Christina McMullen

Christina McMullen tells us about her The Eyes of The Sun relaunch!

Today’s a great day because I get to welcome Christina McMullen to my blog. She just relaunched her vampire series and graciously answered questions I had about it. Read on for more about this talented author and her spin on a literary favorite!

Eyes Relaunch Promo

The Eyes of The Sun is a fantasy (and science fiction!) series about vampires in New Orleans. I’m intrigued by the sci-fi component. Could you give a quick description to readers new to the series?

The series revolves around the life of a young woman named Lucy Soriano who has come to New Orleans after the death of her grandmother, intent on finding information on a father she never knew. What she finds instead is that monsters are real and that she not only might be one herself, but she is also recruited into a super secret organization hellbent on eliminating the vampire threat once and for all. In many ways she appears to be the standard paranormal ‘chosen one,’ but Lucy’s actually a bit more complex than she might first appear.

The vampires in this series are very nontraditional. Instead of being undead, they are simply a species very similar to human. However, there are some vamps who have furthered their species through genetic manipulations, the side effects of which are very likely responsible for many of the traits associated with the vampires of folklore.

You first published Eyes of The Sun in late 2012. Why re-release the series now?

There were several factors involved in deciding to relaunch. For one, when I originally wrote The Eyes of The Sun, I was new to the concept of self-publishing and as such, released a book that could have used a bit more editing. Also, having been written on several different machines using several different word processing programs, the series had no uniformity. I’ve since created a simple template that I use to ensure that all of my ebooks are clean and easy to read regardless of the device used. And finally, there’s the covers, which I will talk more about in a moment.

The series will be released as paperbacks for the first time. Any idea when that will happen?

Hopefully by the end of July. I’ve got the interiors formatted and I just have to put the finishing touches on the covers.

What’s the story behind the snazzy dark covers that give just a peek into the background?

My previous covers were difficult to read and like the books, not uniform in size. Plus, when I created them, I did so thinking they would be ebooks only, which means the resolution was too low for print. And if I’m being honest, the original cover for Bluebeard’s Children was something of a hot mess.

I considered changing the covers entirely, but I really liked the cover I’d had painted for Mother of Darkness (it’s meant to be a painting that plays a key role in the story) and felt that keeping some elements from the previous covers might also prevent some confusion as to whether these were new books or not.

I read the prequel, Dissonant, which has a super fun take on vampires and which you published more recently. Do you plan to relaunch Dissonant as well?

I haven’t yet decided if I’m changing anything. I’ll happily admit that my broken DNA strand on the cover came about as the result of a happy accident, but I like it and I’m not sure if I want to do anything to change it. Since it’s a short story, It will not be available in paperback unless I decide to publish an anthology of shorts from the series. That is something that I’m not planning at the moment, but is not at all out of the realm of possibility.

Congrats on your relaunch, Christina! Where do we find your books, and how do we contact you?

All of the books in the series are available for purchase from Amazon and may be read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

McMullenAuthorPhotoFacebook: facebook.com/mcmullenwrites

Twitter: twitter.com/mcmullenwrites

Goodreads: goodreads.com/cmcmullen

Christina McMullen is a science fiction and fantasy author who is may be pale, but is most assuredly not a vampire. She currently resides in Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband and three dogs. When she isn’t writing, Christina enjoys travel, vegan cooking, modern and classical art, and of course, reading.

One Lovely Blog Hop

This blog hop is designed to show our readers a more personal side. We list seven interesting facts to help cast light onto that tough writer’s persona we all like to project. But I am human and like everyone else I have dreams, hobbies, problems and goals. I see this as a way to share some of them with you, my readers.

The rules are that I share ❤ 7 Lovely Facts about myself, and links to at least 15 blogs that I enjoy reading. If I’ve nominated your blog, please don’t feel any obligation to join in, but if you do please link back to the blog of the person who nominated you (that would be me), share 7 facts about yourself and nominate 15 blogs (or as many as you can).

I was reading some of the other blogs on this tour. There are some remarkable and gifted writers here and I’m happy to be in their company. Many thanks to Tim Hemlin, author of The Wastelanders, for adding me to the blog tour! Tim is a wonderful author and an all-around good person. His blog focuses on general writing topics and provides updates on his own work, running and lifestyle.

❤ Here are 7 Lovely Facts about me:

1) I’m a bowler. I bowl in two leagues and compete in tournaments (without embarrassing myself…too much).

2) My house is filled with musical instruments. I’ve played the flute since I was nine years old and also played the saxophone in high school and college. My husband and I have a combined collection that includes a concert flute, glass flute, recorder, tin whistle, wooden flute (or two), harmonica, saxophone, piano and two ukuleles.

3) I’ve worked in the legal field for the last decade. And that’s probably all I need to (or should) say about that. 😉

4) I love to travel. I’ve only been abroad twice, but I’ve managed to visit France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Monaco and Mexico.

5) My top favorite movies of all time are The Princess Bride and The Labyrinth. During a recent trip to Seattle (refer to lovely fact no. 4 above), I saw a display at the EMP museum featuring these two movies side by side. It was fantasy heaven. My pictures didn’t come out so well, but here’s a cool world building plaque…and a Winkie costume, just c’Oz.

World Building Plaque Winkie

6) I strongly believe that going to themed fairs and festivals is much more fun when attended in costume. Most recently, I’ve dressed up for a Renaissance fair, Pirate festival, Obon dance festival and Literary-themed costume party. My H. G. Wells time travel ensemble won a prize for being the “most unusual” costume. 🙂

7) I have a serious food repulsion to eggs. Scrambled, hard boiled, sunny side up, the thin lining that surrounds french toast, the teeny tiny pieces that I so carefully pick out of potato salad and fried rice—blech! Yet, I love custard and mayonnaise which both have egg as a main ingredient. Weird? Yes. Lovely? Not so much.

Those are 7 facts about me, lovely or not.

❤ Some of my favorite bloggers are listed below. Participation is optional, of course. If you have already been tagged for this, so sorry! If not, share some of you with the rest of us. Check out the linked books and blogs!

L. A. Starkey is the YA urban fantasy author of Deceived and its sequel Destroyed. I have my copy of Deceived and am looking forward to reading it! Her blog features her writing muses and love of music.

Kira Adams writes YA and NA romance, horror, action, fantasy and non-fiction. Talk about variety! Her Sing Me Anything… blog keeps Kira’s readers updated on her upcoming projects, book series and current giveaways such as the gigantic Indie Fall Fest giveaway. Be sure to stop by before the festivities end!

Christina McMullen is a talented author, with a nice library of books available on her Amazon page. She denies having artistic talent, but check out the artwork for her upcoming novel, Past Life Strife. Christina’s Vampires & Robots blog gives more insight into her writing and art, support of indie books and thoughts on what it really means to be a successful author.

Kara Jorgensen is working on her MFA in Creative Writing. Her blog traces her journey as a writer and provides info updates about her Steampunk novel, The Earl of Brass. The reviews are excellent. Check it out!

Kristen’s Pretty Little Pages blog is a lovely book review site where readers can get the scoop on the latest books, indie titles and tons of fabulous giveaways. She’s currently hosting Indie Fall Fest, a seasonal event of giveaways, author interviews, creative writing prompts and other writing fun by and about indie authors. Kristen was also the first person to interview me just after the release of Travel Glasses. 🙂

Claudia writes This Is My Soul Called Life, a busy and beautifully written book blog. There’s always something going on there, whether it’s a book review, teaser, giveaway, blog hop or heartwarming update about Claudia’s family life. The layout is also rather pretty.

Jenni Everidge is a fellow writer who I met through my local writing group. She’s super fun and has a strong background in American literature. Her blog, Time to Find a Real Job, showcases her poetry and “random musings”—her words, not mine.

Patrick McQueen is another writer I know through my local writing group. He’s feverishly working on a novel as a NaNoWriMo participant. Go Patrick! His shorter pieces can be found on his Mortal Musings blog.

Arizona Lowe is a phenomenal photographer and blogger. Her blog and twitter page are filled with inspirational and interesting quotes, mainly geared toward positive thinking. Her current project, Today’s Visions, is a site dedicated to connecting indie authors and artists to others through social media.

Bill Baldwin organizes the Open Mic Nights for my local writing group. He’s a longtime writer of poetry, novellas, stories and plays. He’s currently putting together something called the Underground. I’m not quite sure what that is yet, but I have a feeling I will be involved. Find out more about Bill’s projects and general happenings on his Grail and Wand blog.

Larry LaForge is a writer who contributes to Flash Fiction Magazine. He writes drabbles, which are complete stories of only 100 words. Stop by his Larry La Forge 100 Words blog to see what I mean. Larry has also given me the honor of sharing one of his original stories for Frabble Friday.

Last but not least, I recently came across the book blog, Une Fille à La Vanille. Ready for unofficial lovely fact no. 8? I studied both French and English literature, and French is my favorite—La Fontaine, Hugo, Maupassant, Sartre, Rostand! But those are old authors; La Vanille will help me learn about new authors and new stories. See, for example, her review of Les Yeux Jaunes de Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol.

❤ I hope you enjoyed my stop on the blog hop. Keep reading, continue writing and be well!

Tagged! The World Book Blog Tour

The World Book Blog Tour is an invitation to share not only an author’s work but also the work of other authors/writers. Then the idea is to pass it on in hopes of authors reaching authors and readers across the globe. Thanks to all of you who jumped on board to participate in the fun!

Many thanks to Tim Hemlin for adding me to the tour! Tim has written a number of books, most recently the cli-fi dystopian novel The Wastelanders. I am absorbed in this book right now; and let me tell you, Tim’s passion for environmental concerns, research of the subject matter and attention to detail radiate through his writing. He teaches, runs marathons and is currently working on a YA urban fantasy. I’m looking forward to more of his writing and his next book! To learn more about Tim, check out his website at timhemlin.com and follow him on Twitter @TimHemlin.

These are the question posed by the World Book Blog Tour:

What am I working on?

I have a number of projects going on right now. I’m editing and revising the second installment in The Call to Search Everywhen serial series. Additionally, I’m writing Instruments of Piece, a collection of flash fiction stories that feature different musical instruments in fantasy settings. The first three stories, The Floating Flautist, Trompette and Well Plaid, are all free to read at Flash Fiction Magazine and on Wattpad. I also enjoy contributing to my local writing group’s monthly newsletter.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My writing is deeply rooted in fables and fantasy, which influenced how I wrote Travel Glasses. Even though it’s a time travel story, the characters don’t just travel back and forth in time within their city, country or even the Earth. My characters build and learn how to use technologies that take them to other worlds with different time schemes. There are also multiple methods of time travel, some that are licensed and official and others that are not. The main character, Calla, stumbles upon all of this without any background whatsoever. Readers get to experience her adventures traveling through time and space as she does, as well her wonderment and second-guessing about what is happening and what it all means…until she uncovers the pieces she needs for everything to click. That’s the type of story I like to read (and the type of movie I like to watch). I enjoy looking for clues and trying to predict what will happen next; and so this is the type of story that I wanted to write and share with YA readers.

Why do I write what I do?

My favorite quote about writing fantasy is by Lloyd Alexander (author of The Black Cauldron). He said, “Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.” I think that fantasy elements in a work distance readers just enough from the story so that they can form objective opinions about the characters and, yet, internalize what that means about themselves and the world around them without feeling overwhelmed or attacked. Take fables, for instance. They’re all about talking animals playing out behavioral situations and teaching lessons about right versus wrong. I grew up reading children’s adaptations of fables by the French fabulist and poet, Jean de La Fontaine. As a child I enjoyed his animal characters and the practical lessons they demonstrated. Much later, I studied his works in French and fell in love with them all over again. His stories have stayed with me, and although my characters may travel to or live in outside worlds with complex rules and themes, I think readers can learn more about themselves and their own relationships by how they react to the story and its characters.

How does my writing process work?

I have a tendency to write shorter pieces and let the characters guide the way. Sometimes I prepare a rough outline, but more typically I free write and then carve out a path. Sometimes it’s all a mystery to me until I’m in the middle of writing the story. For example, I planned for Travel Glasses to be a short story. But then it grew to become a novel. While writing the last third of the story I realized that Travel Glasses would be the first part of a series. I suspect that the more I got to know the characters, the more intricate they and their stories became. So far, that hasn’t happened with any other story I’ve written.

**Next stop on the World Book Blog Tour?**

Mark Shaw is the talented author of The Keeper of the Wind and the mastermind behind the Twitter hashtag and movement #IndieBooksBeSeen. He is a U.S. Navy veteran who is full of energy and boundless encouragement for indie authors trying to get their work in front of readers. Mark’s outward focus is contagious. He wants readers to discover a new world of books and wants to see writers shine! Follow Mark’s Twitter handle @MarkTheShaw and visit indiebooksbeseen.com to learn how to support the movement.

Fleur Camacho recently penned The Last Seeker (Tristen Book 1) which is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. I can hardly wait for the book’s October 16 release to find out more about Tristen’s adventures traveling through time! Go Fleur! Nice genre choice, by the way. 😉 Help make her debut novel launch one to remember by visiting her website at fleurcamacho.com and following her on Twitter @fleurcamacho.

Christina McMullen is a sci-fi and urban fantasy author who has written several books. Christina’s most recent work, Kind of Like Life, is a YA sci-fi novel. And now that I’ve read the book blurb, featuring a girl who loves fantasy and fairy tales, that one is on deck for me to read. 😀 If you’re into vampires, you may want to check out The Eyes of the Sun series on Amazon. Follow Christina on Twitter @mcmullenwrites! She and I share a certain fondness for irony and cupcakes.