Christina Borden was born in north USA to German and Polish parents. Raised in the south, she recalls a time driving from Florida to Colorado, and seeing the Rockies for the first time she would ‘never be happy anywhere except in the mountains’. Some of her favourite memories are from visiting mountains such as the Appalachian, Rocky, and Hawaiian. Her love of the mountains may take her to the Alps or the Andes one day, but for now, she considers herself ‘blessed to live among the Rockies’.
As a writer it’s no surprise that some of Christina’s most precious memories relate to her field. A love of books was nurtured at a young age and family had a huge impact on her.
Christina writes both fantasy and Christian fiction and she tells me that people have suggested she combine the two, but she has reservations of how well she could pull it off without being ‘grossly offensive to my faith.’ She’s happy to leave that endeavour to other writers and focus on both genres separately, which she does exceedingly well.
Her inspiration for writing her own stories came in the 7th grade, when her class read Z is for Zechariah. Eager to pen her own apocalyptic story, she did and still has the copy. Inspiration struck again with Dune and Red Mars leading her into science fiction. From there fantasy became the genre that enticed her into the realm of publishing, with the creation of Mythnium, a world ‘entirely inspired by artwork’ from her great-grandfather that hangs on her wall.
Self described as stubborn Christina has never been afraid to voice her opinion nor lacked the courage to walk alone (at least that’s what the tag line of her movie would say). Christina says that her challenges when writing are every author’s bane, ‘laziness and procrastination’. ‘The World of Mythnium is in my head, so in many ways I don’t feel the need to write it down, but then other times, I feel this sense of urgency that I must, and right now!‘
In our conversation I came to appreciate that Christina is a very inspiring author and person. Her passion for her writing enables her to overcome many health challenges. A detailed three-ring binder of notes helps her to remember all the places, names, descriptions, timelines, events, races, etc in her vast and developed world. This is a great idea, one that I think many of us world builder writers should all be doing.
Christina is no stranger to writing fatigue and for her especially typing for long periods is physically draining. She says that ‘keeping a schedule’ really helps in overcoming her self-imposed challenges. ‘I block out my times to write, plan, outline, edit, etc.’ She is still learning to pace herself to overcome health related challenges.
I got to know Christina a little better over the course of the interview when I asked her a series of truly personal questions, plumbing the depths of her soul. I think we came out the other side more enlightened people.
Q. I am leaving you a generous sum of money in my will, with the stipulation that it be used only to open your own small company and you must choose three more beneficiaries to help you in your endeavour. What is your business and who is running it with you? (real/fictional) A. A bookstore that is set up almost like a library. Leave one, take one. Don’t have one to leave, borrow one. Really want to keep it? Buy it. I’d love to run it with my hubby, who is also an avid reader like me, and if she were still alive, my Grandmother because I think she’d love it! Q. I’m putting together a team of explorers, we’re going to look for life on alien planets. We find it but the aliens have turned hostile and are going to kill one of the team and I have to choose which one. Convince me why it shouldn’t be you. A. Because I am the one person who has remained calm and cool-headed, which means I can help discover why the aliens are suddenly hostile, and maybe help diffuse the situation. Q. It’s my birthday and all I want from you is a book to add to my massive pile, which book is it? A. My book, of course! Short Stories from Mythnium Q. You can pick three people to help you save the world, who are they? (real/fictional) A. My hubby because he helps me be brave. My kid because he thinks outside the box. My sister because she keeps me humble and makes me laugh, sometimes at the same time. Q. You're forming your own 80's Rock tribute band, what are they called? A. UGH! (mainly because they’d hate most 80’s music as much as me) Q. You get mysteriously transported back in time. When are you, where are you and what's the first thing you're doing? A. England, King Arthur era. I’d be looking for Merlin, because I know he had to exist, and I’d want to be part of the legends that surrounded Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. THEN I’d want to convince Merlin to help me find Atlantis. Q. I'm hungry, I want the tastiest thing on the menu. describe it to me. A. The plate comes to you with the beautifully seared salmon steaming on a bed of black, forbidden rice. The caper sauce drizzled on top of the salmon slides just a little into that buttery rice. Beside the fish and rice is perfectly grilled asparagus dashed with a just a touch of lemon. The aroma of the fish, rice, and asparagus makes your mouth water in anticipation, but the combination of flavors just meld perfectly in your mouth causing you to literally melt in your seat. Q. Oh no, while you were on your adventure into the past you accidentally let it slip that you’re from the future and now people are very scared of you and you’re going to be executed for witchcraft (yes even if you only travelled 10 years into the past – don’t get smart with me) What are your famous last words? A. Worth it!
Christina loves a classic tale, her favourite literary character being Jane Eyre. From humble beginnings Jane’s tale is the quintessential underdog story and earned Christina’s adoration for her strength in breaking her own heart and leaving Mr. Rochester.
Her own convictions and ideologies were what formed her independence. I adored her even more when she returned to him to be his “savior.” She was still emotional. She was still feminine. She still wanted to be loved and accepted. She was still imperfect. She was still a woman in every way that makes women so beautifully unique from men, and yet she was absolutely the hero of the story. She is a prime example of feminine power without the use of sexual wiles and designs, which so many female heroes seem to rely on in order to have “power.”ON JANE EYRE
During the course of the interview, we played a game of would you rather, it was very educational, for us both… I think.
Q. Would you rather live in your favourite fictional world or have your favourite fictional characters come live in our world? A. I’d love to visit Mythnium, but I do love our world, so I’d rather have them come here and live here in real life. I think I would enjoy getting to know them, and that they’d be great assets to our world. Q. Would you rather do something good but be forgotten or be remembered for something bad? A. I’d rather do something good and be forgotten. I hate to be the center of attention, which is why I find it hard to market myself (for anything). Seriously, writing my own resume, trying to make my accomplishments sound good… I know I am good at what I do, but I cringe under praise and accolades. Ironic, really, because I think I have rather great self-esteem. Anyway, I do love to help people. And I prefer to help people without them knowing it was me. Q. Would you rather be Lord Voldemort's servant for the day and do everything and anything he asks, including but not limited to giving him a pedicure or bathe Hagrid for an entire year? A. Bathe Hagrid. I like Hagrid. I can help anyone do anything if I like them. On the other hand, if I don’t like or respect someone, I most certainly will not do anything, no matter how small it is, for them. Count that as a form of my stubbornness.
QUICK FIRE ROUND
|Naughty or Nice?||NICE|
|Sweet or Sour?||SWEET|
|Yes or No?||NO|
|Pride of Prejudice?||PRIDE|
|Sense of Sensibility?||SENSE|
|Day or Night?||BOTH|
|Mice or Men?||MICE|
3 questions from a 7 year old
Do you have a cat or dog? I have one of each. One is my rescue kitty that my hubby got me for our anniversary one year, and one is my blue Staffordshire/American pit that I got from my sister. (Her dog, the father of my dog, completely changed my view on pitties, and after him, I knew I wanted to have one of our own.)
When do you have lunch? Typically, around noon. I tend to skip breakfast, so lunch is usually my first meal of the day.
When will you write your next book? I am currently outlining it in more depth so I can dive in as soon as I send my WIP to my editors. Ideally, I’d like to have this second book ready to publish six months after this current one. We’ll see how that works out.
What a pertinent question from a budding young interviewer. Now I need to know how Christina’s work in progress is coming along?
I am just about finished with my current book. Well, finished with this draft. It is almost ready to go to my Beta Readers. Depending on how well it is received by them will determine how quickly I am able to get it to my editors. I am a little terrified. That’s normal, right?
And finally some words of wisdom from the talented and inspiring C. Borden herself for all you aspiring authors out there.
Just write. Sara Horn, a Christian author, told me that once when I got to meet her in person. To this day, her voice echoes in my head with those two simple words. Just write. Worry about the edits, proofing, cover design, publishing, etc after the writing. For me, this means daily. Just write for my scheduled amount of time, then move on to the other stuff. Also, I have my pet peeves as a reader, and so I pay attention to those things as a writer. I would recommend other writers do the same. If you read a book, and something about it nags at you or irritates you, take note. Make sure you don’t do that in your own writing. Otherwise, let your imagination fly!
Check out my review of the book HERE