Monday, June 5, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Christina Benjamin

1      Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I’ve always been enthralled with the art of storytelling. Everyone has a unique view of the world around them and hearing their thoughts and imaginations come to life through words is like magic.

I think I’ve always been a writer on some level. I just never knew I would end up writing books for a living. I pursued art and English in college and have an imagination that never sleeps, so writing novels was a natural progression.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

     That has been an adjustment now that I’m writing full time. It’s such a blessing to be able to pursue writing as my day job but that also means I’m my own boss. (Not easy for someone who loves PJ’s, couch time with her furbabies and Netflix!)

     I’ve gotten in the routine of writing everyday (M-F) from about 11am-7pm. If I’m on a roll or nearing the end of a project I’ll burn the midnight oil, but I try to make time to have a life outside my writing cave too.

     After I finish a project, I’ll give myself a night out with friends and a full day to binge watch my favorite shows.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I write on a laptop in my little writing cave, or Harry Potter closet as I sometimes refer to it. We recently renovated our home and I turned a walk-in closet into my office. It’s perfect because I can lock myself away with no distractions and clock a lot of words.

4   What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

     Favorite part = no rules! Anything you can imagine goes. You can literally invent worlds and words too.

     Least Favorite part = Editing!!!! It’s not my strong suit, but I’m lucky to have an awesome team to work with and though edits aren’t my favorite, they do make me a better writer.

     How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

     Like I said, my imagination never sleeps. I pretty much dream my books, word for word, dialog and everything. It’s like having a constant movie in your head. It’s awesome to always have the ideas flowing. I wish I could write as fast as I can think.

     How long the process takes depends what kind of book I’m writing. For example, my fantasy series, The Geneva Project, took me a year for each novel. My romance novels typically go a lot faster because they’re contemporary and don’t require as much world building research.

        What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

     Oh gosh, that’s something that is always changing. I’m one part of Crown Atlantic Publishing, my indie publishing label, and my husband is the other half. He takes the lead on the cover design and marketing.

     Social media is always a big part of our marketing and l love that I get to connect with my readers that way as well.

        What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

     A ton! I have two new books publishing in March and April. They’re part of a second chance romance series. Book 1, Retreat To Me, is about a writer and musician who find a second chance at love after WWII when an accidental twist of fate brings them together. Book 2, Retreat Again, follows descendants from book 1 as they meet under similar circumstances decades later.

     My most recently published book is my best selling YA title, The Practice Boyfriend. It’s such a fun modern read and I’ve loved fan reactions to the characters.

     Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

     I always do. I’m hoping to publish about ten titles in 2017, so there’s always something I’m working on next. I published a few novellas in 2016 that I’m hoping to find the time to develop into full-length novels in the future. And I’m hoping to expand The Practice Boyfriend into a series since fans seem to want more. I’m also excited that I’ll be continuing to write for Milly Taiden’s kindle world so look for at least two more Sassy Ink titles from me this year. And then there’s always my non-fiction travel series. I’d love to find time to get back to that. Traveling and writing are two of my favorite things brought together in my 99 Epic books.

       What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

I would say do it! Nothing is standing in your way except for yourself. You have a unique voice. No one sees the world they way you do, so tell your story. Write from they heart. Success is found in creating what you love and sharing it with others.


 A Question for Kathryn:

What’s your go to source for finding your next read? There are so many amazing books out there and I want to read them all, but how do you choose? For me I rely on recommendations from friends, but I know there are great blogs, vlogs, newsletters and bookstagram accounts out there.

Great question; one I've never been asked here before.

Here goes:

You know those booklets you get through the mail from bookstores with the new books listed? Well, I go through those and then put the books on hold at the library that I like - there's usually a waiting list. When the library informs me that the book is in, I pick it up and read it. If I love it, I also buy it. If it was okay, I don't. I'm pretty cheap when it comes to books and only purchase those I like - both fiction and nonfiction. I also check the shelves of the for sale books as I leave the library. I have found gems within these bookshelves, and most of the books I've picked up have been a whopping 50 cents a piece. My latest find? Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.

The Practice Boyfriend

Bio & Social Links:
Christina Benjamin is best known for her wildly popular Young Adult series, The Geneva Project.
Her best-selling novels,The Practice Boyfriend & The Geneva Project - Truth, has won multiple awards and stolen the hearts of YA readers. 
Christina loves to read and write across genres. YA is her favorite but she's a sucker for a good love story. Don't miss her romance, paranormal and historical fiction, as well as the multiple anthologies she's been a part of. 

Follow her at:
Facebook @ChristinaBenjaminAuthor
Twitter @authorcbenjamin
Instagram @authorcbenjamin
Pinterest @authorcbenjamin

FAPA President's Gold Medalist (YA Fiction)

London Book Festival - Runner-Up (Young Adult Category)

Litpik Top Choice Award - (YA fiction)

Reader's Favorite Silver Medalist - (YA Fiction)

Tybee Island Book Award Gold Medalist - (YA Fiction)

Christina Benjamin
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Order Autographed Books here:Christina's Book Store
"The world is full of magic, especially between the pages of a good book."

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