Hello! I am thrilled to announce this week’s interview is with Christina Feindel!
C. L. Feindel resides in central Texas with her multi-talented husband, Noah. While traversing academia, civil service, and chronic illness in early adulthood, she founded the whole-foods blog ACleanPlate.com and now works as a cook, photographer, and educator. She pens fiction in her spare time, with a particular passion for character development and genre-blending. More info about her and her debut novel can be found at CLFeindel.com.
Immy: Straight to it. Let’s talk about inspiration. Which writers inspire you?
Christina: I have my favorite authors, like Scott Lynch and Hugh Howey, who manage to do things so brilliant and unique it forces you to rethink the bounds of genre. But the writers that inspire me the most are the people in my life who have in whatever way constantly spun good yarns in the years I’ve known them. Actors, improvisers, game masters–the whole lot of them. Whether they ever share their stories with the world or not, I’m very lucky to be surrounded by so many creative, entertaining people day in and day out.
Immy: I’m jealous. I’m surrounded by droolers and gummyhands. Love ’em like mad, and they have their genius moments, but… Anyway. So after the inspiration, and you’re actually working on the novel. What was the hardest thing about writing your upcoming novel?
Christina: Unlike other books I’ve tried to write, I went into this one knowing that it would get finished and eventually published. It just felt like the one. And that expectation made editing the hardest thing about it. I kept feeling like it wasn’t good enough, and some problems took months to solve, and then I would find a new problem that would take a few more months. It was agonizing work, but I know the product I wound up with was so much better for it.
Immy: Do you the editing yourself or do you get someone to do that for you?
Christina: I love editing, and I’ve freelanced as an editor in the past. But it’s hard to be objective about your own words. I gave it my best shot, then I employed a large team of beta readers to get some outside opinions. It was immensely helpful and I’m so grateful to all of them, but it was also very time-consuming. In the future, I’ll probably cut to the chase and hire a professional editor early on just to move things along a bit faster.
Immy: I wish I could edit. Not going to happen though. What about characters? Give us some insight into your main character, Grayson. What’s special about her?
Christina: You know those kids that were huge troublemakers in school and it turned out they were just way too smart for the subject matter? They were literally bored out of their minds. That’s Grayson. She’s a recluse, she’s wary, she’s intelligent, but she’s not socially intelligent. She has an anti-hero’s obligatory dark past and just wants to survive any way she can. But she surprises me, sometimes. She’s still got a moral compass even if she doesn’t always follow it. I love the riot of emotions boiling under her surface, the barely-in-control. Her life is different enough from mine that I don’t get caught up in it. I can sit back and enjoy the ride without worrying too much about what’s going to happen to her along the way.
Immy: And when you aren’t writing? What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Christina: My “day job” as a food blogger involves recipe development, photography, and web design, which I enjoy at least as much as I enjoy writing. It’s a great excuse to eat a lot of good food and to exercise my creativity in nonverbal ways. At the end of the day, I like to unwind with a good book or a game night with friends and family. We’re big board game geeks!