Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wednesday's Weekly Writers with Christi J. Whitney



For this week's Author Interview we welcome Christi J. Whitney with her YA Paranormal Fantasy series: The Romany Outcasts!


Grey (The Romany Outcasts #1)
Christi J. Whitney
YA Fantasy
Pub:  October 22nd 2015
Blurb:
 Can you still love with a heart of stone?

Sebastian Grey always thought he was a fairly normal teenager – good friends, decent grades and a pretty sweet job in his foster brother’s tattoo shop.

But when Romany gypsies arrive in town, Sebastian discovers that his world is not what it seems. There is an age-old feud between his family and the gypsies – and this isn’t the only secret his brother has been keeping from him. His life is not his own. The girl he’s been dreaming about has just turned up at school, and he feels compelled to protect her at all costs.

Even if that means life might never be normal again.


Guardian of the Gauntlet
Interview

1. Who are some of your favorite authors, or what are some of your favorite written works?

Coming from a literary and theatrical background, I’ve always been partial to Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Edgar Allan Poe. As a lover of fantasy, I think J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis are at the top of my list. But as far as contemporaries go, I really enjoy reading Cassandra Clare, Lauren DeStefano, Suzanne Collins, and Rachelle Mead.


2. What do you enjoy most about writing, and the books you have written?


The thing I enjoy most about writing is the chance to create new worlds and characters. I love telling stories, which is one of the main reasons I got into theatre. Acting, directing, and writing are very similar that way. What I’ve enjoyed most about The Romany Outcasts Series is writing the characters – particularly Sebastian Grey. He represents the type of character I’ve always been drawn to in books and movies. I feel so fortunate to have been given the chance to write a character I genuinely love and relate to.


3. Is there anything you find particularly challenging when writing?


To me, writing feels like putting together a giant puzzle. Sometimes I attempt to put the wrong piece into a slot, and it’s just not working out. Seeing the big picture in your head but arranging all the details can be a frustrating challenge.


4. What is it about YA fantasy books that you enjoy the most?


I’ve always gravitated towards fantasy books, from the time I was young. I love the escapism fantasy offers. YA, in particular, offers something that readers of any age can identify with – characters at significant turning points in their lives, struggling to navigate the world around them while figuring out who they are. Combine that element with fantasy, and it’s just a wealth of rich and enjoyable reading.


5. Did you learn anything from writing your book(s) and what was it?


When I wrote the first draft of Grey, I really didn’t know what I was doing. As a former English teacher, I knew how to write well enough, but I approached my story from a more literary standpoint. In Grey, that translated into wordiness and heavy plots with slow pacing. Through the process of joining a critique group, attending writing conferences, and reading a whole lot, I feel I really improved my writing style in the YA genre. I learned how to streamline and pack more into less. It’s been an amazing writing journey.


Shadow (The Romany Outcasts, #2)

Shadow (The Romany Outcasts #2)
Christi J. Whitney
YA Fantasy
Pub:  June 2nd 2016
Blurb:
The second volume in this incredible YA trilogy.

When stone hearts break they shatter.

Sebastian Grey used to be a normal teenager. Now he’s a creature whose sole purpose is to be a guardian for secretive gypsy clans.

When the Romany gypsies claim him, Sebastian is given a second chance to protect Josephine Romany – the girl he loves. But some clan members would rather see a gargoyle in a cage than have one by their sides.

If Sebastian is to keep Josephine safe from the shadow creatures attacking her people, he might have to embrace his changes. Even if that means choosing between his humanity and becoming the monster everyone believes him to be.



Guardian of the Gauntlet

Christi J. Whitney

About the Author:
Can you tell us a little about you, and your book(s)?


The Romany Outcasts is a YA fantasy series, currently being published by HarperCollins/HarperVoyagerUK. It chronicles the story of Sebastian Grey, a young man thrown into some unusual circumstances. Here’s the official blurb:


Sebastian Grey always thought he was a fairly normal teenager – good friends, decent grades and a pretty sweet job in his foster brother’s tattoo shop.


But when Romany gypsies arrive in town, Sebastian discovers that his world is not what it seems. There is an age-old feud between his family and the gypsies – and this isn’t the only secret his brother has been keeping from him. His life is not his own. The girl he’s been dreaming about has just turned up at school, and he feels compelled to protect her at all costs.


Even if that means life might never be normal again.


Shadow, the second book in the series, is the continuing tale of Sebastian and Josephine and the larger challenges they face.


Sebastian Grey used to be a normal teenager. Now he is the guardian of the Romany gypsy clan, or at least he was until the monster that lives within him forced him to break the ties with the gypsies and Josephine, the girl he loves.

 Now Josephine is in danger and Sebastian will do anything to protect her, even if this means embracing his darker side.


As for me, I’m a former high school theatre teacher, turned author. I live with my husband and two sons just outside of Atlanta. I love coffee and chocolate way too much. I consider myself a giant geek and a total fangirl. I have a bit of an obsession with Doctor Who, but I adore anything sci-fi or fantasy. I also love making costumes for sci-fi/fantasy conventions and theatrical productions.

Author Links:

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