Saturday, August 30, 2014

Imagining Alligators: A Conversation with Sheldon Lee Compton, Author of Where Alligators Sleep

In anticipation of Where Alligators Sleep, the eclectic, at times haunting, at times disturbing, at times painfully beautiful collection of sixty-six short stories being released next month, I bring you a conversation with the author, Sheldon Lee Compton. Not only is Sheldon the editor of the online journal Revolution John- which you Need to be reading if you want to keep up with the latest daring writers and writing on the scene- he is a kindred spirit and the sort of author whose work will make you gasp, step back, and then dive back in for more. His stories are piercing, compelling and addictive. His interview, of course, is right in the same vein. Keep reading…


Steph Post: I was expecting a collection of short stories when I first started Where Alligators Sleep, but I was thrilled to discover that the book is entirely composed of flash fiction pieces. I am a tremendous fan of flash and I think you’ve definitely entered, and conquered, uncharted territory with the genre. How long have you been writing flash fiction and what draws you to this unique form?

Sheldon Lee Compton: Hey, thanks, I dig some flash fiction, too, obviously.  But I didn’t start writing flash until about 2008 and then for only about a period of three years before returning to longer stories and novels. I started writing these really short stories to entertain a writer friend of mine and he did the same.  We would send them back and forth just to entertain each other that way.  But at some point he came across the database site Duotrope and we started noticing a lot of these “flash” pieces were being accepted at a lot of journals we’d never heard of.  We sent a few out and were rejected.  I think we had a combined total of about ten rejections when we decided to have a competition to see who could accumulate the most rejections over the course of a couple months.  For the first month, I won hands down.  And then, strangely, a journal called Eviscerator Heaven accepted the flash story “The Last Tour of Loretta Lynn’s Homeplace” and I lost points in the competition.  We gave two points for a rejection and then a loss of a point for an acceptance. This went on for almost a year and before long I had a decent string of acceptances and was losing to my friend.
 
So I kept it up for another two years – the writing flash pieces, not the competition.  I think writing without publication in mind in that way, opening up myself to that freedom of form and content and style, helped me develop my overall work.  And writing flash has continued to have that same feel for me.  I don’t think about what journal I’m going to submit the piece to or even if it does anything other than entertain me.  I haven’t been able to capture that same kind of freedom with longer work.  I’m too focused on being a writer at that time and not just having fun.  But I’m still working to make that free and easy flash feeling spread.

SP: I think that most readers who read flash fiction are used to doing so only in literary magazines or the occasional multi-author anthology. With Where Alligators Sleep the reader will be experiencing sixty-six pieces back to back by the same author. How do you think reading flash as a collection differs from the usual way readers experiences this genre? Is there a difference? Do you think that the stories have different meaning or create a different impression when read together as a collection?

SLC: That’s a really good question, because you’re about right – most of the time we’re only getting these flash moments from an author and then moving on, yeah.  I’ve read a handful of flash collections before and now, thinking about mine, I guess there are some common threads running through a lot the stories.  I don’t know if I intended that, but I have several that deal with relationships of the gloomy variety.  And in the collections and anthologies I’ve read, there always seems to be at least a few places where some glue’s been spread and things mesh.  That’s a nice thing to see that happen.  I didn’t exactly intend to do that in the case of Alligators, but I can see it now that it’s in full form.  But then, there’s also stories in that collection that just live in their own world, and I like that, too.  I didn’t set out to have any real cohesion when writing the stories, and I think the relationship stuff became the majority rule because I was going through a lot of that sort of thing while writing over the course of the three years these stories came into the world.  And then sometimes I just thought some of them would be fun to write, period, you know?

SP: While reading Where Alligators Sleep, I noticed specific themes threading their way through each story and connecting certain pieces together in patterns. The theme I found most haunting was that of unrequited love. So many of your characters seem to be at the bottom of a well, calling out for someone who refuses or neglects to throw down a rope. In stories such as “Sweet and Sour” and “Assignment,” you can feel the characters’ hearts aching, but at the same time these characters are somewhat repulsive. They don’t automatically elicit pity and this, I believe, creates a complex emotional response in the reader, which in itself is another thread tangling its way through the book. What do you believe to be the most important theme in Where Alligators Sleep? Do you consciously set out to create pieces with a certain theme in mind or does it happen naturally?

SLC: I guess I just showed my hand in that when I do these interviews I never read through all the questions first.  I answer one and then move on to the next.  So, I guess I covered a lot of this in the last answer.  But, I can say the theme, if I should mention one now after having written them, because I didn’t have one mind while writing, would be the idea of seeing some beauty or power in the gloam, that dusky place before nightfall when it seems you’ve accomplished or failed at all you could that day and still haven’t managed much at all.  Dusk (the time of day I’ve always imagined alligators settle into some kind of ancient sleep, which could be completely wrong for all I know) means the end of a day, but the beauty and that power is found there, too, I think.  Perseverance can be found there and guts and toughness and a stubborn love or a dying hatred.  I don’t know, I’m a little crazy and that’s okay, too.  We all are, and maybe that’s as much the theme as anything else.

SP: Out of sixty-six stories, you chose the piece “Where Alligators Sleep” to lend itself to the title of the book. I’m curious as to where this decision came from. Does the short story represent the collection as a whole or does the title stand alone to represent something?

SLC: There I went and did it again, ha!  But, no, I can say that something about that title story did stick with me.  That old couple dying together in the bedroom, in those half beds separated to each side of the room.  I don’t know, it was a sad situation to me, but one they would overcome each night by meeting in the middle of the room and dancing and being in love and enjoying that moment.  I really liked that idea, and I liked that to everyone else they were these dried up and wrinkled sort of modern-day dinosaurs, but to each other they were all the beauty the universe could ever pour out onto the world.  The story did stand out for me and I realized I was really trying to write about that in one way or another in each of the stories.  There’s something magical and brilliant and just amazing to me about a small, but strong, amount of light in the darkness.  In my mind that idea is like a deep cave with a pool of dark water where every now and then one of those awesome bio-luminescent fish skims the surface.  That damn fish is saying to hell with darkness, I’ll make my own light.

SP: Along the same lines, as a Florida writer who grew up with alligators in her front yard, the title of your collection seems appropriate and familiar. You live and write in Kentucky- what do alligators mean for you?

SLC: Alligators, of which I’ve seen so very few, have always represented endurance and just raw survival for me.  You mentioned earlier there was a sense that some of my characters were in this sort of well and hoping someone throws them a rope, but that they were also repulsive at times.  That’s just it.  Most of us, when we’re struggling to just get through the day, can be pretty reptilian.  It’s this idea, that I have to get through this and if anyone gets in my way I’ll likely devour them to make sure I get the job done.  We don’t like to think about that part of ourselves, but it’s there and we might as well admit it.  An alligator is out to survive and it’ll fucking kill you to make sure that happens.  But, at the same time, it’s just a creature on the planet trying to live and, more or less, mind its own business, you know?  Most of the characters in this collection aren’t much different in some ways.  Hard, but human, difficult, but reserved.

SP: If I had to say only one thing about your writing style, and, trust me, there is much more to say, I’d have to raise a glass and nod to this- your writing has guts. Visceral, bleeding, steaming raw guts. Even when your stories are quiet, the pulse of each character is felt in every word. How would you describe your style? Does it matter to you whether or not readers perceive you and your work the same way?

SLC: I surely appreciate those kind words, Steph.  I really do, because I try to write from that kind of place, and it’s good to see someone recognize it in the work.  It doesn’t much matter to me how readers perceive me, as much as how they perceive, or, rather, enjoy my writing.  But my writing does reflect the life I’ve lived, and continue to live for that matter.  At the risk of complaining, I haven’t seen many easy days. It’s been hard since I can remember, full of those moments when you have to see if you have the get up and go to get through it.  I’ve not done a great job along the way, but I’m still here.  I drank myself to an early heart attack and now I’m in recovery for alcoholism, was born poor and still barely survive.  I have more scars than I can count and enough pain to fill four lifetimes.  But I’m looking for something good every day, even on days I have no faith whatsoever there’s anything good left at all.  People will find that in my stories and novels, and that’s how it goes, I guess.

SP: Finally, the word on the street is that you have a novel coming out in the near future. What can readers expect from this new work? How will it be different from Where Alligators Sleep and your first story collection, The Same Terrible Storm?

SLC: Yes, indeed, I do.  I finished it earlier this year and it was accepted by Artistically Declined Press last month.  It’s a novella called Brown Bottle and has a loose publication schedule of late summer 2015.  I’m thrilled and thankful to ADP honcho Ryan W. Bradley for seeing something good in it, I tell you.  Readers of my first collection will recognize the main character Wade “Brown Bottle” Kingston from a short story included in that book called “Purpose”.  This book is more closely connected in style and theme and all the rest to that first book of mine, The Same Terrible Storm, in that it’s a regional book set in eastern Kentucky.  It deals with addiction and love and defending what you love and sacrifice and those sorts of things.  And even though its gun heavy and blood heavy, it’s also a love story.  I’m pretty happy with it and hope people will enjoy it on some level.



SP: You’re an amazing, ass-kicking author, Sheldon- thanks so much!

SLC: Then we both kick some ass in many amazing ways, Steph!  Thanks for so generously taking time to talk with me about the craziness.


Want to know more? Connect with Sheldon on Facebook and Twittter and don't forget to be on the lookout for Where Alligators Sleep, forthcoming from Foxhead Books.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What Came Before and Before: An Interview with Scott Cheshire, Author of High as the Horses' Bridles

      


To call Scott Cheshire’s recently released novel High as the Horses’ Bridles a phenomenal debut is almost misleading. This may be Cheshire’s first novel, but from page one it is clear to readers that they are in the gentle hands of a master craftsman. The story of reluctant child prophet Josiah Laudermilk oscillates throughout time, dipping and spinning through present, past and history, creating a multi-layered portrait of the American religious experience. The narrative focuses on Josie’s return to his ailing, mentally unstable father and their complicated relationship, but also poses and explores haunting questions- What does it mean to believe? To embrace doubt? To love and be loved in return? To what extent are we shaped by those that came before us? Scott Cheshire may not have the answers to the questions he poses- High as the Horses’ Bridles only opens one door after the other after the other- but he does have the answers to mine. Cheshire graciously took the time to discuss voice, perspective and what’s coming next. Because, trust me, once you’ve read High as the Horses’ Bridles, you’ll be banging down his door for more. 


Steph Post: I have to start with the opening scene of the novel because it is so very beautiful and startling. “See the night clouds lolling, drifting above their heads… like vapors released, dust climbs blue-gray and upward like prayers.”  This scene is also written in a markedly different style than most of the novel. Whereas the majority of High as the Horses’ Bridles is written from the candid point of view of the protagonist, Josie Laudermilk, the opening is a lyrical description of the Howard Theater told in second person by an unnamed narrator. The voice of this narrator also returns near the end of the novel, suggesting a possible cyclical narrative structure. What was your intention with these dual narratives? How do you think they enhance the reader’s perception of Josie and his emotional journey?

Scott Cheshire: Well, first of all, thanks for the compliment, but especially thanks for the insightful read.  The book is definitely cyclical, and for a few reasons. One of those being I wanted to make a book that explores how we consciously and unconsciously understand and manipulate what we think of as Time. Which is maybe just a fancy way of saying the book pits the more exciting apocalyptic and climactic sense of time against the more difficult and sometimes banal experience of just being alive in the world, how we wrench meaning from either. As far as voice, you’re right, the opening section seems unnamed and from a very different perspective, one that could certainly be called second person. And yet I also tend to think of that opening as a first person voice, one that belongs to Josie, but one that has to be gotten to, if that makes any sense. The book is about a man’s attempt to run from his religious history and family, and in doing so finds himself returning to them, and finding his true self. So the opening section tries to represent that move in language. You might have noticed the opening word is “they,” and so that section becomes a movement from “them” to “me.” The closing section does something similar, but within a much more ironic and tragic context, because of course the drama we have just witnessed, its religious promise of a better world, even the ultimate defeat of death, has long passed for over a century already. And yet it still does return to the “I” — which “I,” I’m not exactly sure at that point, if I’m honest. Fiction, for me, is mostly made of mystery. I guess I hope the “I,” by the end, has become a ghostly mix of me and the reader.       

SP: As mentioned, the heart of the story is told from the perspective of Josie. His journey starts when he is a child and experiences his first prophesy while preaching to a congregation. Josie is kid straddling two worlds. While seeing a horse emerge from the back wall of the theater during his revelation, Josie fingers the Star Wars action figure in his pocket. Josie is obviously in a unique position as a child preacher/prophet, but how different do you think he is from every other twelve year old struggling to find his or her place in the world?

SC: This is a super question because aside from that obvious difference, Josie’s not so different from most kids. His story is heightened by his position, definitely, and that works for storytelling, but in the end his fight is with identity — Who am I? Who are my friends? How do I fit in? How come first love is so much more potent than others? Where do people go when they die? And why won’t my parents live forever? I recently spoke with a bookseller in Seattle who said she’d been recommending the book to young readers, and that YA readers were really responding to it, which made me very happy. That said, I’m not so sure Josie as an adult is so different from any of us either. His story is heightened, again, because of his circumstances, but really it’s a love story (or maybe more a story about the aftermath of love) about a family, a story about a boy and his dad. Josie is trying to figure out the answers, or maybe just the questions, to life’s essential mysteries, and so I found him fascinating company.

SP: So much of Horses’ is concerned with Josie’s relationship with father, Gill Laudermilk. Time shifts back and forth between Josie as a confused child and Josie as a troubled adult, but regardless of his age or the point in the story, Josie is focused on his father. While waiting in a cab to be taken to his parents’ home, Josie reminisces, “I sat there in the back of Abdullah’s cab, and thought of my father and how many different fathers we all have, of how many I’d had. All of them Gill, but different.” Josie goes on to list, “There was the father I had when I was a kid… the father who argued with my mother… who eventually refused church altogether… who frightened me… my deliberate insomniac of a father… the father who tossed me aside when I left New York… the father who lost my mother.” At the outset, this novel is about Josie, but how much of it is really about Gill? Can Josie and Gill, as father and son characters, even be separated?

SC: The story territory of father-and-son relationships covers so much, from Homer to the Bible to Star Wars. Which is not to say it’s a territory richer than any mother-child relationship, but simply one that also happens to echo Western questions of divinity, and a human relationship to the idea of a Divine. Marilyn Robinson’s Gilead, basically a novel-length letter from a father to his son, beautifully mines the same tradition. The fact that I’m not a “believer,” coupled with the fact that I am nonetheless intensely interested in the generational impact of belief, made Josie’s relationship to his father central to the book. There’s a moment in the book where Josie calls his father — any father — “a bridge between two voids” (I think that’s the line), and I think that’s true. Who Josie is is largely determined by his father, and where he is going is largely determined by where his father has already been. Josie wants to run away from his own “blood,” which also suggests the religious urge is within our very DNA. Incidentally, I don’t think that’s true. Josie fears it is, but I don’t. And I think the last section of the book makes a case for the very opposite. The acquisition and the loss of faith can be entirely due to happenstance. Who knocks on your door, and when, etc. I should also say that while I find Gill to be a tragic figure, he truly saddens me (his pain saddens me), Josie makes me laugh. I find him very funny, dry funny, darkly funny. The two of them are two halves of the same whole, and provide a kind of balance in the book.

SP: The more minor characters of Issy, Bhanu and Sarah appear only briefly, but their presence has a powerful impact on the psyche of Josie and on the narrative flow of the story. As an author, how important are minor characters? Should these characters even be considered minor in light of their influence on Josie and Gill?

SC: I think fiction at its best, no matter how absurd or surprising or unreal it might seem, still tends to look a lot like life, and it can be disturbing to think of what ways “minor characters” in our lives have been so influential. Which of course begs a reconsideration of what minor means, or usually means, anyway. In Josie’s case, people like Bhanu, Issy, and Sarah seem omnipresent by their absence, and seem almost as alive to him as anybody else. They function for Josie as a way to try and better understand the death of his mother, but also mortality itself. Death is a void, a nothing, literally a “no-thing,” and so in trying to understand his own mortality and what appears to the unstoppable loss of his ailing father, he thinks a lot about absence, holes become a recurrent theme in the book, and about people already gone. Which makes sense to me. I regularly thought of my grandmother, who I was very close to, and a long gone childhood friend, both of them now gone, while writing the book. I’m happy he has the fortitude to deal with this sort of loss, but also a dry enough sense of humor to save him from over-sentimentality. He veers, but steers clear, I think, until he finally finds his way into a place of light.       

SP: Many of the religious elements and depictions in Horses’ are spot-on; I have to ask about your sources. In writing my second novel, which heavily focuses on a Pentecostal preacher and her congregation, I relied on some personal experience and a whole lot of book research. How did you go about so accurately portraying these characters and their experiences in a marginal religious sect?

SC: I was raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and so I know the world of marginal evangelicalism pretty well, although I started my leave from that world in my late teens. It wasn't for me. And I didn’t write about it for decades, probably because I wasn’t ready. When I started to, I realized that the story I was interested in was about so much more than me and my experience. It was about America really, about humanity in general, and our desire for transcendence and meaning. I became especially interested in the American born religious movements of the 19th century and so immersed myself in their histories. I contacted a few secular historians of American religion who were really enthusiastic about helping. They read drafts of the book, suggested books, articles I should read, other people I should contact. They were of immeasurable help, and allowed me to make the novel more than just a predictable contemporary novel. It turned out to have a historical novel hidden inside it.       

SP: I’m already anxious to read more, so I have to ask: what can readers expect from you next?

SC: The next book is something of a thriller set in New York City, in the 1970s and 1980s. A family falls apart after their daughter goes missing. It’s also shaping up to be about the devil, not a real world devil, but the idea of one, the devil we imagine so as not to face the evil staring back in the mirror. 


Thanks so much to Scott Cheshire for stopping by! You can connect with him at www.scottcheshire.com and on twitter at @ScottCheshire (I don't think he'll bite...) And please remember to pick up a copy of High as the Horses' Bridles. This one is not to be missed!

Monday, August 25, 2014

"The Nicest Shark You'll Ever Meet: An Interview with Author Steph Post"

Check out my interview with Sheldon Lee Compton over on Revolution John today. This interview was killer- Sheldon and I discussed growing up in Florida, writing authentic characters and sending Faulkner a rejection notice. Oh, and how I'm a shark. A nice shark. Please take a look and then stick around to check out the other fantastic author interviews, book reviews, stories, essays and poems. Cheers!

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Balance and Writing

When I was five years old I got kicked out of dance class. The ballet instructor pulled my mom aside and very forcefully 'suggested' that I not come back. When my mom asked why, she was told, "Well, little Stephanie doesn't want to be a graceful butterfly like the other girls. She seems to think she's a dragon or something." It was true. I can remember all of us lined up at one corner of the tiny garage apartment dance studio, waiting our turn. All we had to do was 'float' from one of the corner of the dance floor to the other, taking little steps, waving our arms, like a graceful butterfly. Now, granted, this is a room full of five year old girls. I'm pretty sure that none of us were the epitome of grace that day, but everyone else seemed to at least grasp the concept. I waited my turn, excited to finally get to do something that wasn't just standing around with my feet pointed out like a duck. As soon as the girl ahead of me made it to the other side, I sprang.

I leaped across the stage, jumping as high as I could with every step, flailing my arms and yes, I probably roared. I'm pretty sure I threw in a karate kick at the end for good measure and was completely thrilled with myself until the ride home, when mom informed me that my ballet career was over. I wasn't going back.

I don't remember being too disappointed. I hadn't really been digging the pink leotards anyway.

I did better with gymnastics a few years later, though the only event I was good at was the vault. I could handle running and jumping off things. The coach kept me off the floor ("she can't even tumble in a straight line"), the uneven bars ("well, she keeps going for the high bar and falling on her face") and especially the balance beam. The coach didn't even need to explain that one. I could climb trees faster and higher than anyone I knew, I could run and somersault off the dock without even a second thought, but I could not handle that balance beam. It was a beast. I would glare up at it while doing crunches with my feet hooked underneath the practice beam for leverage. Stupid beam. I couldn't even do a routine on the practice beam, two inches above the ground.

I didn't have any balance. Or rather, I didn't have the patience to have balance.

Once I realized my hopes of making it on the USA Olympic team were sort of ludicrous, I gave it up. I starred in the elementary school play, found a love for theater and stuck with that. Though I stayed away from musicals. Having to dance in a straight line still wasn't working for me...

Balance.

I'm still trying. I tend to go big or go home. For example, most people have one dog. I have five (seven in the past). I'm not very good at moderation. But I have to learn how to balance. School starts tomorrow and it's back to the day job. I'm also an editor. I'm also writing my third novel. I also have a book coming out in less than two months. I'm going to do all of these things. And I'm going to do them with my usual take-no-prisoners attitude and I'm going to succeed. (though I may not sleep for six months or so)

I may never be graceful. I may never be a butterfly. But I am going to balance the hell out of the year.

Or at least fall on my face trying.  

                                 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Christine Gabriel: Author-Ninja-Panda-Rock-Star (An Interview)



Christine Gabriel is not only the author of the soon to be released fantasy novel Crimson Forest, she is also a high-energy ninja rock star with a heart of gold. When she’s not too busy writing, she also works as a publicist for Pandamoon Publishing and I was lucky to slow her down for a few minutes this week to catch up. Keep reading to find out more… 

As the secrets begin to reveal themselves, Angelina learns that the mistakes made in the past could ultimately alter her future. She realizes she will have to risk everything, including her own soul in order to save the one man her heart can’t live without. It’s within the Crimson Forest that she’ll realize true love exists and fairy tales are real... 


Steph Post: Crimson Forest’s debut is only a month away… How excited are you right about now?

Christine Gabriel: Oh man, excited is probably and understatement. I’m freaking scared to death!! I’m so darn nervous that I will probably hide under my comforter the day of its release haha.

SP: Crimson Forest is a new adult fantasy novel about an eighteen year old girl confronting the mystical inhabitants of a mysterious forest just outside of town. I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy and was struck by the imaginative characters and situations. What draws you to the fantasy genre and what is your process for creating characters that are ‘otherworldly’?

CG: I love the fantasy genre because I’m so curious about the things that are unknown and undiscovered in this great big ol’ world. I mean, why couldn’t some of these creatures exist, but they simply hide themselves from us because they fear what we would do or what they would have to do to us?

When it comes to creating my characters, I always base them on people that I know. Everything from their personality to the way they look goes into that character. I’ll even go so far as to use a similar name. I feel almost like it’s kind of an honor because once you’re put into a book, you can never die…so in some sense, they’ll get to live forever in the pages of something that many people will enjoy for years to come.

SP: Another point that struck me when reading Crimson Forest was the strength of the main character’s narration. How do you go about getting inside the head of an eighteen year old? Do you find writing from this point of view natural or challenging?

CG: It was very natural to be honest. I just put myself in her shoes and write how I believe I would’ve been back when I was 18 (man that just made me feel so old.)

SP: Crimson Forest is the first book in a fantasy series that will continue on with Crimson Moon. Do you have the entire series already planned out? When writing, are you continually looking ahead towards the scope of the series?

CG: I do! Crazy right?! Let’s just say that the future books will hopefully be just as amazing as the first one. I am presently in love with Crimson Moon. It has really turned out to be a fabulous read. When writing, I do continually look ahead towards the scope of the series. Right now, my biggest obstacle is deciding if I want to end it as a Trilogy or continue it on. Let’s just say I know how the series will end whether I continue on after book 3 or stop.

SP: In addition to being an author, you are also an author publicist. Any tips for authors on how to navigating the ever-challenging world of marketing and publicity?

CG: One thing an author must remember is that – Marketing is NOT scary and is a necessity in this ever changing market. There are millions of authors trying to get their work noticed and without marketing your work it will go nowhere. That’s why I adore my job as a Publicist because I get to help make dreams come true by getting their work noticed by thousands of people.

Also, whether you’re an Indie Author or with a Publishing House, marketing begins and ends with you. What you put out is what you will receive. This is easily forgotten in the publishing world as some authors believe it is not their responsibility to market themselves. Building your brand is crucial. You want your readers to know you, not just your books.

SP: On a personal note, I have to ask- what’s the deal with earthworms? I get strange phobias (mine are probably stranger than yours), but I’ve never heard of a fear of earthworms….

CG: Yeah, it’s a pretty dumb fear honestly but holy cow…you should see what happens when I come face to face with this fear.

When I was younger, my babysitter let me watch the movie “Squirm.” Let’s just say it tainted my entire outlook on any kind of worm that exists. All I can think about is this squiggly, slimy worm burrowing itself into my skin. Yeah…I’m totally terrified of them.

SP: To wrap this up, let’s do speed favorites (first thing that pops into your head!) Ready? Go!

Favorite…

Sports Team: Ohio State Buckeyes of course!! Go Bucks! Oooo and The Cleveland Indians!

Ice Cream Flavor: Cookie Dough

Book You Read as a Child: Where the Red Fern Grows

Celebrity: Adam Sandler

Undomesticated Animal: A Squirrel!!!

Ride at a Theme Park: Millennium Force at America’s Roller Coast – Cedar Point

Sentence to Tell Your Kids When They’re Driving You Crazy: That’s it, I’m taking away your (insert electronic of choice.)

                             

Want to know more about Christine?

Christine Gabriel, a diehard Buckeye fan, grew up in the small farming community of Monroeville, Ohio where she spent much of her time writing imaginative stories. She has spent the last ten years managing a financial institution in Norwalk, Ohio in which she’s learned that compassion and love are her greatest gifts to give to others.

She has a small tribe of children who have become her biggest fans and most honest critics. She’s an avid animal lover and has been known to bring home a stray to cuddle with her while she writes. She’s also deathly afraid of earthworms and will cross the street in order to avoid one on the sidewalk. She loves vanilla coffee and can’t begin her morning without it, even knowing that doing so has consequential effects that could potentially cause a Zombie Apocalypse.

Christine’s most important view is that her readers are able to escape out of their realities and enjoy a little piece of her imagination. She holds each one of her readers close to her heart and loves them as if they were one her dearest friends. She currently resides in Norwalk, Ohio where she’s working on Crimson Moon, Book Two of The Crimson Chronicles series.


Connect with Christine at...