Monday, May 15, 2017

OIBF Keynote Speaker Christina Benjamin

I am so excited to welcome author Christina Benjamin to Reading For Fun. She will be attending OIBF on October 19-22, 2017 in Springfield, MO as one of our Key Note Speakers. I have been lucky enough to meet her in Nashville and I can’t wait to see her again at OIBF.

Hello Christina and welcome! I thought we would begin with discussing your work. How many books do you currently have published? 
Oh wow, I had to count. 17 with number 18 on the way.
Of those books which one are you most proud of and why?
Such a hard question because they’re all so different, but I guess I’d have to say my first book, The Geneva Project - Truth, because it started all of this. It was spawned from my love for YA fantasy and I started writing it because I wanted to have a world all my own to share with others.
 Do you have a favorite quote from one of your books? If so, could you share it with us and explain why?

OMG, Tina this is like CNN! Lol. This is so hard. I wish I had a better memory because I know I’ll totally think of something better later, but let’s go with this one from The Geneva Project - Destiny, because it’s the one I relate to. “I’m not fearless. If anything I’m afraid all the time. But I let my fear motivate me.” I also love this one from Destiny. “Come now . . . writing is harmless. They’re just words, after all.” As a writer and book nerd words are the most powerful things in the world so I love the hidden humor and ignorance of that statement.

Are you currently working on another book? Can you share a little something about it? Is it YA, NA, Adult? What genre?
I’m always working on another book. I’ve challenged myself to do a book a month. Crazy, I know! But it’s been really fun. I primarily write YA and Romance. It’s nice to bounce back and forth between two completely different genres because I think it helps keep my writing fresh. My current WIP is YA and it’s called The Almost Boyfriend. It’s a follow up to my best-seller, The Practice Boyfriend. They’re both stand alones but part of the same collection, which is good old high school drama and gossip. They have a very Gossip Girl/Pretty Little Liars feel. The Almost Boyfriend takes place in Ireland so it’s been really fun researching and I can’t wait to bring the book on tour to Ireland this summer.
~~Now for a little FuN!~~

Who is your favorite author?
Another hard one! Everyone! But for the sake of not writing a novel about my favorite authors I’ll narrow it down to my fav YA authors at the moment, JK Rowling, Cassandra Clare and Sarah J. Maas.
Do you have a favorite book that you come back to time and time again?
I rarely read books more than once because I always feel there are so many more that I want to get to. I did listen to all the Harry Potter’s on Audible after reading them and I watch the movies over and over. So there’s that. I’m a big Potter nerd.
If you could go to one place, where would you go and why? 
I really, really want to go to Santorini, Greece because my YA series, The Geneva Project sort of takes place there. It was inspired by a lot of the amazing landscape of Greece and Greek mythology. Plus the iconic Santorini shoreline is actually part of the seal we created for the series. It’s kind of my hidden tribute to Greece.
What hobbies do you have that you do to unwind and relax? 
Can I say binge watching Netflix with a glass of wine? Lol. No, really it’s the water. Anything on the water. Cruising, sailing, boating, stand up paddle boarding, sitting on the beach or by the pool. That’s my happy place. Put a book in my hand on the beach and I’m a happy girl. My other love is music. I can’t sing or play an instrument but I love music so much. It really inspires my writing and I try to fill my days with as much live music as I can find.
Would you please share something quirky about yourself that most people wouldn’t know? 
Oh gosh, what isn’t quirky? I’m a book nerd. I write in a closet. Literally. I needed a private place to hide away and write my novels so we converted a walk in closet into an office. I call it my writing cave, or my Harry Potter room. So I pretty much spend all day in a closet. That’s quirky, right?

One last question…it needs to be a good one…
Harry Potter or Hunger Games? What do you like most about the series? 
Oh! Good one! I love them both. They’re literally on my shelves of fame! (that’s what I call the top row of my bookshelf) But I think I have to go with Potter because I’m just such a huge fan of what JK did for the world of fantasy. Her books really inspired me to create my own brand of magic that can live and breath between the pages of my books.
Thank you so much for taking time from your busy schedule to share your thoughts and work with us. I can’t wait to see you at OIBF!!
If you would like to attend Ozarks Indie Book Fest here are a few links for more information: