Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Please welcome young adult fantasy author Christine Porter! I met Christine through the group #WO2016 (Waiting-On 2016) - a co-op of authors with books releasing this year. Follow that site to find out about all the new and upcoming releases for 2016! Now, let's take a peek at Christine's first release. Oh, and don't forget to enter her giveaway below...

In the magical empire of Laenutia, beyond a gateway of cascading water, lies a kingdom in peril. The forces of evil are gathering, ready to oust the rightful rulers of the land. Chaos hovers as the ruthless Prince Validin sets his plans in motion.

But there is hope. For in the sleepy village of Omondei lives a small, insatiably curious boy called Jeremiah, who dreams of doing something extraordinary. When Jeremiah is asked to travel beyond the walls of Omondei, he leaps at the chance. Along with a band of intrepid adventurers, Jeremiah is quickly drawn into an astonishing whirlwind of trickery and danger, where nothing is as it seems, and not everyone can be trusted.

Who is the rightful ruler of Laenutia? And why are so many people desperate to win Jeremiah over to their side? The deeper Jeremiah travels towards the heart of this mystery, the closer he comes to learning who he is, what choices he has to make, and what his dreams foretell.

Hi Christine! Sounds like Jeremiah might be more important than he thinks. 

I'm so glad you contacted me to be featured in the Alleyway. Could you tell the audience a little about yourself? 
I am a South African writer of YA fantasy (for the freshly YA). This is largely because I refuse to take anything seriously, and believe things should be bent to my will. I did not anticipate that characters, much like people, have minds of their own and often will not be told. I am the middle of three sisters, bilingual, staunchly South African and an avid tourist (but a terrible photographer). When I'm not writing or travelling, I run a small electronic bookshop and provide friendly advice and manuscript prep services to other writers.

You run an electronic bookshop? That's fascinating. Tell us a bit more about that.
The electronic bookstore ( is South Africa focused, although open to international authors. I call it 'self-publishing on steroids'. I offer publishing services, like editing, design and conversion, and provide a platform for authors to sell their books. There's a lot of red tape with international platforms, especially if you write in a language other than English. This provides an alternative. 

Very cool... So, what's your writing process like?
I'm still figuring out the process that works best for me. I started writing Peril Beyond the Waterfall when I was 17, and went straight into the first draft, with zero plotting and zero character development. The details, dodgy plot points, character personalities were ironed out as I wrote and rewrote, and got feedback from beta readers, friends and fellow writing course students. With Night of the Cologoro, I had a better plot outline before starting out, and as such the drafting went a lot faster, but because I was reusing characters, I didn't really develop new ones, or old ones further until I started drafting. With book three, I am working on plots and characterization first, and will only start the draft once i know who I'm working with. The only constant so far is that I like to write in silence, preferably in the garden. 

Wow, you were young when you began writing this story. I like how you just plowed right through it all. If you could be a fictional character, who would it be and why?
Can I be The Doctor, please? I realise he's not a literary character, but all those adventures! All of time and space! I could meet so many cool author people, do such wonderful real-life research on ancient cultures and more recent history, meet aliens, walk on Mars. Fun!

Your local grocery store has run out of your favorite writing snack--what would your second choice be and why?
If there were no more Whispers I would be a very sad panda indeed, but I could just about settle for a bag of jelly beans. 

Sugar always works, right? Thank you for joining us and for offer up copies of your book!

Christine continues Jeremiah's tale in book II - Night of the Cologoro (Histories of Laenutia, #2) - releasing in May. 
Description: The shadowy figure of a cow is haunting the fields of Dumnien. A curiosity, certainly, but not much to worry about, is it? Until cows start going missing across the province, that is.
Curiosity leads Morgan and Jeremiah to investigate further. The more they investigate, the more they realise that the situation is far more horrifying and sinister than even they could imagine. 
Determined to discover just what has brought the cologoro to Dumnien, and to put a stop to it, the boys band together to tackle the beast. 
Find Christine on Facebook and Twitter!

What's your favorite fantasy setting? (Me - I like castles and knights.)
 photo Sheri2.png


  1. Sounds like a very good book, Christine. Thanks so much for sharing your experience in creating it and your life as a writer. I find it interesting how you grew into plotting for a smoother experience in creating the next books. I'm blog hopping with C. Lee McKenzie, et al. I like your blog, S. A., and will be back. I'll also follow your blog and connect with you on social media. Thanks for sharing this author with your followers.

    1. Thank you! I'm pretty pleased with the result. I hope my readers are too!

  2. The electronic bookstore sounds interesting. Does it only accept authors or small publishers as well?
    Congratulations on your series!

  3. I agree with Alex, the electronic bookstore sounds interesting. Congrats to Christine! I love the cover and sound of this story.

  4. Great interview. Really intrigued to learn more about the electronic bookshop. What a great idea!! Wishing you continued success. BTW, I love the font on your book cover. It fits with your first answer ...'This is largely because I refuse to take anything seriously, and believe things should be bent to my will.' Super :) I can't wait to read it!

    1. I loved that statement, too! Live life freely, I guess. :) Thanks for stopping by, Nicola. (Sorry I haven't been around as much as usually. I'm in the midst of writing the second book in my middle grade series while juggling my dad's surgery and my mom's illness. I'm spread a bit too thinly, right now.) But, such is life!

  5. I'm glad someone else is still figuring out their writing process. I hate to be the only one. Thanks for the interview. It was fun to read.


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