I’m so happy to have Christina Phillips at Smexy today. Her very sexy book, Forbidden came out September 7th.
Who is Christina Phillips? Give us the low down.
I was born and grew up in the UK, but now live in sunny Western Australia with my husband and our three children. I’ve always loved writing stories although as a teenager my characters always came to a sticky end. After many years and a variety of jobs to fit around the children’s school hours I’m now living my dream – writing romances about sexy warriors and magical heroines. It doesn’t get much better than that!
On your website you state that your Roman centurion appeared in your head from nowhere. Did you know just that you had to write about a sexy Roman, or did you have his story from the start too?
All I had before I started writing Forbidden was this tantalizing vision of a hot Roman centurion searching for his Druid princess, a manipulative High Druid and an overwhelming sense of impending doom. I was between books, not sure what to tackle next but the instant Maximus and Carys appeared to me (and strangely for me, I knew their names immediately) I had to find out more about them. In fact up until that evening it had never even crossed my mind to write a historical romance, never mind an ancient historical romance. It was all a bit freaky really!
I always think really evil villains are so much fun to read about, and I thoroughly enjoyed the page time with Aeron. Was he a fun character to write? Was it hard to make him so evil or did it come easy?
I loved writing Aeron! He was a dark, complex character and I didn’t know why he was acting the way he was until later in the book. I found him surprisingly easy to translate onto the page because his presence was so strong. He fascinated me by the way he was so absolutely convinced he was in the right. As far as he was concerned there was only one way – his way. He wasn’t the kind of man who understood the concept of compromise :-)
Carys is a fun, independent heroine with a strong druid abilities. Give us some insight into writing her magical abilities.
Carys inherited her strong druidic heritage from both her parents and was chosen at the moment of her birth by the Goddess of Wisdom, Cerridwen. No one knew why, because she’d been destined to be an acolyte of the Great Goddess, the Morrigan. So Carys has always had this huge question in her mind – why did the Morrigan turn from her? However, she loves Cerridwen and will do anything for her although she has a tendency to manipulate Signs to her own best advantage – especially after meeting Maximus. Because her magical/spiritual abilities are an integral part of who she is they came naturally. I didn’t know when I started the book how that thread would unfold. Towards the end, it was as if I was watching a movie in my mind and I was racing to get it all down on the computer.
Who are some of your favorite authors and influences?
I’ve always loved reading historical romances and read my way through Victoria Holt when I was child. I love Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel – the world building blows me away every time I read that book. Two of my favourite authors more recently are Anna Campbell and Nalini Singh.
The cover of Forbidden is gorgeous. Who is behind the illustration?
I love that cover! Berkley were fantastic when it came to asking for my input. I explained my vision for the cover and it’s as if the artist looked inside my head and then created an image that was even better. I’m in total lust with Maximus’s biceps. The cover artist is Gordon Crabb and the designer is George Long.
What are three things that you must have with you when you write?
It was only after you asked me this question I realised there is one thing I really do need on my desk and that’s a Chap Stick. It’s a great tool of procrastination for me or, as I prefer to think of it, a tool of thinking. Whenever I get stuck I whip out the Chap Stick and apply in a thoughtful manner and I think the muse has become addicted now. Other things I can’t do without are my notes and assorted pens. Oh, and the computer – writing by longhand doesn’t work for me!
I am completely addicted to Chap Stick too! What’s up next for you?
I’m working on revisions on the first book of a proposed new series set in a different century. It’s still an ancient historical though.
Finally, because you are at Smexy Books I must ask: Hairy Chest – smexy?
I love a smattering of chest hair on a hot guy. It gives a smexy texture to run fingers through!
Thanks so much for having me on Smexy Books today!
Christina has offered to giveaway a copy of Forbidden to one lucky commenter. To enter, leave a comment of question for Christina.
Contest open to everyone through Saturday September 25th.