What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
MY GENRE RIGHT NOW IS YOUNG ADULT/NEW ADULT, MYSTERY/THRILLER. EVERY STORY THAT I’VE CREATED THUS FAR RESORTS BACK TO THAT BACKSTOP THEME. I CHOSE THOSE THEME BECAUSE THEY ARE UNIVERSAL, IT’S THRILLING AND CAPTIVATING TO WRITE AND EXCITING FOR MY READERS.
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
I TRY NOT TO BUT YES. WHEN I WAS HALF WAY THROUGH ‘THE MAFIA DIARIES’, I STARTED WRITING ‘CRYPTIC’ BECAUSE OF WRITERS BLOCK, THEN STARTED WRITING ‘IDENTIFICATION’ BECAUSE OF WRITERS BLOCK FROM ‘CRYPTIC’. IN THE END, WORKING ON MORE THAN ONE MANUSCRIPT AT ONCE HAS HELPED EACH STORY GIVE IT THE PUSH IT NEEDED TO MAKE IT BETTER.
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
I HAVE TWO EDITORS, A FORMATTER AND 500+ BETA READERS ON WATTPAD.COM. I THINK ALL ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT AND HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT FORMULA TO ALL AUTHORS. HAVING A FRESH PAIR OF EYES READ YOUR WORK IS CRUCIAL. YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED AFTER READING YOUR OWN WORK FOR SO LONG HOW MANY MISTAKES SOMEONE ELSE CAN PICK OUT JUST FROM A SIMPLE GLANCE.
Can you remember your first reading book?
MY FIRST READING BOOK WAS ‘JUNIE B. JONES’ BY THE LEGEND BARBARA PARK. I REMEMBER FOR THE LONGEST THAT WAS THE ONLY SERIES I READ AS A CHILD. EACH BOOK HAD A DIFFERENT PLOT BUT THE SAME CHARACTERS, MAKING IT FUN. ‘JUNIE B. JONES’ DEFINITELY PLAYED A BIG PART IN MY CHILDHOOD.
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?
I USUALLY DON’T FIND MYSELF NIBBLING ON FOOD WHILE WRITING, BUT I AM AN AVID GUM CHEWER.
Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.
NEITHER. I WROTE ‘THE MAFIA DIARIES’ AFTER I RETURNED FROM A TRIP TO MARDI GRAS MY SOPHOMORE YEAR IN COLLEGE. I LIKE TO TRAVEL, I LIKE A CHANGE IN SCENERY. MY WRITING AREA CAN BE WHEREVER I FEEL INSPIRED. WHETHER THAT BE IN MY APARTMENT, AT SCHOOL, IN THE AIRPORT, OR ON A BEACH IN ABU DHABI.
Are you published in the traditional manner or self published? Share your journey.
FOR RIGHT NOW I AM SELF-PUBLISHED. I HAVE HAD OFFERS FROM TRADITIONAL PUBLISHERS FOR ALL THREE OF MY NOVELS, BUT FOUND THAT I AM BETTER OFF DOING IT ALL ON MY OWN, AT LEAST FOR NOW. WITH SELF-PUBLISHING, I AM GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO EVERYTHING MY WAY. I’VE GAINED A LARGE FOLLOWING IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME BECAUSE I HAVE WHAT I FEEL IS THE KEY TO BEING A SUCCESSFUL WRITER. THESE DAYS, LITERARY AGENTS FEEL THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES WITH THAT KEY. WHEN I FIRST STARTED PITCHING ‘THE MAFIA DIARIES’ IN THE SUMMER OF 2013, ONE LITERARY AGENT TOLD ME THAT THE STORY WOULD NOT CAPTURE THE ATTENTION OF MY DESIRED AUDIENCE. BUT HERE I AM HAVING ONLY UPLOADED THE FIRST THREE CHAPTERS TO WATTPAD.COM 4 WEEKS AGO AND HAVE OVER 3K READS. PEOPLE ARE HOOKED. BEING A YOUNG/NEW ADULT MYSELF, I AM HIP TO THE QUICKLY CHANGING MARKET BECAUSE I LIVE IN IT, THEREFORE I AM AWARE OF WHAT MY GENERATION WANTS TO READ. WHILE 35+ YEAR OLD AUTHORS ARE TRYING TO WRITE YOUNG/NEW ADULT NOVELS, ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN, I AM ALREADY ON THE INSIDE. I ONLY UPLOADED THE SUMMARY FOR ‘IDENTIFICATION’ AT FIRST AND IT GOT 1K READS IN WHAT FELT LIKE THE BLINK OF AN EYE. I CREATE STORIES THAT ALLOW READERS TO BE INTRIGUED FROM PAGE ONE. YOU CAN NEVER GO WRONG WITH A UNIVERSAL THEME LIKE ACTION. LIKE MOVIES, BOTH GENDERS WILL EQUALLY ENJOY IT, NO MATTER THEIR AGE.
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
J.K. ROWLING, STEPHANIE MEYERS AND SARA SHEPARD. ‘HARRY POTTER’ HAD MY CHILDHOOD, I SAW EVERY MOVIE AT MIDNIGHT. THEN ‘TWILIGHT’ PICKED UP WHERE HP LEFT OFF IN MY TEENS. SARA SHEPARD CREATED A NEW WORLD FOR ME. A REAL WORLD. IT WAS REALISTIC AND I WAS IN HIGHSCHOOL LIKE THE CHARACTERS WHEN I STARTED READING ‘PRETTY LITTLE LIARS’. I READ ALL OF THE PLL BOOKS BEFORE THE TV SHOW AND STILL ENJOY THE SHOW VERY MUCH. OTHER NOTED AUTHORS WHO STILL HAVE AN IMPACT ON MY WRITING LIFE WOULD BE BARBARA PARK AND AGATHA CHRISTIE. ‘AND THEN THERE WAS NONE’ INSPIRED MY NOVEL, ‘IDENTIFICATION’.
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?
DON’T EVER THROW AWAY YOUR WORK BECAUSE YOU HAVE WRITERS BLOCK OR ARE “STUCK”. I TALK WITH MANY OTHER AUTHORS WHO HAVE GREAT STARTS TO STORIES BUT WANT TO THROW IT AWAY BECAUSE THEY FEEL THAT THEY CAN’T CREATE MORE OR BECAUSE THE STORY IS TOO GREAT TO ADD MORE. WHEN I FIRST STARTED THE MAFIA DIARIES I HAD WRITTEN THE STORY IN ABOUT 20,000 WORDS. I THOUGHT THE STORY WAS JUST SO GREAT. I LOOK BACK AT MY MANUSCRIPT AND CAN ONLY IMAGINE IF I WOULD HAVE SERIOUSLY PITCHED A STORY THAT WASN’T EVEN HALF OF WHAT THE STORY IS NOW. GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT, BUT PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE. DON’T GET FRUSTRATED WITH YOUR WORK BECAUSE YOU ARE STUCK. PUT IT DOWN, PICK UP SOMETHING ELSE. WHO KNOWS YOU MAY COME BACK TO YOUR IDEA AND WRITE AN AMAZING STORY.
If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?
I AM HONESTLY UNSURE. IT’S SO MANY AMAZING YOUNG ACTORS AND ACTRESSES OUT NOW, BUT I LOVE THE IDEA OF DISCOVERING SOMEONE NEW WITH A FRESH FACE AND BRINGING THEM IN TO GROW WITH A SERIES.
When Christian was eighteen she got the idea to begin writing after she returned from a trip to Mardi Gras and saw a commercial for new movie at the time, Beautiful Creatures.
By the time she was nineteen, she’d written The Mafia Diaries, book one of The Mafia Diaries series. Inspired by her own writing, she kept adding onto the story and began editing. By the time she was twenty, she’d written Cryptic, book one of the Cryptic series and by the time she was twenty-one, she’d began writing Identification.
In late 2014, Christian released the first three chapters of her three books on Wattpad.com, earning her a cult of following that quickly grew, gaining her 3K+ combined reads in one week and hundreds of followers. She became determined to bring her stories to life as she brought her fiction to reality.
Christian Edwards is “the voice of the youth”. She writes creative literature that combines shocking elements of suspense and action. Now twenty-one and a student at The University of Alabama from Bowie, MD, she works as an Intern for a government agency in Washington D.C. where she combines outreach and marketing. But while the specialist are busy marketing, Christian is busy creating new literature to bring back excitement to young and new adult readers. Book one of The Mafia Diaries is set to be published in 2015.