Through many years I’ve written little stories for my family. It was in the early 1980’s I came across an article in the Oregonian. Ann Sullivan wrote about the Martin family that went missing in the Columbia River. I began a couple of years of research then wrote a book. I wrote another paranormal book after reading the entire series by Zenna Henderson.
A few years ago I found a website where I learned the craft of writing. I wrote got my work evaluated and reviewed. I took their online classes and after writing many short stories, getting some of them published and winning awards I tackled another novel.
This one grabbed me and would let me go. I finished it and found a publisher. You can buy it as an ebook or paperback on Amazon. The Vanishing of Katherine Sullivan by Christina Weaver
9 Bridges: When you are writing do you feel more like you are being inspired by a muse, or driven by demons?
Christina Weaver: Inspired. I write because a prompt or plot gets in my head and the story demands to be told. The muse will lead me until it runs to the end and falls off a cliff. I putter around until it has some rest and we are off and writing again.
9B: What is the best advice you have ever given or received about writing?
CW: Where do I begin? They are both the same thing. The basic formula for writing a story is give the Main Character a goal. Then find the thing that motivates them to continue no matter what comes their way. Add conflict that tries to get them away from their goal. Then give them a happy or at least a satisfactory end. It’s my mantra and I write by it.
9B: If you could bring one character from fiction to life who would it be and would you invite them to dinner?
CW: Rose from the Titanic movie. She was classy, feisty and had wonderful storyline.
9B: If you could forever erase from the worlds consciousness one character from fiction who would it be?
CW: I can’t think of any villain that I would want to erase. Each has a purpose. To erase them would mean that story line would be gone. All the detectives and Super Heroes have villains that are unique. I’d love to interview H.Holms. I have strong feelings he may have been Jack the Ripper in England. I never liked Scarlett O’Hara, but what would the book be without her?
9: What tools do you use when you write?
CW: Paper, pen and a computer. I have many books. I use them only for ideas if I’m stuck. I have Vogler’s the Writer’s journey. I use that for character problems I face or if I want a real in depth character. Debra Dixion’s Goal, Motivation and Conflict book was the first book that showed me the craft of telling a story. Its simple. The other book I like is Larry Woods Story Physics: Harnessing the Underlying Forces of Storytelling. He taught a couple of seminars at a conference and impressed me. The one thing I learned is: Don’t tell a biography of a fictional character.
9: Everyone always talks about writers block but no one ever seems to do anything about it. What is your solution?
CW: I don’t have writers block. When I come to a point where the story doesn’t go anywhere I: 1) back up to the last choice the MC made and wonder what would happen if they did something else. 2) I pick a minor character and begin to build them a back story. Sometimes it’s a bad person sometimes it’s just a someone’s friend or a shopkeeper, anyone will do. Those things spark an idea, “what if?” and it has added or changed the story.
9: Most writers I have talked to have at least one story about a loony teacher they knew who somehow inspired them. What is yours?
CW: Sorry I don’t have a loony one. In the 8th grade my creative writing teacher held up the picture of Washington crossing the Delaware. We were to write a story. While others gave the literal story, I told the story from two rabbits POV watching the whole thing. There was a wife who worried about her bunny hubby and sure enough they got too close and the two male rabbits ended up as dinner for the General. My teacher was a little surprised. I think I got an A. Its what she told me: “You have the mind of a writer. You look at things possible and from every point of view great job!” That gave me the encouragement to write and read to others.
9: If you were offered a publishing contract by a major publisher with a stipulation that you kill off the character that was most important to you, would you do it?
CW: I could do it. Knowing that, I’d write the story so I wouldn’t be so attached to the character. I’m not George RR Martin. I’ve not read Game of Thrones or watched the series. I think having to do that brings a creative challenge to a writer. What comes next? To kill off the characters people will come to love is a creative genius that shows the mind of a talented writer.
9:Rock, Paper or Scissors?
CW: Paper. Its all I need to live. Oh yes and a pen.