Welcome to the Saturday Spotlight, a weekly feature shining the light on Indie and debut authors. This week I have the pleasure introducing readers to:
~Author of Rex Rising~
Hi Chrystalla, welcome to the blog, to start please tell us about yourself.
Hi! My name is Chrystalla and I’m a writer. I am many things, in fact, but in the recent years this has come to be the most important fact about me, the main driving force in my life. I’m Greek Cypriot (native language: Greek), I’m married to a wonderful man, Carlos (who is from Costa Rica) and I live in Cyprus. I’m also a translator, a text editor, an archaeology and paleontology buff, a fantasy, SF and generally action movie fan, an occasional artist (drawing and painting), a good and slightly crazy cook, a cat lover and a bookworm!
What inspired you to write Rex Rising?
The answer to this seemingly simple question is complex. :) I guess the basic premise, the question “what if there was a world ruled by parasites?” came to me after reading a wonderful book called “Parasite Rex” by Carl Zimmer, which examines all sorts of parasites, their lifecycles, and their amazing transformations and manipulations of their hosts. I’d recommend it anytime to anyone interested in science and science fiction.
But of course that wasn't all. The idea for this story came to me long before that, in the form of questions like, “what would a world made up only of islands be like?” and “what if you couldn't trust anyone around you?” and “what if you were on the run and had no idea what your pursuers want from you?” I have about 5 different versions of the story which I ditched before I sat down and wrote Rex Rising.
What authors or books have inspired you or your work?
Apart from the non-fiction book mentioned above, I can’t think of a precise book that influenced me when writing Rex Rising. Of course, my work in general is influenced by many authors, and sometimes I do note their effect on my style and sometimes I don’t. These influences also change. For instance, currently, I’m much into Cassandra Clare’s paranormal series, and I do like her simple and sometimes poetic style.
I read widely in all genres (except horror) and I am sure that I receive influence from all those authors. For example, recently I read a great self published book, The Depths of Deception, by Ian Fraser which is very poetic and also rough, and a wonderful mature YA, Broken Slate, by Kelly Jennings, which has a wonderful YA voice.
Did any major research or travel go into writing your book?
Well, because Rex Rising is science fiction, the science has to work. Therefore I read all I could find about parasites, from their origins to their life cycles, to parasites affecting humans, other mammals, insects, fish etc. I read scientific articles about diseases and parasitism, symbionts and specifically how certain parasites can mesh with the DNA of their hosts and manipulate their progeny. It’s been a great ride.
If you could pick a song that encapsulated Rex Rising what would it be and why?
“Almost over” by Limp Bizkit because it’s the story of a boy growing into a man who’s had a tough childhood and life is still hard, but he’s fighting it and trying to see it through.
Besides writing do you have any other jobs or hobby's?
Currently I work as a freelance translator and text editor, when not writing. Let’s face it, I’m a texts person. As for hobbies, I like hiking in the countryside, exploring ruins of which there’s plenty here in Cyprus, cooking and in particular experimenting in the kitchen, and creating my own covers for my self published books.
Can you share any future plans with us?
I have lots of future plans. :) First of all, I’m working on writing the Elei’s Chronicles series (Rex Rising is Book 1, book 2 is due out end February, and Book 3 Summer 2012). I have an LGBT YA novel in the works as well, and have plans for a Steampunk trilogy based in Cyprus.
Wow- it sounds like your a busy woman! Ill be on the look out for your Steampunk novel. So cool that you live in Cyprus, its on my places to see before I die list. Best of luck to you and the Rex Rising series.
Today for all you readers out there, Chrystalla is offering a free download of Rex Rising on Amazon for Kindle or Kindle PC. Its today only so don't miss your chance to download it!!!!!
Rex Rising by Chrystalla Thoma
In a world where parasites create new human races, Elei leads a peaceful life -- until a mysterious attack on his boss sends him fleeing with a bullet in his side. Pursued for a secret he does not possess and with the fleet at his heels, he has but one thought: to stay alive. His pursuers aren't inclined to sit down and talk, although that's not the end of Elei's troubles. The two powerful parasites inhabiting his body, at a balance until now, choose this moment to bring him down, leaving Elei with no choice but to trust in people he hardly knows. It won't be long before he realizes he must find out this deadly secret - a secret that might change the fate of his world and everything he has ever known - or die trying.
Find out more about Chrystalla on the Web~Goodreads