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Monday, February 20, 2012

Interview: Chrystalla Thoma

Today, I am excited to have Chrystalla Thoma, author of Rex Rising, stopping by for an interview!
In a world where parasites create new human races, Elei leads a peaceful life — until a mysterious attack on his boss sends him fleeing with a bullet in his side. Pursued for a secret he does not possess and with the fleet at his heels, he has but one thought: to stay alive. 
His pursuers aren’t inclined to sit down and talk, although that’s not the end of Elei’s troubles. The two powerful parasites inhabiting his body, at a balance until now, choose this moment to bring him down, leaving Elei with no choice but to trust in people he hardly knows. It won’t be long before he realizes he must find out this deadly secret – a secret that might change the fate of his world and everything he has ever known – or die trying.

Q. What three words best describe Rex Rising?
Emotion, tension, adventure
Oooh, three very exciting things!

Q. In one sentence tell readers why they should read Rex Rising.
In Rex Rising, Elei leads a peaceful life until a mysterious attack sends him fleeing with a bullet in his side, and unless he finds out what he is hunted for, he is a dead man.
I'm intrigued!

Q. What inspired this book and series? Where did the idea come from?
Parasites. Go ahead and shudder. :) The idea came from reading a book by Carl Zimmer, called “Parasite Rex” which explores this topic to great extent. I was fascinated by the effects parasites can have on our behavior. When you read sci-fi and paranormal fiction, many “conditions”, even vampirism, being a zombie, or having supernatural abilities, can be (and sometimes are) attributed to parasites. The truth is, we humans have many symbionts. Our bodies are so used to having parasites, that lack of them has caused certain diseases of our era – auto-immune system diseases (like Krohn’s disease) and allergies, which are due to the fact that the body, finding no parasites to fight as it was used to doing for thousands of years, turns upon itself and starts to destroy itself.
*shudders* I'll admit you have me fascinated by the idea of just how wicked powerful parasites can be...even if the thought of them does gives me the hibbie-jibbies ;)

Q. Why sci-fi? What do you love about writing in this genre? Why do you think this genre has become so popular?
I love sci-fi because it explores real possibilities, extrapolating from hard science and providing visions of discoveries to come and ways to understand our world. I think this is the appeal of this genre – that the extraordinary things described may turn out to be true.
I'm a newish sci-fi fan, but I definitely agree!

Q. Can you tell us a bit about what you have planned for the rest of Elei’s Chronicles?
Currently I’m readying for release the sequel – book 2. This one is called “Rex Cresting” and in it we follow Elei who is still recovering at a hospital on the north coast of Dakru. After the events of Book 1 (Rex Rising), Elei is convinced that his part in bringing down the Gultur is over. Rex has infected the other race and their dictatorial system is starting to collapse. Not every Gultur, though, has been affected, and on top of that, inside Elei’s body, Rex has matured and goes through another transformation. Elei isn’t sure he can survive Rex’s new strength — but that is the least of his worries, as the Gultur descend on him again.  
Meanwhile, I’m writing Book 3 (still untitled) in which the mystery of the world of the Seven Islands is finally solved and much comes to pass – not least a romance for Elei. :)
*eyes open wide at mention of romance* I can't wait to see where you take this story!

Q. What other books or writing projects are you working on?
I have many books planned, both series and stand-alones, but currently, apart from Book 3 in the series Elei’s Chronicles, I’m working on a prequel and a companion book (with short stories, glossaries, and many other goodies) set in the same world, as well as on a YA GLBT sci-fi novel, and I’ll also be writing a non-fiction book about dragons of the world (this one will be traditionally published, the proposal has already been accepted).
I can't wait to read all of these future projects! And dragons?! I LOVE dragons!

Q. Who’s your favorite literary villain…who do you just love to hate or hate to love?
Mrs. Coulter from the Golden Compass by David Pullman. She is so delightfully wicked...
Yes, she is! I love the Golden Compass too.

Q. If you could trade places with ANY character from ANY book or movie or tv show who would it be and why?
Whoa, you ask hard questions! :D Being a fan of author Cassandra Clare, I’ll say I’d love to be Clary so that I can be with Jace... (easy to imagine why, if you know the Mortal Instruments series!)
I think many readers would agree with you ;)

Q. What’s the one book you think everybody should read at least once in their lives?
Mine! Okay, let’s be serious. lol! There are so many marvelous books out there. Here is one: One hundred years of solitude, by Garcia Marquez. Absolutely amazing book.
I've never heard of this book, but I love the title.

Q. If you were to bake a book inspired cupcake (inspired by ANY book), what book would be the inspiration, what flavor would it be and what would you call it?
Well, I’d have to choose my own novel Rex Rising (because that’s where my mind is right now). It would be a nutty flavor, maybe walnut, and I would call it “fooncake” which is a sort of pancake making an appearance in the story. It would also be crunchy, like the book. Nom. :) 
Mmm..sounds yummy!

I want to thank Chrystalla for stopping by and giving us all the chance to get to know her and her work a little better! Be sure to stop by her website to learn more about her work, and look for my review of Rex Rising in April.

Find the author: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
Purchase: Amazon / Smashwords
Chrystalla Thoma is permanent resident of fantasy land, complete with angels and demons, elves, vampires and werewolves. A Greek Cypriot, she lives in Cyprus with her husband and her vast herd of books. She writes mainly fantasy and science fiction, primarily for a young adult public. When not reading or writing, she works as a freelance translator and text editor. 


Chrystalla Thoma said...

Thank you for having me! :)

J.A. Beard said...

Great interview, Chrystalla. I came very close to end up in parasitology lab as opposed to a virology lab, so I can appreciate how fascinating those buggers are.