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Interview: Christine E. Schulze, Author of Bloodmaiden

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Christine E. Schulze has always had a deep love for creating stories, which actually began before she was even old enough to write.  Now, as a published author, Ms. Schulze has a collection of YA fantasy books, The Amielian Legacy, which are comprised of series as well as stand-alone books and can all be read and enjoyed separately, or together, to create an amazing fantasy.

Ms. Schulze has also published several works in magazines such as Calliope and Kalkion.  She is an active member of the WE book online writing community, as well as having published several Christian/fantasy books which are available at various online retailers.  Christine E. Schulze has also published several eBooks via Writers-Exchange.

A few of Ms. Schulze’s works include: Tears of a Vampire Prince: the First Krystine, Lily in the Snow, as well as releasing The Chronicles of the Mira with Writers-Exchange in both paperback and electronic forms.

Christine E. Schulze resides in Belleville, Illinois in her first apartment.  Readers can learn more about Ms. Schulze and her work by visiting the following:

Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Fanpage, Website

Please tell us a bit about your book, Bloodmaiden, and what you hope readers take away from reading it.

Bloodmaiden is a Christian fantasy for young adults, ridden with adventure and splashed with horror and romance. It is a tale of a young couple who choose to defy a terrible tradition to save their home. To do this, they must find and collect the Aria, strains of a magical song meant to protect the four dynasties of Sulaimon. Of course, the Aria are guarded by the dragons of each dynasty, and to complete their quest, they will need the aid of the sprite, Pan, and the traveling minstrel, Brydon, whom they meet on their quest — and who seem to share some mysterious past together.

In fact, as an aside, while there are some readers who love Crisilin’s character, there are others who really love Pan’s and Brydon’s side story best of all. I can’t really blame them there, because even though Crisilin is her own character and grows throughout the book, she also used as a sort of avatar to guide the reader through this new land of Sulaimon. Pan and Brydon truly shine as unique characters, and it’s easier for some readers to really care about their story. Then again, others really love Crisilin and Chalom. Depends on the individual reader, I suppose.

Bloodmaiden was a unique challenge for me because of how the book was written. The first few chapters of Bloodmaiden are flooded with rich imagery and metaphorical language, making many passages sound lyrical, a bit like poetry mixed in with the prose. The language used for these chapters was, in part, an experiment, my doing something new with my writing that I never had, focusing more heavily on the language and not just the story and characters. The language I used was also chosen because there are so many horrific things happening in the opening chapters, so much fear, terror, and sorrow, that the words used help portray what is going on in a sort of bittersweet, poetic way. Since the book is told in first person, it’s also as though the character is trying to avoid speaking about the horrors surrounding her outright; hence, her metaphorical instead of more graphic language.

Not only do I hope readers will enjoy the above aspects of the book, being able to really feel like they are right beside the characters, feeling everything they feel and experiencing a very rich visual experience, but I also hope they will appreciate the message which comes about by the end of the book, one of forgiveness. I won’t say too much there though, because then I might give things away that I don’t really want to.

Who are your favorite characters in the story?

I’m with many of my readers in that I really love Pan and Brydon and the dynamic they share. Theirs is a story of mystery; they care for one another and share a past, but the mystery doesn’t fully unravel until the end of the book, so it’s like this neat side story or, for video-game-lovers, a subquest of sorts.
One of my favorite dragons would be Zale. He sort of reminds me of Valcor from The Neverending Story, if only for his calm and kindness, though he is more ancient, wiser, and regal. He ends up being a sort of father-figure to Crisilin as well.

Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your book?

“The field of sunlit gold has become the field of rubies.”

AND

And the visions come.

At first, I see myself racing through the fields of the
mountains, twisting between rocky paths with my closest
friends, laughing, skipping, chasing, and tagging each other.
Chalom isn’t there, but all is peaceful. I am with my friends. I
am a child again.

Then I see myself in Chalom’s arms as if my spirit travels
outside my body to hover over my sleeping self. The bed
gradually fades until we lie on the softest, greenest grass. Or so
it looks, but try as I might, I cannot reach out to touch it. My
dream self, the one lying in Chalom’s arms, looks up at me
gravely then, eyes flashing sharply, determinedly, pleading to

share some message. What ignites such intense passion? As her
eyes scroll to the side, I follow her gaze.

I take in a small gasp and stare. A third me runs laughing
between tall, thin, brightly green fields illuminated with
heavenly sunlight. A salty – sweet breeze wafts dreamily. My
laugh dances lightly, care-free, as in the vision of my
childhood. And behind me, laughing too, is a small child. She
grasps at the folds of my white, fairy-like gown. I turn,
scooping her up, holding her close, twirling her around then
hugging her again, pressing her cheek against mine -

The child looks at me.

If your current release were to be turned into a movie, who would you love to see play what characters and why?

I actually haven’t considered actors for all of the characters, though I do have a few picked out for Crisilin. Elle Fanning and Saoirse Ronan strike me as two beautiful girls who would also do well in portraying Crisilin’s pure, innocent nature. Chloe Moretz is another choice, although she might also portray a good Pan; she did make a wonderful vampire in Let Me In, and Pan is a little bit more on the mysterious, moody side. Of course, these young ladies might be a little too old by the time a movie was made, but then again, who knows? Only God knows if a big film director might snatch the book up and think it would make a great movie, especially with all its striking visuals and moments of suspense.
Oh, and Sean Astin makes me think of a good Brydon, especially because of his role as Samwise Gamgee. He’s a sweet, brave, protective guy in Lord of the Rings and could possibly pass as a good Brydon as well.

What are your favorite aspects of writing?

I love creating. I also love drawing inspiration from the people around me, turning them into characters, writing both about and for them. Especially though, I love the creative process. I’ve tried to write realistic fiction and find I often fail miserably. I feel too stifled in the real world; I like to let my imagination run wild, and when I am able to create my own fantasy worlds, I find that my plots and character developments are a lot more intricate, deep, and just overall better written. And as I always say, if even I don’t like the story, my readers probably won’t either, so it’s best just to write what you love.

Your least favorite aspects of writing?

Editing! Tis the necessary but most loathed bane of all creative writers.

What are you reading right now?

This is perfect timing for this question; usually, I’m too busy writing, editing, promoting, etc. to really sit down and read. However, I recently finished The Forest of Hands and Feet, which I found to be quite the feast for one looking for a good fantasy mixed with horror and suspense. It’s my first zombie book, and I’m eager to read the sequel. My only qualm was that we didn’t find more answers in the first book, although I think maybe it was supposed to be that way, because the character herself probably never discovers many answers to her questions. Perhaps I will learn more in the second book though.

If you could have a dinner party and invite five authors – dead or alive – who would they be and what would you serve them?

Diana Wynne Jones: Pancakes. Definitely pancakes.
J.R.R. Tolkien: I would serve him my own personal recipe of lembas bread. Always wanted to taste the real kind.
C.S. Lewis: For this lovely gentleman, turkish delight — but not the kind that would tempt and turn him evil.
Stephenie Meyers: Well, blood might be a little creepy and forward of me to offer. But perhaps I would hire a vampire that can cook some wicked Italian or something.
Nancy Springer: I would offer her some of Zale’s finest fruits; after all, in a small, subconscious way, her novel, Chains of Gold, helped inspire Bloodmaiden.

What is a book that you wish you could say that you had written and why?

Howl’s Moving Castle; it’s fresh, quirky, an original fantasy with a wonderful story and lovable but real characters. It’s many of the things I aspire many of my own stories to be.

What is the greatest piece of advice (for writing and/or just living) that you have heard?

Cliche though it may seem, never giving up is important. And more than that, to keep learning. I’ve learned so much working with various publishers and editors and find my writing to be much more professional now than at the start. I’ve learned loads and feel far more confident in pursuing an agent now. So, working hard to learn all you can about both writing and perfecting your writing, as well as making some good connections that can help you, are two very important things. Getting started is the hard part, but once you do, you can come a long way.

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