#MainstreamMadness – Red Queen by Christina Henry

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The author of Alice takes readers back down the rabbit hole to a dark, twisted, and fascinating world based on the works of Lewis Carroll…
 
The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found.

Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.

Christina Henry is the author of the Chronicles of Alice, which began with Alice, and the national bestselling Black Wings series featuring Agent of Death Madeline Black and her popcorn-loving gargoyle Beezle. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.

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Where are you from? Does the area you live in influence you writing?

I live in Chicago. My first fantasy series, BLACK WINGS, was set in Chicago. I was a first-time author and was intimidated by the idea of making up my own fantasy world so I decided to stick to what I knew. Once I made that decision it was important to me to use real places in the city to ground the story.

When I wrote the CHRONICLES OF ALICE I felt more secure in creating my own world in those books, albeit one that is loosely influenced by both Lewis Carroll and a Dickensian London.

Tell us your latest news!

The second book in the CHRONICLES OF ALICE duology, RED QUEEN, will be out July 12. I have two single titles coming from Berkeley/Ace books in the next two years – LOSTBOY, an origin story of Captain Hook (out July 2017), and HIS MERMAID, a tale of myth, magic, & P.T. Barnum (out July 2018).\

When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?

I’ve been writing since I was pretty young. I wrote my first “book” when I was 12 in a notebook. I’d just read J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” series for the first time and was inspired to write a fantasy story that – not coincidentally – bore a strong resemblance to “The Lord of the Rings.”

I wrote my first real book, BLACK WINGS, in November 2008 and sold it about 9 months later. I wanted to write a story about a male Grim Reaper. The story pretty quickly morphed into a tale about a female Agent of Death named Madeline Black (she collects souls and works for the Agency, which was modeled after my traumatic experience working for an insurance company) and her gargoyle sidekick Beezle.

What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?

Tolkien was the first strong influence. After that Robin McKinley (who wrote unconventional fantasy heroines), Tanya Huff (whose KEEPER CHRONICLES and BLOOD series are some of my favorite urban fantasy of all time), Raymond Chandler (I’m pretty sure I learned how to write dialogue while reading the Philip Marlowe books),  Agatha Christie (I’ve read every one of her books at least three times) and Stephen King (for pure inventiveness  – also, his recent Bill Hodges trilogy is one of my favorite mystery/suspense series ever).

Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?

Most of my characters speak in my head before I see them. I tend to hear the story first and then gradually the visuals get filled in.

What motivates you to write?

I’ve always loved to read and I love to tell stories. It’s that simple.

What is the hardest part of writing?

Finding time to write all the things I want to write! I’ve always got more ideas than time.

What does your family think of your writing?

Everyone – my parents, my sisters, my husband and my son- are all very supportive. My kid is probably my biggest booster – he’s always telling people his mom is an author and encouraging me to hand out bookmarks to strangers.

What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?

I used to say write every day, but I don’t even do that myself. I would say experiment and find what works best for you. If that means writing every day, then write at least a little bit every day. If that means spending several days thinking about your book and then writing in big chunks of story, then do that. Every writer’s process is different.

What book are you reading now?

The Bone Seeker by M.J. McGrath. It’s the third in the Edie Kiglatuk mystery series. I love mysteries set in exotic (to me) locales and this series is set in the Arctic amongst the Inuit people.

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Christina Henry Headshot

Christina Henry is the author of the CHRONICLES OF ALICE duology, ALICE and RED QUEEN (Ace Trade), a dark and twisted take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

She is also the author of the national bestselling BLACK WINGS series (BLACK WINGS, BLACK NIGHT, BLACK HOWL, BLACK LAMENT, BLACK CITY, BLACK HEART and BLACK SPRING, Ace/Roc) featuring Agent of Death Madeline Black and her popcorn-loving gargoyle Beezle.

ALICE was chosen as one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Year in Science Fiction and Fantasy for 2015. It was also a Goodreads Choice Award nominee in Horror and one of Barnes & Noble’s Bestselling Science Fiction and Fantasy novels of 2015.

She enjoys running long distances, reading anything she can get her hands on and watching movies with samurai, zombies and/or subtitles in her spare time. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.

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