I love hearing about what authors who are in the process of writing think about their craft. No matter what stage of the game we're in, I think anybody who has made the crazy choice to write a book can relate to the ups and downs and the ins and outs of it all. Christine Delmater is experiencing that emotional roller-coaster, too, so I really enjoyed her responses below. I need to take a moment to thank her for her patience. I had a family emergency arise after Thanksgiving, and sending questions to my December Featured authors totally slipped my mind. Christine was due to be featured on December 6th, and was a real champ, answering the questions in an unfairly short amount of time, and agreeing to be a mid-week post. I appreciate you not thunking me in the head for my bungled scheduling, Christine! Now, on to the interview:
Who are you and why are you here?
My name is Christine Delmater and I volunteered to be put through this crucible. Er, interview.
Give us some details about the work you’re promoting. Not published yet? Tell us about the stage of the journey you’re in: What are you working on? What are your goals? What have you been doing to help you get to the finish line?
“One Foot In” is my response, as a Christian, to the paranormal interest of today. I used to be a faithful watcher of the Ghost Hunters series on SyFy until I had to cut cable due to some big life changes and no extra income. The novel itself is a paranormal fiction piece and revolves around Nell, a wounded soldier returned from Afghanistan who's the most difficult protagonist to work with. She was stubborn and wouldn't work with me until I finally realized the story itself was the issue.
I'm still working on this piece, mostly because I had to scrap almost all of it when I realized there was no drive for Nell. I wanted to tell her story and how she contends with seeing people that no one else can see. This isn't “The Sixth Sense” or some sort of ghost whisperer type of story, either, because ghost don't exist in her world – but other things certainly do. I integrated a great deal of what people report experiencing in hauntings – cold spots, battery drains, and full-blown apparitions. After being injured from an explosion, Nell deals with constantly being cold (even in the midst of summer in Charleston, SC) and always needing a caffeine boost. As for apparitions? Well, I just said “what if” - what if, when a person is in a coma, they don't just lay there? Trust me, it works, and I had a blast creating these rules (and breaking them...accidentally).
The fact that I have written as much as I have with this novel is a big deal (over 50k words in) since I have an anxiety issue stemming from the need to be perfect. As in, if I'm not sure I'll get it right the first time, I tend to avoid the situation altogether. Obviously, this doesn't work well for a writer as we all know that the first draft (and second, and maybe third, and so on...) isn't going to be perfect. What helps me the most in pushing towards that end goal is knowing the level of relief I will feel when I've finished the first draft. That will be a huge accomplishment for me as well as a huge weight off my back.
I make it sound like writing is agony! But it isn't – it's such an adventure for me. Nothing beats that moment when you work out a plot hole issue or how the next scene links to the last. I love seeing how my characters change through their journey because it's such a reflection of real life. That's what I love about the sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal genres – they still reflect reality while allowing for the “what if”s.
What’s next for you?
To actually finish “One Foot In” - and deal with an added family member some time in July 2014
High school: Your glory days or a hell you couldn’t escape fast enough?
Couldn't get out of there fast enough! There were few people at my level of social development – I don't mean that in a cruel way, just FYI. I either kept my nose in a book or interacted more with my teachers. I should point out, however, that I wasn't a straight-A student or in any advance courses. I simply would rather visit the places in my head then participate in the fake culture of high school.
Worst job you’ve ever had?
I did 8 months of technical support for an internet company. It had a handful of highlights but otherwise was a 5-midnight thankless job. I would be in trouble more often than not for not saying the opening speech we were expected to say when answering the phones. However, these people were upset enough for waiting as long as they did to get help in the first place. My introductory dissertation wasn't going to help their mood!
I should add that the turn-over rate was so high that it took a lot to be fired. My little rule breaking in order to make the calls slightly less volatile wasn't a big issue in the long run. It was still stressful enough – I lost 20 pounds while working there!
Do you have a bucket list of things to do/see before you die? If so, what would be the number one entry on your bucket list?
It isn't very long as I've been blessed to see a great deal of the world and have been able to see a great deal of amazing things. Most of all, I would love to go paragliding. I've been obsessed with the sensation of flying since I was little and this is the closest I think I could get to that.
What genre do you write in, and why did you choose that one in particular?
Sci-fi/Fantasy/Paranormal are the cluster of genres I enjoy. I give credit to my best friend's parent's library. It was stacked full of these type of novels and they would let me borrow endlessly! That's where I developed my love for reading, let alone the genre itself.
Do you prefer to read in ebook format or traditional print?
Kill a tree for me, please. I mean, I like aspects of the ebooks; I'm not 100% against them, but nothing beats having that hard copy in your hand. No worries of it crashing or distractions popping up to pull you away from the story. Just me and my book.
Links ahoy! Facebook, Twitter, website, blog, purchase links— List where we can find you and/or your work.
The closest thing to a blog I have currently is a household one I help my sister-in-law, Lia, out with. http://corkedcookedandclaimed.com/