Monday, July 4, 2011

Guest Blog: Into The Past with Christine Schulze



It's my honor to welcome Christine Schulze, author of the Gailean Quartet series, to Missy's Reads & Reviews as part of her series' blog tour! Today, Christine will tell us about what books her past self would recommend at specific ages during her life.

Enjoy!



Age 5: First of all, I probably would have commanded you to read “Jonny to the Rescue!” my first book with both words and illustrations. Then, I would have insisted you buy yourself a copy of Good-night Moon and make sure you stock up on your Dr. Suess collection so your mom could enjoy reading those long, tongue-twister books every night before bed. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! was a particular favorite of mine, probably for its adventuresome quality. There is also one I can’t remember the name of, one with a zoo with all these wacky creatures. I liked this one simply for the page with the adorable little deer with huge antlers.


Age 11: These are all probably more around age 12; twelve was a poignant age for me, for both reading and writing, even video games. A creative explosion occurred for me around this age, like coming of age, only in the writing realm instead of normal puberty. The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Neverending Story, Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass—all these fantasy classics were making a major impact on my own fantasies I was writing at the time. I also attended good Christian schools, so the literature I read there helped influence the Christian themes and values seen in many of my books.

I also finally got to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which Mum bought after my wanting it since I was eight. She didn’t know my secret obsession over it, but after seeing it at a friend’s house, I was hooked. I actually rushed home that night to write a comic on it.

At twelve and the through the next few years, I’d tell you to rush out and get The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which is as good as any book with its unique, quirky characters, great plot and fantasy elements, and then borrow the above books from your local library. All of these inspired books I was working on at the time, such as The Legends of Surprisers series, Loz: Zephyr’s Islands, and Loz: The Mass.


Age 16: I don’t honestly remember reading a lot at this age besides the Harry Potter series, plus various other books I got in book sales. I was very busy working on many of my own books. However, even Harry Potter helped inspired the series I wrote around this time, The Hero Chronicles.


Age 20: This is actually going to be a mix of books I’ve discovered between about eighteen til the present, in part because I don’t remember my exact age for many of them. I know that, after Aaron, a best friend of mine, bought me the movie of Howl’s Moving Castle for my birthday, that I soon after read the book and became hooked on Diana Wynne Jones. I consider her a great inspirer to this day, as we seem to share a love for quirky characters, unique fantasy worlds, and intriguing plots. I truly loved Castle in the Air and the first Chrestomanci Chronicles. I am still itching to get my hands on a copy of Dogsbody. I read the blurb and first few pages in Barnes and Noble once, and it inspired me to write my middle grade fantasy, The Last Star, which I hope to procure an agent for in the near future.

I also attended more book fairs at my local library during this time, and one of the books I picked up was a fantasy by Nancy Springer called Chains of Gold. It has some supernatural elements and also tells the story of a young couple daringly escaping a terrible ritual of their people. I think it subconsciously inspired my novel Bloodmaiden, published by Old Line Publishing last year.

I also discovered the world of Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight. Now, for all you haters, I had no clue this was a world-wide fetish or else becoming one at the time. I’d never heard of it, because I generally don’t keep up with what’s going on in the world. I just saw it one day in my college bookstore, read the blurb, and new I must have this book. I’d never done vampires, never been into them, but the concept of romantic, possibly good vampires intrigued me. I usually have honing skills for finding books that I love, and behold, I did it again!

Another great vampire book I picked up later—and this one is truly a unique fantasy, so don’t compare to Twilight; all kinds of stuff going on here—was called Darkangel. I never read the other two in the trilogy though I would like to sometime, but it did inspire me to write a story on gargoyles; you can read the story in October when my Lily in the Snow and Other Elemental Tales is released.

Today, I would suggest books like The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I seem to have taken on a bit of a horror fetish, which is reflected in several short stories I’ve written as of late. I still don’t reserve much time for reading with all of my writing and promoting. However, one series I am eager to read is Susan Collins’ Hunger Games, especially as I’ve been told by some readers that Bloodmaiden was a comparable read for them.

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