Christine Johnson is the author of Claire de Lune and I thrilled to be part of her UK Blog Tour. She has taken the time to answer a few of my questions...
How did you go about building the werewolf mythology for the book?
I knew going in that I wanted the werewolves in Claire’s world to be an all female species, and that automatically meant I wasn’t going to be using a completely traditional mythology. In spite of that, I started by reading the more common stories and myths so that I had a jumping off point. Then, I pretty much turned all of it on it’s head and wrenched it around until it fit the world I saw in my head. It was a lot of work, but it was also REALLY fun!
Do you have a favourite scene from the book that you can share?
I do have a favorite scene, but it’s almost impossible to discuss without spoilers. Suffice it to say that near the end of the book, there’re some very intense, emotional action scenes, and those were extremely gratifying. They weren’t easy to craft, but I think, as a writer, when you’ve spend MONTHS building a manuscript up to the climax of the book, it’s always easy to feel a special attachment to those scenes.
Which do you prefer - drafting or revising?
Oh, revising, by a long shot. There’s something scary (and thrilling, too, but mostly scary) about drafting. Will there be a *whole* story? How will I get to the end? What if there *is* no end? What if it’s *terrible*? And then somehow, miraculously, it DOES get finished and it’s inevitably terrible, because first drafts always are. But the panic of trying to come up with the words subsides, and there’s this lumpy, craggy THING in front of me that I get to start shaping into an actual, recognizable novel. I love that part. Smoothing away the bumps and filling out the hollow parts and shifting things around - to me, it’s the most fulfilling part of the entire process. I have several author friends who feel the opposite - that drafting is the fun part. I’d love to co-write a book with one of them someday. They can do all the drafting and I will do all of the revisions. It will be a match made in heaven!
What was the publication process like for you?
My story’s really boring for the most part. My agent, Caryn Wiseman, pulled me out of the slush pile and was an amazing advocate for the manuscript. Anica Rissi, my editor, worked her magic and helped me revise the book into something better than I ever dreamed it could be.
The most exciting part of the story is how supportive Simon Pulse has been of me and CLAIRE. They’ve done so much for me and this novel - I’m grateful every single day to have been published by such an amazing group!
What is a typical writing day like for you? Do you have any ‘must-haves’ before you can sit down to write?
I write wherever, whenever and however I can. If I have a sitter for a few hours, I grab my laptop, scramble off to the coffee shop (aka “my office”) and write. If I can get the kids to nap in the car, I yank out my laptop and work. When the kids are finally in bed, I flop down on the couch with my laptop and get back to it. Apparently, all I really need in order to write is my laptop!
Are there any YA books you would recommend? Perhaps something you have read recently that completely blew you away.
I always like to recommend authors like John Green and Heidi Ayarbe - two authors who write contemporary, realistic fiction that blows me away. Their portrayal of real-world teens is remarkable. I also recently read and loved Holly Black’s WHITE CAT. Her inventiveness and writing are both so good that I was completely sucked into that particular story. I’m currently reading an adult non-fiction book called THE POISONER’S HANDBOOK and really loving it, too!
And finally, what’s next for you?
NOCTURNE, which is the sequel to CLAIRE DE LUNE, will be released in the U.S. next May. More Claire! More Matthew! More pack drama! I’m really in love with the sequel and I can’t wait for people to read it. The cover should be released sometime this month, so readers who are interested should keep an eye on my blog for the details.
If you want to check out the rest of the Blog Tour here is a list of the stops:
Tuesday: So Many Books, So Little Tine - A post with Christine's thoughts on US vs. UK, The Book Edition. Covers, “ou” spellings and more!
Wednesday: The Crooked Shelf - Post on 5 reasons Christine would move to the UK
Thursday: Dead Book Darling - Post on Christine's thoughts on wolves/werewolves.
Friday: Wondrous Reads - Post on Characters as Cupcakes and a CLAIRE DE LUNE UK giveaway!
I also have a giveaway - the chance to win some Claire de Lune Swag! This includes three signed stickers/bookplates and three bookmarks for you to keep or pass on. If you want to enter fill in the form below - contest is open to everyone and the deadline is Sunday 10 October. Good Luck:)
Giveaway is now closed. Winner will be contacted shortly.