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Monday 30 May 2016

ℚ♫ Shadow: Romany Outcasts [2] - Christi J. Whitney

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Shadow (, Harper Voyager, 400 pages), a Young Adult Fantasy, book two of the Romany Outcasts series.

Praise for Grey, book one in the series:

‘Different, unique and mysterious … A great start to the series … It remains to be seen what will happen next but I’d read it without a doubt’ Book Passion for Life

‘An excellent start to the series, and I look forward to finding out where the story goes from here. I give this book a definite A!’ Emeraldfire’s Bookmark

‘An intriguing contemporary YA fantasy. Featuring “mysterious” gypsy groups and their folklore and traditions, I found this aspect of the book gave it a refreshingly uniqueness I don't see too much in other books in this genre … Consider me hooked on The Romany Outcasts Series by Christi J. Whitney. Is book two available soon?’ Reader Girls

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Christi Whitney; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

We love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Shadow and the Romany Outcasts Series, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"These [below] are the songs I most listen to while working on the Romany Outcasts Series.  I also find myself playing certain ones on repeat when I need to think over a scene or a character – usually while in the car or doing things around the house."
Great list - thank you! I could not find videos on YouTube for Five Years by Tony Anderson

What was the inspiration for Shadow and the Romany Outcasts series?
"My inspiration for the Romany Outcasts Series actually came from a combination of things.  It began with the character of Sebastian, who I’d had in my head for a while.  He was sort of a manifestation of the traits I’ve always loved in my favorite characters from books, comics, television, and movies.  But the story idea itself came out of some family research I’d been doing."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Well I must admit there’s some of my former occupation written in this series in the form of Ms. Lucian, the theatre teacher at Sixes High School.  I wrote her initial scenes during class changes while I was teaching theatre myself.  Ms. Lucian was originally meant to be only a bit character, but she ended up taking a completely different route altogether.

I think there’s some of my personality in Sebastian.  It was easy to get into his head because there’s a lot we share in common."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Shadow - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I absolutely love the covers for Grey and for Shadow, and I give a huge shout out to Cherie Chapman for her design.

HarperCollins allowed me quite a lot of input, and I was really grateful for that.  We wanted something that subtly reflected key elements in the story.  With Grey, it was the dandelion yellow color and the image of cracked stone.  With Shadow, the gray dandelion and the circus tents were added to the crackled design, and I think it works beautifully."
Why should we read Shadow and the Romany Outcasts series? What sets it apart from the rest?
"I think having an entire story told from a male POV is still somewhat uncommon in a lot of YA fantasy, and I really enjoyed writing Grey in that manner.

The Romany Outcasts Series explores a rich, fictional Gypsy world, but one rooted in reality, and there’s mystery and unanswered questions, particularly in the first book.  We experience things as Sebastian does, and we go through the same strange things that begin happening around him and to him as the story progresses.  It’s a tale of self-discovery, but also of family, friendships, and loyalty."
Can you tell us something quirky about Shadow, its story and characters?
"Absolutely!  I reference Shakespeare quite a few times – sometimes obviously, and sometimes not.  But a fun tidbit about characters names:  There are two characters named specifically in homage to the classic novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  There’s a reason for it, and there’s a reason this book had a hand in my inspiration for the series, but I can’t tell you that.  You’ll have to read and find out!"
Who would you recommend Shadow to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend this book to fans of YA, particularly fantasy and urban fantasy.  It’s appropriate for ages 12 and up. "
If you could / wished to turn Shadow and the Romany Outcasts series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Gosh, that’s a really tough question!  I honestly love when I see relatively unknown or new actors in roles – particularly when playing a book character.  I’ve most recently been impressed with Alberto Rosende in the role of Simon Lewis in the new Shadowhunters series.  He really nailed the character, but man, he would’ve made a pretty great Sebastian Grey!"
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I enjoy writing stories about characters that have a transformation experience.  I also like writing about characters struggling to overcome things that are out of their control.  But I like doing that in a fantasy setting.  I write and read fantasy and science fiction because it’s my escape from reality."
What is your writing process?
"I tend to write dialogue first…maybe because of my background in theatre, where the emphasis is on the spoken word.  But for me, it’s the quickest way to get into my character’s head and figure out who they are.

The plot develops around the dialogue.  I do eventually have to sit down and outline, but I’m definitely more of a freeform writer, at least in the first drafts."
What is in store next?
"Well, I’m currently writing book three in the Romany Outcasts Series, which is tentatively titled Midnight, and I’m having so much fun with it.  I was glad to be able to get back into my characters’ heads.

I’m also working on a sci-fi story, and I’ve got another project I’m getting ready to edit.  But at the moment, the majority of my focus is on Midnight, since I’m scheduled to have a completed manuscript turned in to my publisher by September."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Well, we don’t currently own a pet, but there’s something that’s always going to have a special place in my geeky heart, and that’s the TARDIS from Doctor Who.  I stumbled upon the original series when I was twelve years old, and I blame the Doctor for my love affair with sci-fi.

I recently visited Cardiff, Wales to see the Doctor Who Experience (a bucket list item of mine), and I got to see the Fourth Doctor’s TARDIS…the very first blue box I ever saw on my television screen.  I totally geeked out."

Available for Pre-order NOW! Out on 2 June 2016!

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1 comment:

Christi J. Whitney said...

Thanks so much for this fantastic post!