Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Indie Insider - Chrystalla Thoma

Chrystalla: Hi and thank you for hosting me today! :) I bet I’m the first Cypriot (from Cyprus) you have on your blog, am I right? Greetings from the eastern Mediterranean!

How many words do you do write a day? Where do you do it?

I don’t have a fixed number of words. I’ve been known to churn out ten thousand words in a day because a story has been playing like a movie in my mind and I need to get it out – or ten if I’m stuck on a plot issue. I write in my living room on my trusted laptop, but I have at least two notebooks with me at all times in case inspiration strikes!

Do you think that people judge a book by it’s cover? Who makes yours?

Definitely. Packaging is important in all forms and for every product. If people judge other people by their appearance, why would it be any different for books? I know I do. It’s a major factor in deciding whether I want to check out a book or not. Of course, I won’t buy it unless the blurb intrigues me and a sample satisfies me, or unless I have a trusted recommendation.
For my indie published books, I make my own covers. It seems I have a good eye for such things and I’m getting the hang of Photoshop slowly... Way too slowly... lol!

What do you do when you get writers block?

I don’t believe in writer’s block. The only thing that can block you is not knowing where your story is going. Then you need to sit down and work it out on paper or in your mind. Another reason can be that you don’t know your characters well and you have no clue how they would react in a situation. At least that’s my take!

How much time do you spend on social media per day? What do you concentrate on?

I don’t spend a specific amount of time on any given social medium. As I work, I have several open and comment here and there. I specifically like Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter – also the Kindleboards.

Which narrative form and tense do you think is the most difficult and why?

Oh tough question! By narrative form do you mean the point of view? I can only speak for myself, and for me first person present tense is hard to get right. I just feel that if it’s first person it needs to be so darn deep and perfect somehow. Which is stupid because third person close narrative is just as hard if not more, so maybe it’s just myself making my own life hard! :D Present tense is hard because it stands out. You can make it work, but I prefer it in short stories where there is more room for experimentation with voice and style.

Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? What is your process?

I have many wonderful critique partners. They pull my stories apart, chapter by chapter, comment on characterization, plot, dialogue, word choices, punctuation, the works! I also have great beta readers who read the story as a whole and check both consistency and language. I owe them so much!

How important is it for an indie author to use a professional editor?

Personally, I don’t believe one needs a professional editor if one has good critique partners and beta readers. But it never hurts if you can afford one, especially if you know that they specialize in fiction and have experience.

How long does it take you to create a book from start to finish?

This really depends on the book. If I have the idea clearly in my head, the scenes more or less plotted, and have time on my hands (which depends on both work and family obligations) I can write a novel in a month, edit it in two, and proofread it – four months. But that’s an idea and improbable situation. A novel needs about a year normally – for me.

Please list three unique blogs or web sites for writers that you read on a regular basis.

The blog of author Marion Sipe – great posts on worldbuilding for fantasy!

The blog of author Krista D. Ball – great advice for writers! http://kristadball.com/

The website and blog of author Katie Salidas – great info about self publishing and paranormal fiction! http://www.katiesalidas.com/

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I am a reader and a writer. I love doing both and I hope to find readers who share my love for YA fiction, fantasy and sci-fi. Above all, we all need to do what we really like, and therefore I am thankful for having the chance to write and publish the genres I love.

If you like mystery and dystopian YA fiction, sci-fi and fantasy, troubled boys and strong girls, then I invite you to check out my novel REX RISING. Follow the adventures of Elei, Kalaes, Hera and Maera in a mad race against time.

You can find Rex Rising at the following distributors:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Watch the book trailer:

Visit my blog for more information on the world of Rex Rising and my other works:

Thank you for having me here today.


  1. Thank you for having me here today. :)

  2. Love the interview, Chrystalla!! Sharing so others can see what a wonderful author and person you are!! Happy Holidays ! ~ Joseph :)

  3. Great interview and questions and answers.

  4. Thank you, Joseph and Amaleen! Thanks for stopping by. :)