Author Interview with Christie Stratos
Q: When did you write your first book?
I wrote my first “official” book for publication, Anatomy of a Darkened Heart, from 2014 to 2015, and it was published in 2015. But I wrote my first ever full-length novel when I was in middle school, then a second in high school, neither of which was up to snuff for publication.
Q: Which of your books was the easiest to write?
Surprisingly, my first one. I didn’t have to do much rewriting on it, but for my second book, Brotherhood of Secrets, I had a totally different idea of what it would be, and literally everything about it ended up changing. So that took lots of reworking. The third book I’m currently writing is similar to the second, only this time it’s my character’s fault for being moody. 😉
Q: Tell us about your latest book.
Brotherhood of Secrets is the second book in the Dark Victoriana Collection, and it’s based on the question “how far would you go to be part of a family?” Mr. Locke is looking to employ alone-in-the-world single men in his locksmith shop for a reason. They quickly find themselves trapped in the well-paying web of a deceitful manipulator, but his end game is unknown. Will any one of them escape before it’s too late? The book is fast-paced Victorian suspense, and the upcoming third book will play directly off book two.
Q: Do you have any future writing projects coming out soon?
I’m working on a number of things. The third book in the Dark Victoriana Collection and a few short stories that will be part of the same collection. I’m writing another new horror short story as well, so there’s a lot to watch for!
Q: Describe your writing style using only three words.
Every word counts.
Q: Do you enjoy writing novels or short stories more?
Both, for totally different reasons. In a novel, I get to deeply explore characters’ psychologies and how they affect each other, building one situation on top of another and another until it’s tough to quote any part of the book for fear of giving away something important. In a short story, I want to express everything quickly and succinctly while still keeping the intensity high. There’s no time for introductions, so the story needs to be absorbing very quickly. That’s its own challenge. I really enjoy writing microfiction and flash fiction for that reason.
Q: What type of poetry have you written?
When I write poetry, it’s utterly different from the topics of my novels and short stories. I’ve written and had published poetry about self-discovery, positivity, and life-changing events. Much like a short story, with poetry I want to get deep into it quickly to create a strong message with a lot of value, expressed in what I hope is a beautiful way. The first kind of creative writing I ever did was poetry, and my first writing award was the Poetry Society of Virginia’s Steven Lee Barza Collegiate Award for my poem “Words Can Form”, so I always consider poetry my “first language”, one I have an easy time expressing myself in.
Q: What is your advice for aspiring psychological suspense writers?
Treat your reader with a lot of respect. No one who loves psychological books or suspense books wants any conclusion handed to them on a silver platter. This is where showing instead of telling really comes in handy so that you can create realistic characters whose expressions, dialogues, and movements are high value and readers can come to their own conclusions by what you’re showing them.
Q: Where can readers find you and your work online?
You can buy books directly from me at ChristieStratos.com, and I’ll sign them, personalize them, write you a card, and even gift wrap them! All of that is for the same price you pay on Amazon, so why not get a special package in the mail with a beautiful gift just for you? Join my Patreon at patreon.com/christiestratos for $1/month and get access to almost every reward I offer.
My Patreon is structured for your benefit so that I have a place to share exclusive deleted scenes, exclusive videos, early access cover reveals, and ARCs with readers I know will appreciate them. We have an active community over there, so be sure to join! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.