Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Writing Buddy Wednesday - the two Christinas - Phillips and Ashcroft

Well, it's actually one person but the two personas of Christina on my blog today. I've known Christina for a number of years now and she is one of the sweetest people I know. So without further delay, here's the interview with Christina....

Thanks for joining me in the Taverna, Christina!

Thank you for inviting me, Eleni! It's great to be here :-)

You are such a busy woman with two names you write with Christina Phillips (hot historicals with a supernatural twist and erotic romance) and Christina Ashcroft (paranormal romance). Do your personas fight it out to see who will get attention for the day?

To be honest most of the time I have no idea who I am, and just muddle through every day and hope I don't make a massive oopsy! I find that very often I'm on Twitter convinced I'm one person when in fact I'm in my other persona. Hopefully people know both Christina and Christina are, in fact, the same person and overlook my tangled postings!

Your current release as Christina Ashcroft is Archangel of Mercy. Can you tell us a little bit about it? 

I’d love to tell you about my gorgeous Archangel, Gabriel. He’s one of the Fallen, but not in quite the way you might expect. He and his fellow Archangels used Earth as their playground millennia ago, and of course some of them fell in love with mortals. But the consequences of what happened in the past haunt Gabe today and he protects his shattered heart and guilt riddled soul behind a tough fa├žade.

Aurora is a typical girl-next-door—except she has a unique heritage, and by trying to discover her roots and help her mother she unleashes an ancient force who are determined to punish her for her actions. As a consequence of this she is the catalyst that causes an Archangel to fall from the heavens… and into her arms.

You have delved into self publishing by re-releasing two of your novellas (Touch of a Demon; Foretaste of Forever) originally published by The Wild Rose Press. What made you decide to self-publish? Have you further plans to self-publish more titles?

I was very interested to dip my toe in the self-publishing pond and discover for myself what it's all about. I like to stretch myself and boy, did the Smashwords guidelines do that! If not for our very own Maree Anderson's encouragement and Cathleen Ross who kindly held my cyber hand throughout the process I'm convinced I would never have navigated the mysteries of the Meatgrinder.

So, I wanted to try out this new venture but didn't have anything written that was ready to go. My rights with TWRP for Touch of the Demon were coming up for renewal and so I requested their return. I then did a light edit, a new cover and put it up on the various platforms. Then I rinsed and repeated with Foretaste of Forever.

I would like to self-publish more titles. At the moment I'm strapped for time as I'm under contract with Ellora's Cave for several books and I'm not a fast writer. But it's certainly something in the back of my mind that I'd like to pursue further. 


The Forbidden series is to continue with two more books (yay for us!). Can you tell us how this came about?
It was a long and torturous process :-) When Berkley passed on the third Forbidden book (and changed the contract to my Archangel book) both my agent and I were pretty upset, especially since I'd already written 34k words of the third book. But you just have to push on in this business so I put the book aside and worked on the new one. However, my agent never gave up on my ancient historicals and eventually secured me a contract with Ellora's Cave for the next two in the series. I've just received revisions on book 3, Betrayed, and can tell you that it's going to be a tad hotter than the previous two books *fans self*!

You have some amazing covers. Do you have a favourite?

I think I will always have a very soft spot for the cover of Forbidden. It was my first cover for a full length romance and it was so exactly how I imagined in my mind that I guess it's spoiled me for the rest of eternity!!! However having said that, the cover for Captive is just stunning. I love the dark thunder clouds in the background that give a hint of the tone of the book and the pose of the couple is wonderful.

As for the cover for Archangel of Mercy, well... what can I say... I zoomed in for a close up of the male model's face and nearly swooned. He is perfect!!! 

Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in between?

When I first started writing category romance I was a die hard plotter, right down to when my chapter breaks would be and snippets of dialogue and obviously the world would stop spinning on its axis if I deviated from any of this (I'm not exaggerating). When I changed focus from contemporary to paranormal, something shifted and I discovered that I couldn't plot in advance - because I had no clue what on earth was going to happen in the next chapter, never mind how all the tangled threads were going to be resolved by the end. With Forbidden I had no idea how everything was going to pull together and was hugely relieved when odd little things that had worked their way into the story earlier suddenly all made sense as the final scenes unfolded!

Of course, editors like to know in advance what they're letting themselves in for, so I've had to learn to fudge my way through an outline in advance of writing the book. Not that I stick that closely to it! 

What or who inspired you to write?

I know it's an old chestnut but I've always written. When I was off school sick as a kid, I'd scribble plays while I was resting in bed. I filled dozens of notebooks with short stories and I remember one that I kept writing bits to for about eight years. You could tell when the hormones hit because suddenly the heroine was noticing boys in a new way :-)

What are you working on now? And what’s in the near future for Christina Phillips/Ashcroft?

Just a few days ago I had a long chat with my editor at EC about Betrayed, and I'm now working on the revisions. I'm also about 60k into book 4, Tainted, and will go back to that once my revisions are done. I have a couple of Highland Warrior books to write but have a feeling I'll be getting revisions on my erotic Regency Vampire in the New Year, so my gorgeous Scots will have to wait their turn for a bit longer. I'm also in the middle of a book tour for Archangel of Mercy.

In my Ashcroft world I have a second Archangel book finished and ideas for book three, where the hero is a dead ringer for Jason Momoa. Need I say more? 

What would be your ultimate research trip? ;))

Ooooh! I would love to visit all the ancient ruins of the world. Rome (obviously!!) the Greek Isles, the Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula, the Pyramids and Sphinx in Egypt... it would be so ultimate I'd probably need a dozen lifetimes to fit it all in!!!

And the most important question of all – Clive or Henry? (For those of you who don’t know, Christina has a ‘slight’ infactuation with Clive Owen and Henry Cavill).

Whaat? *heart palpitations* You want me to choose? I thought you were my friend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[LOL - I was hoping to get the other one....]

It’s been such a pleasure having you on the blog again, Christina.

Thank you so much, Eleni! It's always lovely to pop over to the Taverna and visit :-)


Don't forget to visit Christina at the following places:
Blog (for both)


Jenny Schwartz said...

I'd love to visit all the ancient ruins, too. Someone needs to invent a translocator so I don't need to travel to get there!

Christina Phillips said...

Hey Jenny, what a good idea! I'd be your travel companion!!!

Eleni Konstantine said...

Jenny, that would make life sooo much easier. :D Can I come along too, ladies?

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