Today I've got a friend who I'm excited for you all to meet - CJ Darlington! She's a fantastic writer, a horse lover and won the Christian Writer's Guild contest a few years back for a new author. She's that good.
Her official bio: C. J. got her big break in publishing when her first novel Thicker than Blood won the Christian Writers Guild 2008 Operation First Novel contest. She hasn't slowed down since and wrote and published her second and third contemporary novels Bound by Guilt and Ties that Bind. Her newest novel Jupiter Winds is a YA/dystopian/space adventure. In 2013 C. J. went indie and started her own publishing company, Mountainview Books, LLC, with her mom and sister. The goal of the press is to publish fresh fiction to inspire your faith. A homeschool graduate, C.J makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs and a paint horse named Sky.
And onto the interview!!
Erynn: Tell us a little about how you got started writing.
CJ: I’ve loved reading and writing ever since I was a little kid. I would sit at my dad’s old word processor and type out stories about my pets and animals. When I was twelve I started thinking about what it would be like to publish something I wrote. Had no idea how to do it, but the dream was sparked! When I was fifteen I began the story which fifteen years later would become my first published novel, Thicker than Blood. It was the love of story that first got me going, and it’s what always draws me back too.
You just had a new book release! What is it about?
Jupiter Winds is the story of Grey Alexander, a teenage girl, who in 2160 becomes the bait to catch her missing revolutionary parents she thinks are dead. But it’s much more than that too. This is a story about family. I’ve read a bunch of science fiction/dystopian style novels lately that often feature a strong heroine, but usually she’s completely alone and there’s always a romance subplot. I wanted to write something a little different. Grey is definitely strong and starts out alone, but she doesn’t stay that way. And she ends up on the planet Jupiter. LOL – yes, I know that scientifically there’s not suppose to be life there, but what if everything we knew about the planet was wrong?
What is your favorite type of character to write about?
Flawed people. I love taking a character who’s had a tough past or faced terrible obstacles and showing their journey to redemption. In Jupiter Winds the spiritual journey is subtle, but it’s there. And there’s hope. That’s something else I love writing about—showing that no matter how far we go or travel (even to another planet!) God is still there waiting for us.
Favorite writing space? Favorite writing snack?
I actually don’t really have a favorite writing space. I wrote much of Jupiter Winds at my dining room table or in my bedroom. Someday I would love to have an office of sorts (or a library!) where I could be surrounded by my books, but until that day I write wherever I can.
I love snacking on Chili and Lime chips, but it has been so long since I’ve had them since they stopped making them in the brand I liked. A good, strong cup of tea is a must. Or a cappuccino! My sister is in love with her Keurig coffee maker, and I will pop one of those little cups in there sometimes too. I just had a caramel vanilla cup of coffee with some half and half.
If money were no object, where would you go for a vacation? Who would you bring?
I’d love to see Alaska! I’m a sucker for beautiful mountains. Or I’d go back to my favorite state—Colorado. I’d bring my family, of course. If I could bring all of my dogs with me too, that would be awesome.
Thank you SO much CJ!!
CJ is giving away a copy of Jupiter Winds!! And - FUN news for my out of country friends - she is giving away an ebook (if you are in the USA, you can pick ebook or paperback). :) To enter this giveaway, follow the directions in our spiffy Rafflecopter below. ;)