writer – #Learning
134. What I learn from you – Awordseeker
135. The Green Dog Chronicles. My Life in Navia – The Torture of Delusion
136. Yvy Maraey Foundation hosts Seminar on Minorized Languages – lucarna
137. Michael J. Fite – How Can You Learn From Your Confused State Of Mind?
138. Learning to Fly – Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored
139. Mistakes – …Illusive…Road…
140. We Are Always Learning – Odyssey In Atlantis
141. Looking – A Short Conversation
142. Writing and Works – Learning: Scrambling Through Life One Day At A Time
143. Life with Jess – Dancing In The Rain
144. Red Mountain Motel – Pictures Daily Prompt–Learning
145. the FLAVORED word – Why everyone should want to be called a failure-at least once in their life.
146. Learning – disue
147. Relax – Thornlessly
148. Scott’s Place – The Task of Unlearning
149. Colombia gebracht door Theo Herbots // Brought by Theo Herbots – Wie is Theo Herbots ? // Who is Theo Herbots?
150. Beauty in ignorance. – My valiant soul
151. Writer Sanctuary – Can Anyone Be an Online Freelance Writer?
152. The Ride – Dreams in Alaska
153. I – indisputably inconclusive
154. The Daily Post-Learning – juantetcts
155. Continue Me Story… – Random Stories Under A Blue Moon
156. What Rhymes with Stanza? – Discovery
157. Saturin and Her Moons – Taste Tuesdays: Century Duck Eggs
158. Beauty in ignorance. – My valiant soul
159. Insach – Know it all!
160. What do you see? – cirque de la nuit
161. Learning – Covert Novelist
162. Once Upon Your Prime – Adult Preschool?(Puppets, Painting, & Puzzles . . . Oh My!)
163. The Gad About Town – An Open-and-Shut Case of Something or Other
164. Learning – Thoughts Uncovered
165. Learn to Smile – Caillen James –Author
166. Learning to Fly – Bolognese’s Blog
167. Crossing Colorado – Know Your Body to Achieve Better Health
168. A Life In A Day – Learn, Unlearn, Relearn.
169. Alpha Butler Charlie – Montessori-ish
170. dinamicdynasty – Learning
171. Voracious Reader – A Lifelong Endeavor
172. On Adulthood – The ink drop
173. Jibber Jabber with Sue – Can You Crack The Code?
174. Love Lorn PT6 – Sunken Thought
175. Musings of a Random Mind – The Guest House
176. 83 Unsung Heroes – A Second Chance
177. The Start of a New Year – icicle
178. Common Pursuit – Always
179. Kalachakra – ARJUN SHIVARAM
180. words. – Life Without Learning
181. eladybug52 – Learning Empathy
182. naturekids – Learning in the woods
183. Tucked Memories – Cynthia Goes Online
184. prompt: learning – Martyr
185. Why Again Did I Decide to Homeschool? – Step-Parent’s Sanctuary
186. Rufina – From Sand to Gemstones
187. Sometimes U Win… Sometimes U Learn – SUCCESS STRATEGIES
188. Learning… – Where’s the Windmill?
189. Kimberlee K. – Me, Myself & My Broom (And How We Solve Problems)
190. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: Feline Learning
191. Unlearn – Cynthia Goes Online
192. Original-Dante – What I Saw/What She Saw
193. Learning The Act of Love – eddaz
194. Wordy Duck – Let me teach you about the Black Hole
195. Another Bad Conversation – The Day the Music Died
196. 5 Ways NOT to Promote Yourself on Social Media – Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink
197. I Will Fight Site – Flashing Lights
198. My Living Room Education – The Beautiful Rebellion
199. Michael J. Fite – What Are You Learning From Life’s Classroom
200. Learning I love oral sex – Insidious Temptation
201. Laura Macky Photography – Learning (The Daily Post)
202. Awl and Scribe – Learning
203. Learning daily, or how to not become a self righteous prig ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
204. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – There is always something to learn
205. The Six Foot Jew – A Temple With A View
206. Learning The balloon boy! – mytravellingtalessite
207. Buti Yoga: Dynamic Flow – jessicasblog45
208. Introverted Blahs and Hurrahs – On friendship
209. Think About It – Things I’m Learning
210. life in between – Sprinkled with a Dash of Melancholoy
211. Looking for Another Lead – Onto My Next 40 Years
212. kwesi – Learning
213. HarlemATL Inner City Blues – 50/50 Chance
214. MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO – True Love
215. I am what I… – In at the deep end
216. Is this a teachable moment? – writemebad
217. Baby Step or Giant Leap – CANEST
218. A summers day – Bloggers Paradise
219. Learning to Learn – Logical Deesign
220. The Poetry Channel – Lines and Missed Demeanors
221. Learning … – pins & ashes
222. Race doesn’t exist, but we do. – PsychPerspectives
223. Excitement about Learning – newlifeduringmidlife
224. Learning (A Never Ending Process) – RituSinghdiaries
225. Love and War [DWPrompt] – The Cliffhanger Chronicle
226. Standisms: life through my eyes – daily prompt – Learning
227. Learning – mum’s going nuts
228. I wrote a book. Now what? – Show and tell
229. Le Happyone – If I told you that OCD is a bully, would you stop him?
230. A Life’s Work – My Second Act, Scene One
231. Learn To Teach – organicdime
232. Learning – Ripples N Reflections
233. A Vibrant Palette – Learning Never Stops
234. ramblings of reticent risb – Still Learning
235. Devil Doll Musings – Hot For Teacher
236. Perks of a Being a Bookworm – Dreamer on a Cloud
237. Mary 2.0 – Shedding Joylessness
238. A student of love and life – Ms Skyfall
239. Lost Property Repository – When did we stop learning?
240. Spoonerisms: I Spite Roonerisms! – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
241. Zombie Flamingos – And now, this…
242. The Ruins – Life at 17
243. Sea Shore – mySestina
244. Shell’s Studio – Learning
245. Blog to Share What You Know – On Considering Why People Read Blogs – Blog to Memoir
246. Looking Back, Part 2 – Writings from the Heart
247. the15thday – rant. deal with it.
248. Vivid Dreamer – Knowledge Gears
249. kristinakoti – Can not avoid judging
250. Learning! – Oh, border!
251. Learning German – NOT Quick and NOT Easy! – Justus Books
252. Lost Property Repository – Am I still learning?
253. Learning – Allison’s Written Words
254. Week 31: Set at sea – writing blog
255. Poem: Candlewax – andrewhalteromniblog
256. Southern By Design – Creativity Reimagined
257. LEARNING – My QuotesVilla
258. Boring Bug – A day in Life
259. thelonerose – Remembering love
260. All Our Days – Pete Gardner Psalms
261. La Tour Abolie – Goodbye, Miss Chips
262. Learning & Writings – mySestina
263. ….on pets and prisoners….. – daily prompt: learning
264. I Love to Teach – Just Writing!
265. River Rocket Oliver: Learning Tolerance – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
266. Travel Much? – Things one should avoid to say in Spanish
267. Travel Much? – Sausage much?
268. kStan(ly) kSays – at least we can say that we did
269. Back to School – The DADgum Blog
270. Facebook: A Virtual Country/State? – Khayal
271. A lesson in resilience – The Wandering Poet
272. Passion through Poetry – Learning
273. Frank Prem – learning to kook
274. Frank Prem – state of the art
275. Lantern Words – Yearning For Learning
276. Frank Prem – materinski jezik – the mother tongue

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Author Interview – Christie Stratos – Anatomy of a Darkened Heart

  1. Pingback: Interviewed by Too Full To Write! « CHRISTIE STRATOS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s