A week and a half ago I reviewed Rex Rising by Chrystalla Thoma and as a follow up here is a short interview with her that she kindly did with me. If you want to know more about Chrystalla or her books, visit her website at http://chrystallathoma.wordpress.com/
You are not a biologist but this book is heavily influenced by biology. Were you into science in school?
Chrys: *laughs quietly* Actually, that was my least favorite subject at school. I was into languages, ancient Greek and Latin, and literature. But after I finished school and started reading science books for the lay public, I realized I like it. Then of course, I got married to a marine biologist and started borrowing his books and journals, some of which I have never returned…
What genre do you enjoy reading? What books influence you the most when writing?
Chrys: I enjoy very much and above all fantasy – epic, urban, paranormal – and science fiction – soft sci-fi and steampunk. I love all that escapes the boundaries of our known reality. It is hard to tell which books influence me the most, as those change according to my reading mood and style. Currently, I love reading Cassandra Clare’s books, but I can’t say they have influenced me as I only started reading them now. Mostly it’s the great epics, like Tolkien’s, and the Bitterbynde trilogy byThorntonwhich I read many years back. I just love the way she delved in folklore to create her world.
Do you have a background in writing?
Chrys: If by this you mean that I have been writing for a long time, heck yes. lol! As you may know, I’m actually Greek – my native language is Greek, not English – and I started writing in Greek since I was about eleven. My first novel in Greek won the national prize for young writers ofCypruswhen I was eighteen, and then my second novel also a few years later. But I only started writing in English about ten years ago. In between my Greek novels and writing in English there is a degree in English literature and translation, a master’s degree in translation, and a PhD in linguistics and translation. But, above all, lots and lots of reading of fiction in English, so much so that right now I don’t feel I can even write in Greek. I have several short stories published in journals and anthologies, two novellas with a small Canadian publisher, and a contract for a non-fiction book (about dragons!).
You novel Rex Rising is a bit complicated with a lot of background- will you explore side characters more in future publishing’s such as the novel Hera?
Chrys: Absolutely. In “Hera” I introduce certain characters – Sacmis, the boy Mantis – who will play a role in books 2 and 3 of the series, but I also have plans for writing up a novel or two from Kalaes’ earlier years, and probably also short stories to give more background to other characters found in the books. Also in the plans is a Companion to the series with everything from scraps of older versions of Rex Rising (like outtakes!) to information about the world and recipes.
What is up next for you?
Chrys: Several projects. Apart from Elei’s Chronicles with all its side stories, I have planned a steampunk trilogy with vampires set inCyprus, and a GLBT Young adult novel which will be futuristic with androids. I will also be writing the non-fiction book about dragons that I mentioned above, in which I discuss dragons from all around the world, their origins and characteristics. And these are just the biggest projects…
Thank you very much for having me here today!
You can find Chrystalla Thoma at: