I’ve known Christine for a little more than a year now, but it feels like we’ve been friends my entire life. She’s one of my kindred spirits—feisty, and unafraid to share her opinion. Standing at barely 5’1” she proves to me once and for all that great things come in small packages. The reason I think the bonded between us has formed so quickly is because we’ve faced many of the same obstacles. Just like me, Christine grew up in poverty, and married an amazing man who showed her another world. We are both signed authors with Fox Hollow publications, belong to Heber Valley Writers and chose Midway to be our home. We each have three children, and our oldest and middle are the same age. Even though are babies are raised in an entirely different environment than we were, we still struggle with equal challenges in raising them. Indeed, we have a lot in common, and I’m very glad to be taking this journey with her.
A: Speaking of journeys, the first book in The Plague Legacy; Acquisitions also takes Cameron Landry on a trip. Can you tell me how you decided his means of travel?
C: Deciding on the means of travel had a lot to do with where I was trying to get Cam. Before I even conceived of his character I had the story based on the concept of orphans being transported from our side of the world to the Mediterranean to fight as gladiators. That obviously meant a ship, and I came up with what I thought would be most accessible. The train seemed better than a bus for transporting numbers across land since I assume tracks are easier to maintain than roads, but I’ve also see a lot of good old trucks still hauling down the road.
A: Transportation would be a difficult if society collapsed, among other horrors. There were many things I found to be traumatizing in Acquisitions. You placed me in scenes I would rather not think about, let alone have to ever experience in real life. We’ve had lots of discussions about unhealthy attachments to works of fiction, and I know Acquisitions is not your baby, but I just have to ask. Did you lose any sleep after killing the puppies?
C: I didn’t lose sleep over the puppies. I think most people would cringe at that, and I would probably cry if I saw I it in a movie, but it wasn’t really that hard to write. Maybe lessons from my own childhood, but I’ve had to kill ‘cute’ helpless animals when it was either the kindest thing to do for them, or when it was necessary for my family’s survival.
A: Your own experiences ring through very strongly in your writing. I feel that fiction is more believable when it mimics the actual. Two of your characters even resemble real people. Cam brings your son to mind and Maya carries your spunk. Was it your intention to mold them this way, and are there other people in your life represented in fiction?
C: Cam was initially modeled after my oldest son, but as the story progressed and as I’ve written the second book, Cam has become his own entity. I think my personality might be a combination of Myla and Tara, but Myla was actually modeled after a friend of my son’s—not in appearance, but in personality.
A: The characters have a life-like quality for sure, and so does Acquisitions, which is why I found it so unsettling. But one thing’s for sure, if there is ever a zombie apocalypse, you are definitely on my team. I’ll bring my tomahawks. What will be your weapon of choice, and why?
C: I have several weapons, but I think my favorite for taking heads off would be a baseball bat. In Cam’s future, you will see some interesting weapons.
A: I can’t wait to see the flaming monkey fists! Did I mention that Christine spins fire as well as stories, holds a black-belt in karate, and an English degree? With all of these other accomplishments, when did you first realize you would be a writer?
C: I think I’m still a little far from realizing that I am a writer. I’ve always had the dream, but it took me a few years to have the discipline to finish a full-length novel and commit to a series of three. Not yet used to the idea that this is my career, but I’m pretty stoked about it.
A: As you should be. Do you have any advice for someone who is just starting out?
C: Anything is something. If you seem to always be too busy for a full-length novel, work on short stories and novelettes so that you get the practice and the feel for finishing. Nothing is ever a waste of time. Also, find friends who support your dream and go to lunch with them regularly.
A: I agree that the support system is crucial to making it in this career. I know you have a love for the classics, but is there anything new you would recommend?
C: Hmmm, I really liked Beatrysel by Johnny Worthen and I’m looking forward to reading your Copper Descent. I also liked Gifts and Consequences by Daniel Coleman, maybe because I read it just before Christmas and the theme of the book gelled well with the holiday. I’m so far behind on ‘modern’ literature that I’m just getting through the Harry Potter series. I have some books that I’ve collected even though I haven’t had time to read them yet, but I’d be happy to take suggestions from your readers.
Isn’t she amazing, folks? Here are the links to learn more about Christine Haggerty and buy her book:
The Plague Legacy: Acquisitions (Book 1)