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by Dee Gentle
Leslie Tramposch: Managing Editor - Sara Reyes: Marketing and Publicity

April 2005 Issue

Spotlight on Luna Books


Christie Golden

Christie Golden is the author of twenty-six novels and over a dozen short stories in the fields of fantasy, science fiction and horror. In 1999, she won the Colorado Author's League Top Hand Award for Best Genre Novel for A.D. 999, written under the pen name of Jadrien Bell. She launched TSR's gothic horror fantasy line with Vampire of the Mists, which introduced thepopular elven vampire Jander Sunstar, and has written several tie-in books and short stories for Star Trek: Voyager, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, among others. Golden recently completed a three-year intensive and practicum with All Season's Chalice Church in the ceremonial and ritual arts, earning the title of Priestess of the Ceremonial Arts. She lives inColorado with her artist husband and their two cats. Her first novel for LUNA Books, On Fire's Wings, which received excellent reviews, began the Final Dance saga continued in In Stone's Clasp.


An Interview with Christie Golden


PNR:
When did you begin writing?

Christie G.: Depends on how you define “writing.” When I was old enough to clutch a crayon between my little fingers I was scribbling “books,” which I made by folding and stapling that ubiquitous off-white paper so common in schools in the sixties. I would write (and illustrate, multi-threat author then)“books” for my parents and teachers. I remember in seventh grade asking my English teacher if I could write the first chapter of a novel instead of the required short story, and she said yes. That first chapter launched me into my first original fantasy series. I sold my first novel in 1990.

PNR:
How do you manage to balance your writing and personal time? What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?

Christie G.: I am one of the blessed few who can actually make a living by writing now (with of course help from my husband and his job). So I get to write at home during the day. I write about four hours a day; I can't be creative for more than that. I take a lot of breaks. I enjoy walking and hiking. Currently I'm training to walk a half marathon in September. I love traveling when I can, and watching some favorite TV shows and going to movies. My husband and I both enjoy cooking, especially with home-grown herbs and veggies, and I'm starting to learn a bit about fine wines. I used to read a lot more when I wasn't writing, and I don't read as often in my field any more. My current passion is the online computer game World of Warcraft; I wrote a Warcraft novel and when the game was released found that I loved playing it.

PNR:
What is the best part about being a writer? The most frustrating?

Christie G.: The best part: watching characters come to life. I end up writing “friends” for myself! I love creating those people, and then, of course, throwing terrible things at them. Most frustrating: knowing that in this business, so much of your own personal success is out of your control. You can write the best book in the world, but if the publisher isn't going to get behind it and you get stuck with a bad cover or poor distribution, your career can be over before it starts. I'm so lucky to have landed with LUNA. All the people I interact with have been wonderful, they are very supportive of their authors, and well, those great covers speak for themselves.

PNR:
Where do you get the ideas for your books?

Christie G.: Everywhere. A newspaper story. A comment from a friend over dinner. Watching someone while waiting in line at the grocery store. Watching the Travel Channel, History Channel, and All Kinds of Interesting Things Channel (not real, but it should be.) Keeping your eyes and ears open. Ideas are all around you.

PNR:
What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?

Christie G.: For me, it’s got to be characters first. If I don't enjoy a character’s company, if this person isn't a good “traveling companion,” I'm not going to want to hang out with him or her for an entire book. That goes for writing as well as reading, and it doesn't mean a character has to be perfect. In fact, flawed is much more fun. I love a good twist, but it has to be set up fairly. I like suspense, sexual tension, things that make me laugh and things that make me cry. Most of all, I love to read and write about the triumph of the human spirit, and I don't think that’s sappy at all.

PNR: As the author of more than 25 novels, you are very prolific. What is your favorite genre in which to write?

Christie G.: Fantasy, absolutely. It’s what I always dreamed of writing and for various reasons, it’s been a long road to get here. I enjoy the tension of horror, and the science of science fiction, but it’s the mythic and the magical that I love the best.

PNR:
Which author(s) is your favorite? And who has most influenced your work?

Christie G.: Hard question! Right now I'm into mysteries, simply because they are such a change from what I write every day. I love Ed McBain, and was thrilled to meet him at a signing once. What a terrific human being! I also enjoy Patricia Cornwell, Elizabeth Peters (also someone I was lucky enough to meet, and an absolute delight as you might imagine), Tony Hillerman, and Ellis Peters. In my field, I was influenced early on by Katherine Kurtz, the late and definitely great Andre Norton, and of course Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. George R.R. Martin is writing some of the best epic fantasy out there these days.

PNR:
Could you tell us about the publication of your book, On Fire’s Wings?

Christie G.: I'd been wanting to write a series that dealt with the five elements (yes, five--air, earth, fire, water and spirit!) for some time. I worked up an extensive, detailed outline of ON FIRE'S WINGS (25 pages, double spaced) and the prologue and first three chapters. I also wrote shorter outlines (about a page each) for the following five books so the editor could see where I planned to take the series. I wanted each book to focus on one of the Dancers as a story unto itself, while also being part of an overall, larger story arc. I was initially offered a three-book contract, and subsequently have been asked to do the final two. I'm not certain, but I believe this is the biggest series LUNA has committed to; most of the others are trilogies.

PNR:
As a reader, I found myself drawn in by Kevla’s plight and experienced an emotional bond with her, could you tell us about the development of her character?

Christie G.: I mentioned earlier I like to write with characters I want to be around--Kevla is a good “traveling companion.” I love hanging with her. I made a decision early on not to do a stereotypical “fiery” woman for the Flame Dancer, the element of Fire. I concentrated on Fire’s more nurturing aspects, and Kevla is a gentle and graceful spirit. She’s tougher, life has been difficult and a lesser soul would have grown bitter and hardened. Kevla remains open to pain, open to delight, and that I think makes her interesting. Her compassion is her strength. She’s more comfortable in the shadows, as an observer and servant, and it’s been fun going with her over two books thus far and seeing how she steps into her role not only as a Dancer, a pivotal mover and shaker in her world, but the actual leader of the Dancers. One thing I really wanted to do was to make sure she was not a man in women’s clothes; Kevla is definitely feminine, and her power which is great, largely comes from that.

PNR:
In your book On Fire’s Wings, there is very extensive and masterful world building; is this difficult? Tell us about the process.

Christie G.: World building does not come naturally to me. I prefer to concentrate on personal relationships between characters. So this was a challenge! I even wrote a brief essay about how to trick yourself into enjoying writing description over on the LUNA boards. But I've really enjoyed it. The nice thing is that I was able to build as I went. I didn't need to know everything when I started out. I know things now, as I start the third book of the series, that I had no idea about when I began ON FIRE’S WINGS. It’s almost as fun to create these things as it is for readers to read them! My particular trick is to use the senses for description. I also like to think about how a place and climate shapes people; the culture of Arukan, a desert land, is vastly different from that of Lamal, the northern land featured in the second book. I do research on actual places (Egypt and other desert societies for ON FIRE’S WINGS, Finland for IN STONE’S CLASP, Ireland for UNDER SEA’S SHADOW) and then add my own developments.

PNR: What projects you are currently working on? Please tell us about “The Final Dance” series.

Christie G.: I’ve just finished up the revisions for IN STONE’S CLASP, book two of “The Final Dance.” We'll travel with Kevla to meet the Stone Dancer, who is the element of Earth. It’s kind of funny the story takes place in winter, and I feel like I've been living in an endless winter since last July! I'm very ready for Spring! And just next week I will begin book three, UNDER SEA’S SHADOW, which deals with the element of Water. There will be five books total, and the remaining titles are BY WIND’S TEMPEST and THROUGH SOUL’S DESIRE. I'm really enjoying these books; they start off with such a narrow focus in ON FIRE’S WINGS and expand, as Kevla’s knowledge of her world expands. By the end of the series, I think “epic fantasy” will be an accurate term.

One of the things I like about the LUNA line is the fact that I'm encouraged to take time with the romantic aspect of the stories. I've always had love stories of one sort or another in my books, but it's definitely been downplayed before. I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to put a little more emphasis on this part of the writing. It seems like a very good "marriage" of author and line; LUNA publishes exactly what I am happiest writing. And judging from the response, LUNA is also satisfying a need that readers have had as well. While the romance is definitely secondary to the story, it's a lovely, shimmery thread that runs throughout the series.

I'm also continuing to be the sole author of the STAR TREK: VOYAGER relaunch series. I've written four books in the relaunch and am in discussions with Pocket for another one. That has been a lot of fun as well.

PNR:
Thank you for taking time out to speak with us, where can readers find out more about your work?

Christie G.: Certainly! I like being available to my readers. You can check out my Website at or find me at LUNA Books, where I have a thread of my own called “The Lorekeeper’s Loft: The Elements and Beyond with Christie Golden.


Christie Golden

Website

 Books



Buy it now!

Luna Books
July 2004
352 pages
ISBN: 0373802080

The Final Dance Series: Book 1

ON FIRE'S WINGS - She was born without caste or position in Arukan, a country that prized both.Then a chance encounter led her to a better life. But it also brought her to danger and destiny. Because Kevla Bai-sha's fevered dreams — looming threats to their land and visions of dragons that had once watched over her people — held the promise of truth. Now Arukan — shadowed by mountains and myths — might be overcome by eternal darkness. Kevla, together with Jashemi-kha-Tahmu, rebel prince of the ruling household, would defy all law, all tradition, to embark on a daring quest for the half-forgotten elemental parts that will save the world.

And so Kevla must sacrifice everything… only to be reborn in dragon's flames….

Coming Soon!


Luna Books
September 2005
400 pages
ISBN: 0373802293

The Final Dance Series: Book 2

IN STONE'S CLASP
STRENGTH OF STONE, HEART OF ICE...

Flame Dancer Kevla of Arukan seeks the missing elements -- Stone and Sea, Wind and Soul -- that must join to preserve their world from destruction. Sensing that the Stone Dancer, the master of Eath magic, would be found in the icy north, she and her dragon companion fly to a county mired in an unnaturally long winter. When at last they find Jareth, the Sonte Dancer's own anger and pain make him reluctant to accept his destiny. His need for vengeance against the old gods who betrayed his people is powerful -- powerful enough to lead the group farther into the snows, searching for the legendary Ice Maiden, who may be responsible for the forced winter. But betrayal doesn't come only from the gods -- and the forces against them are vast. before their quest is over, Kevla must realize that while Flame can break through the chill of the winter, Stone can withstand anything...

 

 

Featured in this Issue:

Christie Golden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


NOVELS

Star Trek Voyager: Spirit Walk Book 2: Enemy of my Enemy, Pocket Books, December 2003

Star Trek Voyager: Spirit Walk, Book 1: Old Wounds, Pocket Books, November 2003

Star Trek Voyager: The Farther Shore, Pocket Books, July 2003

Star Trek Voyager: Homecoming, Pocket Books, June 2003

Star Trek: The Last Roundup, Pocket Books, July 2002

Star Trek Voyager: No Man's Land, Pocket Books, 2001

Gateways: What Lay Beyond, Pocket Books, 2001

Warcraft: Lord of the Clans, Pocket Books, 2001)

Star Trek Voyager: Endgame, with Diane Carey, Pocket Books 2001

Star Trek Voyager: The Dark Matters Trilogy, Book 3: Shadow of Heaven, Pocket Books, 2000

Star Trek Voyager: The Dark Matters Trilogy, Book 2: Ghost Dance, Pocket Books, 2000

Star Trek Voyager: The Dark Matters Trilogy, Book 1: Cloak And Dagger Pocket Books, 2000

A.D. 999, Ace Books, December 1999, as Jadrien Bell

Star Trek The Next Generation: The First Virtue, with Michael Jan Friedman, Pocket Books August 1999

Invasion America: On The Run, Roc, November 1998

Star Trek Voyager: Seven of Nine, Pocket Books, September 1998

Invasion America, Roc, February 1998

Star Trek Voyager: Marooned, Pocket Books, December 1997

King's Man & Thief, Ace Books, May 1997

Instrument of Fate, Ace Books, April 1996

Star Trek Voyager: The Murdered Sun, Pocket Books, February 1996

The Enemy Within, TSR's Ravenloft series, March 1994

Dance of the Dead, TSR's Ravenloft series, July 1992

Vampire of the Mists, TSR's Ravenloft series, September 1991



SHORT STORIES and ESSAYS

"Where's the Religion in Willow's Wicca?", BenBella Books, 2003

"The Sun Child," Angel: The Longest Night, Simon & Schuster, 2002

"Hard Crash," Star Trek S.C.E.: Have Tech, Will Travel, Pocket Books, 2001

"The White Doe," Tales of the Slayer, Simon & Schuster, 1999

"A Light in the Sky," Whitley Strieber's Aliens: An HWA Anthology, Pocket Books, December 1998

"A Night at Sandrine's," Amazing Stories, December 1998

"The Ultimate Weapon, Tales from Tethedril, Del Rey, September 1998

"The Remaking of Millie McCoy," Urban Nightmares, Baen Books, November 1997

"Though Hell Should Bar the Way," with A.C. Crispin, Highwaymen: Robbers and Rogues, DAW Books, Inc., June 1997

"The Play's the Thing," Miskatonic, DAW Books, Inc., November 1996

"Stag Party," OtherWere, Ace Books, September 1996

"Summer Storms," Lammas Night, Baen Books, February, 1996

"The Quiet Place," Realms of Magic, TSR, December 1995

"Breathtaking Music," Blood Muse, Donald I. Fine, December 1995

"One Good Bite," 100 Vicious Little Vampire Stories, Barnes & Noble, August 1995

"Witch Hunt" and "The Angel," 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories, Barnes & Noble, July 1995

"Blood Sport," Realms of Infamy, TSR, December 1994

"One Last Drink," Realms of Valor, TSR, February 1993

All book synopsises are copyrighted to the authors/publishers.


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