Friday, August 30, 2013

Palace of the Twelve Pillars: Author Interview with Chris Weigand

Chris Weigand wrote The Palace of the Twelve Pillars, a young adult Christian fantasy novel. Christian fiction is an entirely new category for me, as I've only ever read one Christian fiction novel in my life, outside of a few children's series. (Funny, I know, but my literary diet growing up was strictly the classics. I had about seven copies of Robinson Crusoe in my room.) I was curious as to what Chris's inspiration for writing her stories came from, so she's here today to talk about her writing. 

Where do you go for inspiration?
First I try my other brain, Darlene. When that isn’t possible then I look to my kids and especially my oldest granddaughter Andi. She has the most vivid imagination for a 9 year-old, and can always pull me out of a blocked story.

How do you ‘get into character’?  Are their certain characters you find it harder to right than others?
When I first started writing I didn’t think I did that very well. I thought other writers were crazy when they said their characters were telling them what to do. When I began writing the second book in the trilogy I knew how the book needed to start and thought I knew the ending and even wrote an outline to fill in the middle. That’s when my characters staged a revolt right at the beginning of another November NANO. The second week in and they wouldn’t let me write anything that was on the outline. When I finally put the outline away at the end of the week, they took over.  My hardest character at least in this book has been Prince/King Brandan. So much happens to both of the princes, but Brandan is in territory that I haven’t lived. Trying to keep him evil and yet still have a nugget of love and compassion for his brother has been a hard balance to maintain. Things happen to him in the third book that he really fought me on. One chapter near the end was particularly hard to decide how things would play out.

Describe one of your favorite characters and tell us who you patterned them after and why. 
It’s a toss-up between Brandan and Joachim. If I really think about it I patterned them after my sister and I. Joachim is more like me while Brandan is more like Cheryl. Not that Cheryl was evil, but she was always moving, taking chances, putting herself out there. I on the other hand am more cautious, less willing to put myself out there and risk getting hurt. I try and choose the safe path, she always chose the road less traveled.

Tell us about your current WIP.
As of this moment in time I have no new projects that I’m working on because I have been getting the Palace of the Twelve Pillar Trilogy ready for publishing. I do have two or three projects sitting on a back burner just waiting for me to come up for air. I’m really excited about them. Two of them will be a continuation of  the story of the dragons that are introduced in the trilogy. The dragons come to earth and help to birth Christianity. It has been fun researching the early years of Christianity and I can’t wait to really dig into the project. There are also a few characters in the trilogy that make a little noise about wanting their story to be continued, but I’ve convinced them to wait a little while and let the dust settle. For the near present they have been agreeable, but I’m sure it won’t last forever.

What can readers expect from you in the future?
Palace of Three Crosses the second book in the Palace of the Twelve Pillars trilogy will be released in September 2013. Just recently I received edits  for Sanctuary of Nine Dragons the third book in the trilogy will be released February 2014. Then after that I will have to see what God has in store for me. When God and the characters take over the story. It’s almost like an Elvis has left the building kind of thing. God and the characters tell the story and I become the conduit that brings them to life. That hasn’t happened in a while because of the prep of getting three books to publication. But I am looking forward to the day when the new characters rattling around in my head find their way to the forefront and can tell their stories.

Before I leave Brandan and Joachim wanted to say hi and introduce themselves:

Let’s start off with you telling us a little about yourself?
Brandan here: Not sure what you want to know, that isn’t already obvious. I am Prince Brandan son of Theodric and Lilia and I have a twin brother Joachim. He’ll introduce himself in a minute if he can get his nose out of his books. Yeah he may have been born first and father likes him better, but no matter I can do things without them.
Joachim here: Don’t listen to him. He’s just upset because his spell casting isn’t working out so well. Father loves each of us equally; you just tend to be a little more difficult and disagreeable with Father and Croifan.
That’s enough. You two survived the first book, but if you don’t get along better you may not survive the second. I hear there are going to be some coronations and a few weddings for starters. But there is still a mess to clean up at the Palace of the Three Crosses. I certainly hope you two are up for the challenge.
Brandan: Well I don’t know about Joachim, but I certainly am. Bring it on.
Joachim: Yes I am ready also. The time has come to clean up the mess left by the war and set our lives in order. As Brandan said, “Bring it on!”

Palace of the Twelve Pillars Synopsis 
The Peace Summit was in shambles, the prince kidnapped.

When the rival king realizes he kidnapped the wrong prince, hostilities escalate. Loyalties to each other and country are tested for the twin princes of Crato, Joachim and Brandan.

Joachim, captive of King Waldrom, faces deception and betrayal as he struggles to find his way home. Brandan, at home with a father focused on rescuing Joachim, wrestles with his own demons as he searches for his place in the world and the favor of his father.

Torn from the safety and peace of their childhood, they are thrust into a world where bonds of family, brotherhood and roles as heirs to Crato are tested. Through war, spiritual journeys, death and marriage, will they choose the path of good or evil? Who can be trusted, as the world they know slips into a whirlpool of chaos?

About the Author 
Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of three grown children and a middle school daughter. She is also Nana to three granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in 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 as a lector, Bible Study, or with the church theater group, volunteering at her daughter and granddaughter’s school in the library as well as helping the children develop a love for reading and writing. Jesus fills her home with love as she shares Him through her writing.  

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Get fictional - it's fun! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again soon!