I now have a guest blog from Christina Philippou who is having her novel, ‘Lost in Static’ published on the 15th September 2016. Christina also reviews and blogs about books and is very supportive of my blog.
Hello and thank you, Sonya, for having me on the blog today – I’m delighted to be here during Urbane week!
So, how did I end up as an Urbane author? Well, like many an author, the journey from words to publication was not a simple one.
My writing journey started at school, where I used to write short adventure stories and depressing poetry in a notebook that lived under my desk, all while trying to avoid analysing where exactly microwaves fall on the electromagnetic spectrum. I took a prolonged writing hiatus while I was at university, which stretched to my first graduate job and then to while concentrating on my career. But I never stopped reading…
I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of differing points of view and what are classed as unreliable narrators (a label I’m not overly keen on, but needs must and all that). Ask my husband and me to tell you the story of how we got together, and you’ll get two very different accounts of events. Ask an entire team to tell you the story of one group event or night out, and you’ll get multiple versions of a single occurrence. I wanted to read books that made you question points of view and understanding of events but, the harder I hunted, the less I found. Lawrence Durrell’s The Alexandria Quartet and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl were the closest I got, but neither quite hit the spot. Fine, I thought, if I can’t read it, I’ll write it. And so my debut novel, Lost in Static, was born.
But where to start? Given I was telling more than one side of the story, with each version coloured by the characters’ background, beliefs, and prejudices, the novel had to be set where the characters all lived through the same events on a daily basis. I considered soldiers at war or students in university halls, and decided on the latter, bringing four characters together by circumstance and tearing them apart by misunderstanding. Then I added the ingredients for a year shaped by lust, betrayal, and violence, and started peeling back the layers.
Finally, there it was, a book I wanted to read, with strong female characters, elements of mystery, and a plot based on there always being two sides to every story. Which brought me to my next issue – publication. Feedback from agents I submitted to was that Lost in Static was too unconventional (which it is, but I didn’t view this as A Bad Thing), that each character didn’t ‘pass the baton’ but instead relived the same events (the whole point of the novel), that it should be written in the third person (which, in my opinion, would lose the voices and their impact). Luckily, Matthew Smith from Urbane Publications agreed with my outlook, which is why Lost in Static is out this September.
So, that’s my perspective, but I’m sure someone else could give you a completely different take on my journey. The question is, which version do you believe?
‘Lost in Static’ is available for pre-order from:-
Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/lost-in-static/
Visit Christina’s Blog – https://cphilippou123.wordpress.com/
Twitter – @CPhilippou123
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/cphilippou123/