Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Guest Blogger - Christine Norris
Hello! As you’ve probably guessed by now, this isn’t the usual blogger. My name is Christine Norris, and I’m a children’s fantasy author. I’m actually promoting my new release, Return to Zandria, available now from Amazon and LBF Books.
I’ve done a lot of interviews lately while promoting the book and some people…okay, MANY people, have asked me why I write fantasy, and why for children?
Here is where I’ll give much more then the perfunctory short interview question answer. What you must understand is that I am first and foremost a lover of fairy tales. My childhood was filled to brimming with them. Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty. Not just the Disney-coated versions, although those classic film remain to this day some of my favorites, but the written versions, full of adventure, suspense, and Happily Ever After.
Talking mice aside, I loved the romanticism of those stories. Not only the charming prince and the kissing bits, but the way that the stories took me out of my everyday, mundane existence and allowed me to slip into another world. And the great dresses didn’t hurt; I’m a sucker for a good costume.
I devoured these tales when I was young, over and over again I would imagine myself as the fairy princess (and sometimes as the evil witch, but that’s another story), and think up new stories, new adventures for the characters.
As I got older, my love for fantastic tales didn’t wane. From the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen I shifted to Roald Dahl and Madeline L’Engle. While other girls were watching soap operas (which I do now, but never did then) and reading Sweet Valley High, I was knee deep in A Wrinkle in Time and The Witches.
I suppose I come by it honestly; my mother handed down her copy of The Hobbit to me, and it was dog-eared. The books on our shelves had titles like The Annotated Alice and The Simarillion, and The Complete Works of Shakespeare (which I also inherited, if not a love, a good appreciation for). It was she that first introduced me to these wonderful tales of things that could never be. I still have the children’s version of Peter Pan that she used to read to me from, and to this day, Peter’s story is my very favorite.
I shifted for awhile, as a teenager, to mythology. Greek, Egyptian, Irish, Native American, I loved tales of the gods and how they made life difficult for us humans. The two books I have coming out next year, the first in a series, will tell you how where that little bit of obsession led me.
At some point, I don’t recall when, I put aside what some would call childish things. “They” all told me I had to grow up and live in the “real world”. And so, I went to college, dropped out, worked, went back to college, got married and had a family. In between the end bits of that, I discovered Harry Potter. I didn’t get on board with the series until Book 4 was on the shelves, so I had a bit of catching up to do. I was enthralled, captivated, and not just by Harry’s world, but by Jo Rowling. A single mother, living on welfare, writing on scraps of paper. I suppose that up until that point I labored under the delusion that you couldn’t write a book unless you went to school and learned how. But now I saw the light!
Then I asked myself what kind of book I should write. I never was much into romance (sorry!) or chick lit or Science Fiction novels. Literary things bored me. I liked mysteries, but didn’t have any desire to write one. Stephen King had been a favorite when I was in High School, but I didn’t have the stomach for that. So I went back to my roots – fairy tales.
At first, I had no illusions of having anything published; I just wanted to see if I could get all the way to The End. So I wrote Talisman of Zandria completely for myself. I loved creating my own world, outside of the everyday, and putting characters into it like the director of a play. If I wanted a Dragon, I could have one. Wanted to fly on its back – there I was. Of course there was depth, but there was no messy adult themes, no deep meaning, nothing but adventure.
And I realized that’s what I loved about children’s fantasy—I didn’t have to spend the entire book justifying it to the reader. Children accept, children imagine, without question and with happiness.
I have a feeling, and I know it sounds corny, that in every person who writes fantasy for children, there is a corner of their soul that believes. It’s what draws them to the work, without pretense of being ‘adult’, and what makes their stories wondrous and captivating.
I love writing fantasy because I reach into the furthest corners of my imagination and put it on paper. I write for children because I want to give them the same wonderful adventures that I grew up with, to give them the joy that I felt reading ‘And they all lived Happily Ever After’.
Make every day magical!
Christine Norris is the author of several works for children and adults. She spends her time divided between her writing, substitute teaching, and caring for her family of one husband-creature, a son-animal, a large dog whose greatest achievement is sleeping in one position for an entire day, and a small feline who is very adept in his position as Guardian of the Bathtub. She also works at English Adaptations of novels translated from other languages.
To learn more about Christine Norris, please visit http://www.christine-norris.com. Send an email to Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her MySpace page, at http://www.myspace.com/christinenorris.
To Purchase Return to Zandria, Click Here