After such a relaxing weekend, today is pretty exciting. I will be speaking with Chrystalla Thoma (A very interesting name, by the way). She is the author of Azure, a new adult romance novel that is sure to pull you in and never let you go.
J. S. Council – Chrystalla, what is your favorite source of inspiration?
Chrystalla Thoma - Favorite source of inspiration… *goes cross-eyed* It’s so hard to pinpoint where exactly inspiration comes from. If we look at sources of information, such as non-fiction books, internet, TV or real life experiences, then I’d say internet and books are my favorite sources. I don’t trust my real life experience – much – because I haven’t lived a crazy life. It’s all relative, of course. For instance, for Azure, my latest release, I drew heavily on my being Greek (the novel is set on Crete) and on my visits to Greece in the past.
Otherwise, until recently, I’ve relied a lot on books. I have countless books on folklore and ancient religions – for my paranormal books – but also on archaeology, paleontology and general science. The internet has become my main source of information lately, not only google but also specialized sites and forums where I can pose questions to experts.
Now as to actual inspiration… I often get inspiration from myths and legends, even fairytales. Elements from these are often found in my stories. I think my writing is especially influenced by Greek and Middle-eastern mythology, while Nordic mythology is also seeping into my ideas lately.
Another source of inspiration is science, and not only for my science-fiction stories. Science facts are crazier than any fantastic idea. I realized that when I was reading up on parasites for my series “Elei’s Chronicles”. You need amazing superhuman abilities? You need unusual magic transformations? American Scientist, Focus, New Scientist – that’s where you should turn.
Finally, I get inspired by pictures. I need to confess something: I love making my own covers. I know that going to a professional cover artist is the best way to go, and that my skills at Photoshop are not the best around, but I find that creating the cover art helps with my inspiration. More than that: it’s a creativity loop. I find the images I want for the cover, I get ideas for the story from them, then I return to the images and get inspired to create the cover, and back to the story. It’s very interactive somehow, and what is cool is that, while I look for images to fit my characters’ description, my description of these characters changes subtly when I find the image I want, so that, in the end, the characters on the covers fit perfectly the characters in the story. Win-win.
What this also means is that I lurk a lot on stock image sites, sifting through pictures, and I get inspiration from those, as well.
J. S. Council – I think it’s very interesting that you choose your cover art before you write your story. Most writer’s, including myself, do it the other way around. I also like to create my own cover art, but I would never be able to create my cover before writing my story. I think that’s quite a remarkable skill. Thank you for sharing your sources of inspiration with us. I’m sure I am not the only one who learned something from this.
Title: Azure (Drowning In You)
Author: Chrystalla Thoma
Genre: New Adult Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Formats Available In: Digital
Blurb: A terrible mistake haunts college student Olivia Spencer. To escape the past, she travels to the Mediterranean island of Crete, hoping for the courage to start anew.
By the sea, she meets sexy and enigmatic Kai. But there’s more to Kai than meets the eye — and nobody wants to talk about it. The locals shun him, accusing him of magic. Kai, apparently, belongs to the sea, no matter how crazy that sounds.
Kai isn’t free to be with her or live his own life, and this is how he will stay, unless Olivia can break his curse and save him — in doing so atoning for those she failed in the past
Contains mature content. Ages 17+
Kai marched up to her table and whipped out his notepad, not looking at her. He stared at it as if it held all the secrets in the universe. “Why aren’t your friends with you?”
His cold tone was like a slap. “Do I have to answer the question or will you get me something to drink anyway?”
He glanced up, brows arching, and swallowed hard. “I’m sorry. I was just… When I saw how far you swam…” He shook his head and lowered his gaze. “Never mind.”
Hell. He’d been really worried about her. The anger left her as fast as it had come. “Markus had a heatstroke. He’ll be fine. Kirsten is nursing him back to health.”
He nodded, a jerky movement. “What can I get you?”
“A lemonade, please.” She waited but he didn’t look up, only nodded again and turned to go. “So you’re Panos’ little cousin.”
He stopped, his broad back to her, muscles bunching across his shoulders. “What did he tell you?”
“That I should hook up with him because he’s a man and you’re still a boy.”
His stance relaxed and he shook his head. “He’s an idiot.”
She snorted. “He’s very funny.” Damn, she felt weird, talking to his back. And ass. His cute ass. “And he’s nice. Like you.”
“You don’t know me.”
“Sure I do. You help me. Look out for me. You seem nice.” And hot. And kinda sad.
He turned around, his pretty lips pressed tight. “Appearances can deceive.”
“Then yours is particularly deceptive.”
A smile flickered at the corners of his mouth and she took it as a good sign. “Look, I know appearances aren’t everything. That all that shines isn’t gold and all that.”
“Is that why you threw your gold ring into the sea? Was it a fake?”
She bit her lip and shook her head. The ring had come from a true place, a true feeling — only not hers. At least she thought so. “It’s a long story.” And she didn’t feel much like talking about Justin, especially to Kai.
He took a step toward her, his gaze intense. “I have to work.”
“Oh? Sorry I’m keeping you.” She glanced around at the other tables. Nobody seemed to be looking for a waiter. “You’d better go, then.”
“I finish my shift at four.”
Was that what she thought it sounded like? “So you wanna go for a coffee afterward?”
“Yeah, sure.” He tapped his pen on the notebook, head cocked to the side, his eyes gleaming. “I want to hear the story. Will you be here?”
“I’ll come back,” she promised and watched him go, biting her lip nervously.
Holy hells, was that a date?
Chrystalla is Greek Cypriot (hence the strange name) and likes writing about bratty, angsty boys and spunky girls in fantasy and science-fiction worlds. She writes mainly for a young adult public but not only (heed the warnings!)
She’s currently preparing a non-fiction book about dragons, because the truth must out, and is juggling two series (“Elei’s Chronicles” and “Boreal and John Grey”).