Redemption! and an Interview!

It is much easier to pick winners when there’s only two games to choose from.

Two from two!  Seattle will face Denver in Superbowl 48!

Torn on which team to pick.  Seattle have never won a Superbowl, making them an underdog (Denver won in 1997 and 1998).  However, I have done a bit of research on the early years of the Denver Broncos for my story ‘Achromatic’, so I feel more involved with them…  Agh!

*coin toss*

Seattle for their first Superbowl victory.

– Mo –

Recently, I posed some questions to the very talented Christine Haggerty.  Sir Michael Parkinson I am not, but hopefully they make for an interesting read…

– Mo –

D. JAMES

You mentioned in a previous interview that you lived on a subsistence farm as a child.  How would you describe such a life to someone who’s always lived in a city?

CHRISTINE

Most people I know who grew up in the city think that the hick life like my childhood is sort of dirty. It probably is, but instead of the grime of car exhaust and broken bottles, we dealt with dirt and animals. It’s hard work, really, but it boils down to a pretty black and white equation—either do your chores (plant the garden and weed it, skin rabbits, milk the goat) or go hungry. We swam in the pond in the summer, did a lot of fishing, picked through acres of weeds to find edible plants, but we made as much of it into a game as we could.

D. JAMES

People will always need food, yet we can get it all from supermarkets.  As such, there is a lack of appreciation for what goes into getting your meat, fruit and vegetables from the fields to your fridge and freezer.  Should everyone live on a farm?

CHRISTINE

I think that my kids should spend some time on a working farm or ranch. I especially think that when they complain about having to sweep our suburban floors or take the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood because they can’t roam free all day. It really makes me want to mandate a summer of throwing hay bales into the back of a pick-up or mucking out horse stalls just to give them perspective on their middle class lives. However, I do know my kids are grateful for what they have, as well. I think everybody can appreciate their blessings in life whether they work to get them from the grocery store or from the chicken coop.

D. JAMES

Are there particular events in your life that have shaped how you mold your characters?

CHRISTINE

I imagine that there are many events in my life that shape my thoughts around my characters. Some of them are my own events and some are events that involved people I love. I definitely use these events to understand my characters’ motivations, their fears and hope. Other than describing the circumstances of my childhood, most of these defining events are too personal to share.

D. JAMES

You have young ones in your household, so I imagine there will be plenty of mess left behind for Mum and Dad to clean up.  Is your writing space any bare square foot you can find amongst it?

CHRISTINE

I have a small office of my own in my house, but the reality is that I rarely get to just go down there and write, so I end up in the middle of the mess, anyway. My favorite place to write, other than my office, is in the living room with my laptop set up on top of a footstool set on top of the kitchen counter. I like to stand while I write, particularly when I’m into an action sequence, and the height of the laptop on the footstool helps keep my neck from getting fatigued and it helps my shoulder from hurting (I’ve broken my ribs a few times and did some damage to my shoulder). Might seem uncomfortable, but it works well for me.

D. JAMES

Who are your literary heroes?  What about their work inspires you?

CHRISTINE

Most of my literary background is in the classics. I’m talking ancient European epics like Beowulf and the Battle of Maldon. I’ve always been particularly fond of Edgar Allan Poe and wonder what he would have come up with if he’d written something 800 pages long. I love his description and his pacing and his characters’ psychological torment.

D. JAMES

Is there a character dearest to your heart in ‘The Plague Legacy’?  Who did you enjoy writing the most?

CHRISTINE

I enjoyed writing Myla the most. She and Jake have the most attitude in the story, and Myla’s the girl out of the two. I think I relate most to Tara, though, and the way she dwells over the things in her past.

D. JAMES

The next novel, ‘Assets’, is set in the ‘Promised Land’ of Salvation. The characters spent the entire first book travelling to it.  Minimising spoilers, give one good thing and one bad thing about residing in Salvation.

CHRISTINE

Salvation is a civilization based on the slavery of ancient Rome, but less sophisticated. Cam and his crew are automatically in the slave class because they’ve been shipped from the West to this cruel world. The best part about residing in Salvation is that the Scouts have consolidated resources that the West didn’t have, such as medicine and luxury items. It’s been interesting so far working through the way a post-apocalyptic world would reduce, reuse, recycle what they have.

D. JAMES

The modern world.  What disappoints you?  What inspires you?

CHRISTINE

The disappointing part of the modern world is that so many of us are willing to destroy it, whether out of carelessness or a god complex. I am inspired in particular by my own children and how they handle the pace of technology. They seem grateful to be alive in this century.

D. JAMES

Hypothetical.  Your publisher, Fox Hollow, wants you to create a utopian world.  What would your utopia be like?

CHRISTINE

Wow, a utopia is hard for me to picture at all. I really believe in having pain to understand pleasure and darkness to know the light. To me, all utopias are dystopias.

D. JAMES

If there was one life message you wanted readers to take away from your stories, what would it be?

CHRISTINE

I tried to emphasize a lot about the nature of friendship and the definition of family. I believe we can make our own family and choose friends by following our hearts.

– Mo –

Thank you Christine for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions.  ‘Acquisitions’ is available now, while ‘Assets’ is due for release

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5 responses

  1. Aw, fantastic interview! Great questions, and Christine has so much to say that’s interesting. I particularly like her perspective of all utopias being dystopias. Pretty sure it was Larry Niven who said in a perfect utopia, there’s nothing to write about. Surely that’s any writer’s dystopia.

    1. Thank you for the support. It will take a while to reach your level =)

      Niven’s quote does sound true. Stories need conflict, otherwise it’s *supposedly* not interesting. A peculiar phenomenon, where everyone being happy is not a good thing =P

  2. […] Mr. Fortesque of the WordPress Australia contingent, also took the time to write up an interview. I can say that so far, his questions are the most unique I’ve […]

  3. Dear DJ, I really liked your interview with Ms. Haggerty. Whereas she was very definite in her answers and this made for a good solid interview, you were very precise and definitive in your questions, and that helped a lot, too. Good show!

    1. Thank you very much. I may need to do a interview every so often to mix things up on the blog =)

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