Monday, March 7, 2011

Interview with author Christine Schulze

Today, Christine was kind enough to drop by and answer a few questions.

1. How did you come up with the different types of dragons? What sort of research was involved?

 I'll be the first to admit that I normally despise research. I think that's one reason I find it difficult to write anything besides fantasy, because I feel that in writing realistic fantasy, my imagination is stifled.

However, I'd never done a dragon piece and needed a starting place. So I found this website:

It listed different kinds of dragons, their appearances, special powers, and personalities. I chose four kinds to represent my four dynasties and created both the dragon and human races from there. 

I wanted each dragon dynasty to be unique, not just in appearance, powers, and abilities, but especially in personality. Crisilin learns something new from each dynasty. The dragons of Zale are wise and peaceful. The dragons of Gauthier are strong and stubborn, though even one of their leaders understand what it is to be oppressed. The dragons of Varden are clever but not easily swayed. The dragons of Tynan are a strong race, once wise, but now misguided into a terrible ritual.

2. How did you decide on one year for the Quelda to rule? Also, why did they have to be sacrificed?

The sacrifice of Tynan did not start as such. In each dynasty, the dragons protect the humans, and in turn, the humans offer a yearly tribute. This treaty of peace was set up because there used to be much bloodshed and warring amongst the human and dragon races.

So, Tynan's tribute was only meant to involve gold, not bloodshed. At first, the dragons of Tynan grew greedy for more gold, placing a strain on their relationship with their humans. Over time though, they came to desire more...

The book doesn't clearly explain how things degenerate to the point they do. That is something readers must imagine for themselves. However, what readers do come to understand is that the dragons somehow became misguided; they didn't mean harm, but they came to believe that sacrificing a young, pure couple could actually bless their dynasty with prosperity. Sort of like a religion gone wrong; they believed they were doing the right thing but were really just hurting their people. Over time, they were blinded to the point of no longer seeing the truth.

As far as giving the Quelda and her husband a year to live, this is to see if they produce a child. If so, the child is sacrificed along with the couple, again part of some cleansing ritual the dragons hold to. If there is no sign of a child, the couple may be sacrificed earlier, and a new Quelda appointed then.

3. Have you done a lot of traveling? 

No; as many new authors, I am currently undiscovered and poor. However, I hope to be able to travel all over the world someday, as evident in Bloodmaiden. ^_^

4. If you could be any mythological creature, which one would you choose to be and why?

That's actually a terrible question--if only because there are so many wonderful mythological creatures! I would definitely want to be something like an elf so I could live a very long time, not get sick hardly at all, and devote all my time to writing and marketing books! Being a vampire would be convenient if I was the kind that doesn't need sleep, but I don't think being a vampire would quite be me, nor would I fancy the blood-drinking. Perhaps if I was a Stregoni Benefici from my novel, Golden Healer, Dark Enchantress...but that's an entirely different story!

I might also enjoy being a fairy as they are very elegant--the life-sized kind, not the Tinker Bell sort. I might even fancy being a Monku just so I know what it's like to have fur. The Monku are a race I created which have cat-like bodies by night and are completely human by day. 

If all else failed, I could always just be a unicorn. Who doesn't like unicorns?

5. How did you come up with the riddles? Are you a master riddler or did you adapt ones you already knew to fit your story?

There were a few I came up with on my own, the one about the spinnet, for example. That one needed to be very specific. For others, I looked up riddles online and tweaked them to fit what I needed. Other readers have said they love the riddling passages, but I can't take too much credit; I'm generally not good with riddles myself, so many were those I looked up and modified. 

6. What are some of your favorite fantasy novels?

Some of my favorites include classics like The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I also love quirky writers like Diana Wynne Jones, J.K. Rowling, and Neil Gaiman. Some favorite Christian fantasy pieces include Quest for Celestia, and, of course, The Chronicles of Narnia. A novel which helped subconsciously inspire Bloodmaiden is one I read a while back and really liked called Chains of Gold by Nancy Springer, so it too made its way to the "favorites" list.

Thank you Christine!
If you have a moment and would love to help Christine get some more publicity for her novels, please click here and vote for her story Golden Healer, Dark Enchantress.

Guest Post by Christine Schulze
Review: Bloodmaiden - Christine Schulze

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