About Christiane Joy Allison:
Christiane Joy Allison is a multi-award-winning author, public speaker, and activist. Her book, “Where is Uncle?,” the first children’s picture book for children experiencing the wrongful conviction of a loved one, won five Honorable Mentions in the 2018 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards. In 2018 she was also awarded a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Project Award as well as a Lin Halterman Memorial Grant from the Alaska Writers Guild. She now serves as the Alaska Writers Guild President while writing and publishing her current dystopian cyberpunk novel series, The Infinitus Saga. The memorable characters of the saga include a disabled family inspired by her disability and life-long battle with chronic illness, hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS). Sometimes she walks with a cane, sometimes she rides in a wheelchair, and sometimes she needs neither. Her disability is as unpredictable as her life. Her husband was wrongfully convicted in 2015, launching her family into a decade-long struggle against injustice, and inspiring her award-winning series of children’s picture books for kids impacted by the adverse childhood experience (ACE) of the incarceration of a loved one. As an activist, Christiane battles for criminal justice and prison reform and aspires to give prisoner families a voice.
What inspires you to write?
For The Infinitus Saga, much of the inspiration for my books comes from looking at various aspects of society today (technology, independence, genetic experimentation, etc.) and pushing those aspects as far to the limit as I can see to create a new global society. Specifically, the books explore the importance of relationships as the building blocks of society, and how the world looks when those relationships are broken down. Then I threaded in the addition of my genetic illness, hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS), into the Mallorey family to allow the reader to explore what it’s like to live in a body like that. I also found inspiration through various science magazines, articles, and documentaries that came across my path as I was writing.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
Stephenie Meyer, Suzanne Collins, Suzanne Brockman, Linda Howard, and Steve Alten
Tell us about your writing process.
I am a “pantser” versus a “plotter” if using National Novel Writing Month terms. This means that I do not write by planning out story elements in advance. I learn and discover the story as I write it, and my characters often surprise me. The challenge in this is I often do not know an element of the story until after I’ve written it. Sometimes, I have to write additional scenes that will never be published simply because I need to know what other characters are doing behind the scenes. I have to rewrite scenes after I discover story elements in later ones. The story seldom comes to me in order. I jump and write ahead when I get stuck. Usually, I have about a third of the next novel in a series written before I finish the one I’m on.
For my process, I get a lot of inspiration for my scenes from music and emotions I’m experiencing in real life. If I’m experiencing a strong emotion that connects with a particular scene, I will often head straight to my computer and capture as much of it as I can within the story. Similarly, when I am driving, riding, or walking around my house listening to music, I will often see scenes and events from the story play out. Then I power up my computer and try to capture as much as I can of what I’ve seen.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Yes, often. Sometimes I watch the story play out in my head like a movie before I try to capture it. Other times, I will step in as one of the characters in a conversation, and hear what the other character has to say.
What advice would you give other writers?
Join a local writers group! I started out attending the annual conference for the Alaska Writers Guild and I am now President of that organization. I’ve also been a member of the local chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the national Independent Book Publishers Association. These organizations have provided me with a wealth of information on the craft of writing, traditional and self-publishing, marketing, and other important topics. They also provide a means of connecting with other writers and authors in your area, and networking with a group of support people who will help you through your writing journey.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I began to publish The Infinitus Saga, I had already published two award-winning children’s picture books for children facing the adverse childhood experience (ACE) of the incarceration of a loved one. Because of this, I already owned Allison Publishing and had experience with all of the most complicated aspects of self-publishing. I decided that I wanted The Infinitus Saga to be released through Allison Publishing as well to afford me the most control over the process. Self-publishing allows the author to bring books to market much faster and with more control over the content. It also allows the author to retain larger royalties from sales, although it does not have the advantage of the advance a traditional publisher would pay or the large audience that comes with traditional publishing. Neither traditional nor self-publishing is right for every person. You have to know yourself, your skillset, and the level to which you want to be involved. I wanted to be involved in every aspect of The Infinitus Saga’s design, so self-publishing was the right route for me.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that we will continue to see a rise in ebooks and audiobooks. These formats are more accessible to a larger, busier audience. However, I don’t expect print books to ever fully disappear. There are too many of us that love to hold the book in our hands and physically mark our place. Plus many people find paper easier to read than a screen. I expect the self-publishing platforms to continue to evolve in assisting publishers in producing content in all the forms that a traditional publisher would use for sales and promotions.
What genres do you write?: Cyberpunk (dystopian, science fiction), Children’s Picture Books, Memoir, and Poetry.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.