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Thursday, 22 November 2018

Interview with Christie Stratos

My latest interview is with Christie Stratos who is an award-winning author and poet, and she has a degree in English Literature. She loves to read all genres of books and in her free time enjoys baking and cooking. Find out who inspired her to write and what advice she offers to new writers. 

What do you love about your life right now?

I recently left my full-time project management job to run my editing business full-time and write, and I can’t get over what a difference it makes to do what you love 24/7. My job doesn’t feel like work, and that’s something I haven’t experienced until now.

How many books have you written?

Two so far and many short stories. The two books are in the Dark Victoriana Collection—Anatomy of a Darkened Heart and Brotherhood of Secrets—and there are many more to come from this collection. I also just released a standalone horror short story called “The Subtlety of Terror,” and my works are in a number of anthologies and literary journals. You can also find a couple of free short stories on Wattpad.

Picture from her Facebook of her books

Was there anybody or a book that inspired you to write?

I have always been a writer ever since I was capable of writing. I started with poetry, moved into novels, and then finally got into short stories. I would say the biggest inspiration for me to really take writing seriously was both Julius Caesar and Hamlet. They introduced me to succinct, deep psychological writing where things aren’t just handed over to the reader. I not only devoured them when I read them, but I knew that I wanted to write and incorporate what I felt was so great about them.

Writer Inspiration for Christie
Pic from Pinterest 

What are the joys and challenges of writing for you?

I love spilling creativity onto the page and then fixing it up to become something complex and suspenseful. I enjoy coming up with new ideas that I haven’t seen written before and making them come to life. The hardest part is when I can’t decide which way a scene should go, and I end up having to write it a couple of times to see which option is best…and then sometimes I change my mind a couple of times! I’d say that’s the least fun part for me—when I’m not sure which way to go.

Do you have a favorite book so far that you’ve written?

That’s such a hard question! I like both of my books for different reasons. The evolution of my main character, Abigail Whitestone, is what I love most about Anatomy of a Darkened Heart—watching her grow, learn, and develop into a person the reader comes to dislike and yet sympathize with is something I quite enjoyed doing. In Brotherhood of Secrets, which may be my favorite of the two by a narrow margin, I wrote my favorite character of everything I’ve ever written: Jude Wickes. He is a severely damaged person who truly can’t tell right from wrong anymore, and Mr. Locke takes advantage of this in the worst ways. As I wrote him, I loved him, and even now, a year after publication, he is my most favorite.

Tell me a little bit about The Writer’s Edge the show you host.

The Writer’s Edge is a twice-monthly show on YouTube with both discussion panels and one-on-one interviews, all live-streamed. You can bring your questions to the chat, meet new friends, contact the participants afterward, and learn a lot about the writing and publishing industry. We discuss everything from holiday-themed writing and marketing to getting the most out of your time at a writing conference, from indie vs. traditional publishing with very experienced authors to getting your work published in magazines and journals. As the host of the show, I’m constantly learning from my guests, which is a wonderful bonus!

On your IG account, you describe yourself as a book hoarder, how many books do you think you have?

I have 160 books in one bookcase—the small one. And then there’s a floor-to-ceiling one and another one of those… Let’s leave it at a ton. 

In one word describe yourself.


Are you working on any new books or projects?

I’m working on book three of the Dark Victoriana Collection, which I’ll make huge headway on during NaNoWriMo. I have a WIP halfway done which has the working title “Greed”, and a horror anthology in the works to release this year. I probably have as many WIPs as I have books!

When you're not busy working your business, what are some of your hobbies and interests?

I love cooking and baking, coming up with new recipes on my own. It’s just another form of creativity! And of course, reading all different genres. I actually do what used to be my hobbies and interests for a living now—read, write, and edit all day. So I’m in heaven!

What have you found to be the best place for you to write?

At home or at a library are my two favorites. I love either burying myself somewhere deep in the books and writing or finding a section of books I like to read and writing from there. I can write anywhere, but being around books or being where all my notebooks and research books are, those are my favorite spots.

Do you use any particular software like Scrivener?

I do use Scrivener and I love it! I use Word for short stories, but for novels, I skip around to scenes all over the book, and it got hard for me to organize my Word document. Even using multiple Word documents didn’t work out for me. I tried Scrivener and it solved all my problems!

Any advice you would like to share to a new writer?

Write what you want, write what you want to read, create something new, and believe that there are new experiences in books, no matter what anyone says.

Advice to new writers by Christie

Tell me three fun facts about you.

1.    I was originally going to be a music teacher and I played French Horn professionally.
2.    I must have a different journal for every major WIP and by genre for short stories. I can’t get my ideas down without the right ones!
3.    I love Victorian cameos and collect them. I have some that are framed, some that are in their natural state, and some totally unique ones! My Victorian jewelry has helped me write my Victorian novels.

I share inspirational and motivational quotes with my readers, do you have one you can share?

“Your doubts create mountains. Your actions move them.” – Mel Robbins
When you feel your doubts creeping up—self-doubt, doubts about whether you’re good enough, even doubts about whether you’re headed in the right direction in your life—re-read this quote. It makes all the difference between wallowing and taking action.

Follow Christie on social media and check-out her website

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About Maria Rochelle

Maria is a writer of multiple genres, and author of the popular children's picture story book series Jasmine Dreams.
Find out more about Maria here →


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