NovelReaction.com is very excited to welcome author Christine Marciniak. Recently one of our reviewers, Jillian, interviewed Christine for The Panther Press, the school newspaper Jillian is an editor for. Let’s find out a little bit more about Christine.
I am the author of WHEN MIKE KISSED EMMA and a stay-at-home mother of two, just trying to enjoy life as it comes at me. I’ve been happily married for 16 years and I have a son and a daughter. “Pippi” is thirteen and “Harry” is ten.
Hi, my name is Jillian Schmutz. I’m a senior in high school this year, and I write for my high school newspaper, The Panther Press. I really enjoyed your books, and when Jessica asked me if I wanted to interview you, I was very thrilled with the opportuntiy!
Jill: Can you share a little bit about your background like where you live?
Christine: First I want to thank you for taking the time to interview me. I’m very honored. I’m a Jersey girl. I’ve lived here almost my entire life, I even went to college here, although I did spend a semester in London, which was a fantastic experience. Currently I live in central New Jersey with my husband and two kids. No picket fence, and no dog – that would be far too stereotypical.
Jill: What events led you to want to become a writer?
Christine: I’ve always loved writing. I have stories that I wrote from as far back as fourth grade. Those aren’t particularly good, but they were what got me started. I continued to write for myself and for fun through high school and college and even once I was working as an editor for a travel publication. Then, once I had two kids and was staying home with them, I decided to ramp it up a bit and put some effort into getting published.
Jill: What made you want to write young adult novels?
Christine: I started writing more seriously when I was a young adult and at the time I wrote about kids my own age. I continued writing with characters that age because I like the fact that teens are still exploring their world and who they are in it. It gives a lot of opportunities for stories. Plus, most of the ideas I have seem to be about teens.
Jill: What are some specific things you have to remember when writing for young adults?
Christine: The biggest thing I have to remember is that times have changed since I was a teen. The feelings that teens go through haven’t changed – but the world around them has. When I was in high school VCRs were new things, so you watched TV when it was on – not at some future time. Personal computers were also new and a computer class in high school would have been on how to program a computer, not on utilizing programs that are already there. If you needed to call home, you had to have change for a pay phone, no one had cell phones. TV shows that I might think make a funny reference, will mean nothing to teens now. Luckily my daughter is now a teenager, so it helps a bit to be immersed in the world of teens again.
Christine: When Mike Kissed Emma actually grew out of a subplot in another book I was writing. That book was not published. A friend who was reading the other book for me told me she thought I had a whole book in just that one section. And she was right. The behind the scenes things for a school play came from my experience working on the stage crew in high school. I never did make it into a high school play, but you can learn a lot when you hang around back stage.
Jill: How old were you when you wrote your first book?
Christine: When I first finished what would be considered a book length piece of fiction I was probably about 15. But that wasn’t ready for publication. I continued writing and learning though, and when I was in my 30s I started submitting books to publishers.When Mike Kissed Emma was my first published book.
Jill: What is your favorite book you’ve read and who is the author?
Christine: This is such an impossible question. There have been so many books I’ve loved and still love. Even if I made a list of my top ten, I’d probably forget one and then feel bad that I hadn’t thought to include it.
Jill: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Christine: The Great Barrier Reef in Australia. And I’d want to stay on one of those islands, where the only thing there is one luxury resort. And I’d just soak in the gloriousness of the luxury and the scenery. Of course, if I ever were to travel as far as Australia, I’d want to see everything and would not have time to just sit at a luxury resort – but it’s kind of a dream vacation.
Thanks Christine for taking the time to stop by and answer Jillian’s questions. You can read Jillian’s review of When Mike Kissed Emma here and the novel is available for purchase at The Wild Rose Press.