Monday, September 17, 2012

Meet Christine Fonseca, YA Extrordinaire & a Giveaway!

Despite that YA Author Christine Fonseca's splats already decorate the Graffiti Wall, I've entitled this piece beginning with the word meet. Wonder why?

Because since we last heard from Christine here on Writers Alley, she has been on absolute fire!! And guess what? She's doing a giveaway for us, too! (Just enter below. Winner to be announced next Friday!) I'll let her explain for herself.

Hi Christine! It's wonderful to have you visit us again.

You've had a ton of changes since we last chatted. Care to briefly share a few highlights?
Wow, where to begin. Well, since my last interview with you in June 2011, I managed to sell A Beautiful Mess under its original title, LACRIMOSA, as part of a 4 book deal with Compass Press. It was published in March 2012, along with two shorts that are part of the same series. They are beginning to draw reader attention and have been consistently getting good reviews. Next up is LIBERA ME, the next book in the series, and another book I sold to Compass Press – TRANSCEND.

Things have been busy on the nonfiction front as well. I’ve sold two more nonfiction titles – A Girl’s Guide to Redefining Normal: Finding Your Place in a Mixed Up World, and Parenting Introverts – both coming from Prufrock Press in 2013.

So, all in all – it’s been very busy!
MEA CULPA                DIES IRAE                     LACRIMOSA                      LIBERA ME               TRANSCEND

Yes, I'd say so!

What has been your greatest joy within those changes? Your greatest challenge?
Absolutely my greatest joy is the connections I’ve made with readers. Listening to them as they read the book, hearing what they connected with – what emotions they felt – that has been an unexpected reward of this entire process. I am actually pretty humbled by it all. I mean, yes, I wanted to build connections – that is why I write. But to have people not only read, but “get”, really get, what I’m trying to do…there’s nothing better!

My greatest challenge has been balance. I tend to jump into things with both feet. And I am lousy and saying “no” to projects. As a result, I am stretched thinner than I probably should be. But, I love what I’m doing…so it is really hard to pull back from things. It’s a good problem to have, actually.

Your debut YA Gothic Series, THE REQUIEM SERIES, is quite a change from your nonfiction books. Did you have a method to developing this story? 
The next question really answers this in terms of how I develop stories in general. With this series, I spent a lot of time doing two things:

1) research angel and demon mythology to assist in the development of the mythos I used for the books. I wanted my mythology to ring true and still be a unique take on the topic;

2)Reading a TON of books in the paranormal and fantasy genres. I was specifically reading for story construction, pacing, character development, etc. It was like a learning laboratory for me. 

Research material to help develop a story is always so fascinating to me, so vital.

Are you a pantser or an outliner? What's your take on both methodologies?
I am a delightful mix of both! Actually, I would classify myself as an outliner…but not a detailed outliner. Let me explain –
For me, I need to have a global sense of the storyline in order to write it. So, I get an idea and once I know some essential things (the basic premise, the problem, the climax) and typically draft about 5K as fast as I can to get a sense of the “vibe” of the story. Then, I outline.

Using the story beats from Snyder’s Save the Cat, I “beat” out the novel. Next comes the chapters – I do a basic outline of the scenes/chapters. After that it’s time to draft the novel. I do this as fast as I can since I am a lousy drafter.

What I lack in drafting abilities, I make up for in editing. This is my favorite part of the process. I go through the draft and “redo” the outline, specifically looking for holes within the plotline, places where the story sags, that kind of thing.

Another version or two and voila – a novel is born. See, I really am a little of both. 

Absolutely! How did you find the process of developing your cover art for DIES IRAE, LACRIMOSA, and MEA CULPA?
Compass Press is a small press and was responsible for the covers of all of my books. But, I did get to be part of the process, which included assisting in choosing cover art, fonts for the print, etc. It has been a collaborative process – one I am thankful for.

LIBERA ME is next in your series. Can you give us a sneak peek into where you'll take Zane next? 
Oh Zane…my poor Zane. LIBERA ME is truly one of the darkest and most emotional pieces I’ve ever written, which is really saying something if you’ve ever read my fiction. All I can really say is that everything Zane “thinks” is true, may or may not be. And the things most important to him – the friendships and feelings – will be put to the test in ways never expected.

Graffiti Wall Signature Question: What has been the most important lesson you've learned about the publishing world between publishing your nonfiction book and the beginnings your YA Gothic series The Requiem?
I have learned that there are many many paths towards publication, each valuable, each with its own sets of pros and cons. And I have learned that what is right for me today, may not be right tomorrow. Flexibility and resiliency are the key – at least for me.

Is there anything you'd like your audience to know about you as a writer or as a person that they've yet to discover?
Ha! Something new, huh…well, how about this. I love doing panels, and conducting workshops etc. Most people know that part. But what most people do NOT know is that I am socially uncomfortable in large gatherings most of the time. Seriously! I am a total introvert and feel awkward whenever I go to signings, conferences, etc. Which is probably why you don’t always see me at them ;)

Thank you for sharing your story and time with us! Looking forward to more from you. 

You can learn more about Christine and her books by clicking on the links above under her book images or visiting her Website and  writer's blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you haven't already, ENTER my giveaway! Spreading the word is still appreciated. There's still nine days left to enter. Have a fantastic week, everyone! 


  1. Greaet interview, ladies! Best of luck, Christine!

  2. Awesome interview, ladies. Your non-fiction girl book sounds great Christine,and I look forward to reading Transcend. :D

  3. Great interview Sheri & Christine. Glad to hear I'm not the only sort of plotter. And loved Christine's answer about the many paths to publication. So excited for Christine!

  4. I love Christine! She's so great. What a fun interview!

  5. Very cool! I can't wait to read Christine's book--I've been seeing that awesome cover for Transcend everywhere, and it looks amazing. I lurv Phantom.

    She's right! Flexibility and perseverance are key! Best of luck to Christine! *waves* to Sheri~ <3

    1. *waves* back. And I agree with flexibility and perseverance. I'm actually having to call on both of those now.

  6. Great interview and wow, Christine, you are way busy!

  7. Great interview! I might just have to borrow Christine's plotting method :)

    1. That's exactly what I was thinking. Might as well try it. I'm 'lacking' a distinct method.

  8. Love the interview! On my tbr pile Christine! Whoop!

  9. Great interview. I love to hear of others' successes with writing! That is so awesome!

  10. Wow, Christine. With so much going on I'm surprised you had a moment to breathe in there :-) But I've enjoyed your works. Wishing you continued success.

  11. I totally get the part about being comfortable doing panels and workshops (I have a teaching background), but put me in a large group and ask me to socialize. Eek.

  12. "A delightful mix of both," I love that, so true! Sounds to me like you could use a clone, or two. Hmmm, now I'm inspired...

  13. I'm getting more into gothic horror so this genre is appealing to me. In fact, I will be subbing one day where I teach on this very subject! Good luck, Christine!

  14. Wonderful interview :) I completely relate to loving the research part of crafting a novel. I get so caught up I end up having to jot down multiple off subject things to revisit at a later time.

    Thank you for sharing and good luck to Christine.

  15. So happy to hear that Christine is doing so well with her novels! :)

  16. Awe, thanks everyone. I am just glad people are liking the stories!

  17. I think it's great that this press allowed Christine to be so involved in the cover of her book. It often isn't that way, and it has to be very satisfying to help decide the face of the series! Congrats to her for all her success as well!


  18. Great interview! So many gems tucked away in here. :) Thank you, Sheri and Christine!

  19. Great to see Christine being interviewed here. And what a great interview!!

  20. My goodness, Christine is one busy lady! Great to see all her successes.

  21. Wow - Christine has been busy! Editing is my favorite part of the process, too.

  22. Totally awesome! I just love Christine's fiction books. I have read them all and look forward to what she has in the future!

  23. Nice to meet you, Christine! Your books sound awesome. Congrats!

    Flexibility and perseverance are key--LOVE it!! Keep up the good work.

  24. You have been a busy writer. Congratulations on your books. I enjoyed reading about you and your work. Best of luck.

  25. Congratulations. I love the cover of Transcend. Very intriguing.

  26. hi miss sheri and miss christine! wowee that was a cool interview. i mostly loved reading bout how miss christine pansters and plots all together. i kinda like that idea. mostly im just a pantster but im learning more on plotting and how it could be a big help. its cool you could do both. for sure miss christines got a lotta books out there. wow! how cool is that. big hooray. thanks for a neat interview.
    ...hugs from lenny


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