It’s time for another Seven Quick Takes Friday hosted by
Jennifer over at Conversion Diary Team Whitaker, who also hold off on bathing freshly baptized babies for as long as possible.
It’s another Friday where I get
someone else to write my 7QT to host another talented author from the world of Catholic Fiction. It’s my pleasure to interview Christina Weigand, author of the Palace of the Twelve Pillars Series. I featured the first book of the series, the book that gives the series its name, in a What We’re Reading Wednesday post not too long ago. Now that you’ve learned a bit about the book…
… let’s meet the author.
Tell us about your most recent work. How did the idea come to you? How long did it take you from start to publication?
In February 2014 MuseItUp Publishing released the last book in the Palace of the Twelve Pillars trilogy, Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three. It along with the first two books; Palace of the Twelve Pillars: Book One and Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two follow the lives of two young princes and later kings, Joachim and Brandan. The young men each struggle with their own battles of good and evil. Their faith will be tested as war, death, kidnapping and betrayal along with a few dragons and other creatures both evil and good will stand in their way as they discover their path in life.
The trilogy actually started out as a short story about a young man who wakes up one morning after being kidnapped by an evil wizard and discovers that he is a prince and wizard instead of a farmer’s son. First the story was too much for a short story and once I started to convert it to a novel I realized that there was a whole story happening before he ever woke up in the wizard’s castle. I wanted to know what that story was, then Joachim and Brandan appeared, father and uncle to Airyn. They had a whole lot of baggage with them.
The entire trilogy took about thirteen years from start to publication of the third novel.
Idea, research, editing, design…What was your favorite part of working on this project? What was your least favorite?
I would have to say my favorite part was writing. Once I let the characters take the lead it was a wild journey and a whole lot of fun trying to figure out where they would take me next.
My least favorite part has been letting go of the characters. They became so ingrained in my life and I had to do things to them that weren’t so pleasant. But overall they became like my own children and while I completed their story, they still have not been so willing to let me move onto the next story.
Tell us about how this work came to reach us: did you go the self-publishing route or did you contract with a publisher? What was that like?
The Palace of the Twelve Pillars trilogy is contracted with MuseItUp Publishing and distributed in eformats. For me it has been a wonderful experience. From the publisher Lea Schizas to the two editors Penny Ehrenkranz and Nancy Bell and the cover artists Marion Sipe and Charlotte Volnek were great to work with. The editors caught things that as the writer after seeing the ms. so many times, I missed. Lea managed to talk me down in the last weeks before release of the third book, when I went into a panic realizing that a whole chapter was missing. At the last minute we inserted the missing chapter and no one was the wiser.
What other things in your life do you juggle in order to keep at your writing? How’s that working out for you?
“Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of four. She is also Nana to three granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Cranberry Twp. Pennsylvania, returning there after a short sabbatical in Washington. Currently, she’s working on fantasy novels and inspirational writing. Through her writing, she strives to share the Word of God and help people young and old to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone.
When she’s not writing, she’s active in her local Church and volunteering at her daughter’s school helping the children develop a love for reading and writing. Jesus fills her home with love as she shares Him through her writing.
Most of the time things work really well. With Ana in school all day it gives me the opportunity to write and market. That being said with summer vacation looming there will be some serious juggling going on to keep her busy and still take time out for myself and writing. But it’s not the first time I’ve been to this game so I’m sure we will find a way through it.”
Setting, characters, plot, mood, tone… What would you describe as your greatest strength as a writer?
I would have to say based on my previous answers, my strength is characters. When they get into my head and I let them run with the story magic happens.
Conversely, if you could change one thing about your writing style, what would it be and why?
Writing descriptions. I tend to write the story and forget to throw the descriptions I see in my head onto the paper.
Lastly, where can we find your work, a. k. a. give you our hard earned cash?
Thanks so much, Christina! Congratulations on your accomplishments, and we all wish you much continued success!